Automobile accidents cause millions of personal injuries and tens of thousands of deaths each year in the United States. The National Safety Council (NSC) says that preliminary car accident statistics indicate there were about 36,200 motor vehicle fatalities in 2012. That marks a 5 percent increase from 2011 and the first year-to-year increase in seven years.
It’s not only drivers who are injured or killed in car accidents. Car passengers, pedestrians and bicyclists are hurt or die in collisions, too. Severe injuries in a car accident can have long-term consequences for victims and their families. A death in a car accident stays with family members forever.
An experienced car accident lawyer can help if you’ve been seriously hurt in a motor vehicle accident that was not your fault or if you have lost a loved one in a car crash. There is often compensation available to assist with the pain and loss caused by another person’s recklessness or negligence.
Common Reasons Car Accidents Occur
Most car accidents result from driver error. Among the most common causes of car accidents are:
- Speeding and other forms of aggressive driving – This includes following too closely (tailgating), passing improperly and making frequent lane changes.
- Reckless driving – Examples are failing to yield the right of way, ignoring stop signs and stoplights, executing improper turns and driving left of center / the wrong way.
- Impaired driving (drunk / drugged driving) – Alcohol-impaired driving fatalities accounted for 31 percent of all motor vehicle traffic fatalities in the U.S. in 2011, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says.
- Distracted driving – This mainly refers to texting while driving and other use of cell phones and personal electronics such as MP3 players and GPS systems. However, distracted driving also includes eating and drinking, grooming and reading (including maps) behind the wheel.
- Fatigued / drowsy driving – Like drunk drivers, those who are sleep-deprived behind the wheel have slower reaction times and poor concentration.
- Driving unsafe vehicles – More than 650 safety recalls affected over 17.8 million motor vehicles, pieces of motor vehicle equipment and child seats during 2012 alone, the NHTSA says.
Another hazard on the road is inexperienced teen drivers. A Governors Highway Safety Association report released in 2013 said the number of 16- and 17-year-old driver deaths in passenger vehicle accidents increased by 19 percent from 2011 to 2012. Young drivers, particularly young male drivers, are more likely than older drivers to engage in speeding and other types of aggressive driving and in texting while driving and other forms of distracted driving. Drowsy / fatigued drivers often include young students who also work full-time or part-time jobs.
Compensation for Car Accident Injuries
A person involved in a car accident may be subject to impact injuries, cutting and tearing injuries and/or crush injures in a rollover accident or if they are thrown from the car and pinned under or between vehicles.
Serious injuries in a car accident will result in a lengthy and expensive recovery. Some injuries are permanently debilitating. Others might be relatively minor.
Car accident injuries might include:
- Head injuries, including traumatic brain injury (TBI), and injuries to the eyes (vision loss), ears (hearing loss), face, jaw and teeth
- Neck injuries, including whiplash (the most commonly suffered car crash injury)
- Back and spinal cord injuries, including paralysis, broken vertebrae (compression fractures), ruptured discs and strained or torn muscles
- Chest injuries, including broken sternum (breast bone) and/or ribs, or ruptures of the diaphragm
- Abdominal Injuries, including hip fractures or injury to the liver, spleen, kidneys or other internal organs
- Arm and leg injuries, including broken bones and amputations, particularly of hands and fingers, feet and toes.
In some car accident cases, the insurance and legal issues will be relatively straightforward. Others are highly complex. Regardless, even “your” insurance company is more interested in its bottom line than it is in providing a settlement with the compensation you need.
Contact a National Car Accident Lawyer
The Driscoll Firm, P.C., represents automobile drivers, passengers and pedestrians who have been injured in car accidents. Our attorneys also assist the families of people killed in motor vehicle accidents.
People who are injured in car crashes caused by the wrongful acts of other drivers – as well as family members who suffer the death or injury of a loved one – may be entitled to compensation for their losses, as well as for their pain and suffering.
Contact The Driscoll Firm, P.C., today at our toll-free number to speak with a national automobile accident injury lawyer. We can provide a free, confidential consultation about your legal rights and options. You can also reach us by submitting our convenient online form.
For more information:
- 2012 Motor Vehicle Fatality Estimates, National Safety Council
- 2010 Traffic Safety Facts, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
- Alcohol-Impaired Driving, 2011 Data, NHTSA
- NHTSA Announces More Than 17.8 Million Products Recalled in 2012, NHTSA