Yearly Accident Statistics
Car Accident Overview
With more than 7 million vehicle accidents resulting in nearly 3 million injuries and 42,000 deaths each year, car accidents are not only scary and stressful, but extremely common. If you have been involved in a car accident, there are a few things to take care of immediately.
- Seek medical attention. No matter how serious the accident is, it’s important to be looked at by a medical professional.
- Call the police/fire department to file an auto accident report.
- Take photos of the scene and collect any other facts that you can from the accident.
- Contact an attorney.
Causes of Car Accidents
Negligence, or fancy speak for not exercising “reasonable care”, is the most common cause of car accidents. Negligence happens when drivers ignore traffic signs, violate speed limits or drive while distracted.
Other common causes include drunk driving, driving a poorly maintained vehicle, unsafe lane changes, inclement weather and driver inexperience.
Who is Liable if an Accident Occurs?
Liability varies with each accident. There are many factors that go into ultimately deciding who is at fault. Factors include type of crash, local and state traffic laws, witness statements and possible distractions that the driver may have been experiencing.
- If the accident involved someone being rear-ended, it’s typically the driver of the following car that is held at fault.
- Left hand turn accidents are more complicated and traffic laws and other factors will come into play when determining who is liable.
- An important liability factor is who was driving the car compared to who actually owns the car. A company, parent or friend can be held at fault through “vicarious liability”, so be careful in who you allow to drive your car.
I’ve Been in a Car Accident. What Should I Do?
We know it’s stressful while you’re still at the scene of the accident, but there are several things that you can do that will help when filing an auto accident claim. Be sure to collect as much personal information from the other driver as possible. Information like their name, contact information, driver’s license number, insurance company’s information and information about the car involved is all extremely helpful during the claims process. A picture says 1,000 words, so take the time to take photos of the accident from every angle. Also, make sure that you obtain a copy of the accident report from law enforcement officials and verify that all of the information is correct. After gathering facts from the scene of the accident, contact a car accident attorney at Buzzell, Graham & Welsh for a free consultation before you contact your insurance company.
Seeking Possible Damages
With car accidents, a variety of damages can be sought. These can include but are not limited to the following:
- Medical expenses- This includes ambulance fees, doctors visits, surgery costs, prescription costs, physical therapy bills and emergency room bills.
- Pain and suffering- This can be physical and/or emotional distress. It can also cover things like physical disability, pain, loss of ability to enjoy life, permanent disfigurement or other elements that affect your quality of life and were a result of the accident.
- Lost wages- Depending on the accident, you could miss time from work. Damages can be paid to cover when you were forced to use your accumulated sick leave in order to recover from the accident.
- Loss of affection or companionship- If someone has been injured, their spouse can claim this type of damage. This is viable if the injured person is unable to fill the role that they normally do as a spouse in the relationship.
What Should I Bring to My Consultation?
It’s understandable if you do not have all of the following items. It’s our job as your attorney to help you gather the correct documents for your case. The faster we get the items together, the quicker we can get you back to living the life that you deserve.
If possible, bring:
- Police reports
- Medical records
- Medical insurance information
- Photographs of damages to vehicles
- Photographs of any visible physical injuries by any party in the accident
- Any medical bills received as a result of injuries/vehicle repair costs
- Any correspondence between you and the other involved party
- Proof of lost wages
- Rental car charges
- Car insurance information and the “declarations page” of your auto insurance policy. Your insurance agent can easily provide you a copy.
The BGW Difference
The attorneys at Buzzell, Graham & Welsh are experts at understanding car accident claims. We want to make this process as seamless and stress-free as possible, so give our office a call today for your free consultation.