Finding Fault After A Car Crash
DC Car Accident Lawyer Explains Common Accident Types
Every day thousands of crashes happen across the United States, but our car accident injury lawyers understand how these statistics mean nothing and are only numbers to individuals and families in the midst of dealing with the serious consequences and injuries resulting from a car or truck accident. Your concern is not with how many people have been in this situation before, just with what needs to happen next for you and your family when dealing with insurance, medical bills and your other stresses.
Whether on the Capital Beltway or I-66, each car accident and personal injury lawyer at our firm has handled accident cases stemming from a wide range of causes throughout the District, including Maryland and Virginia. We have also received several legal designations, such as five of our personal injury attorneys being selected by their peers for inclusion in Best Lawyers in America© as well as selected as “Best Law Firms” of 2014 and 2016, in recognition for our work on behalf of personal injury victims.
Who is At Fault for My Car Accident?
One of the main issues following a car accident is determining what caused and who is at fault. Investigating this issue should be a priority for your car acciddent attorney and often dictates what the best actions are moving forward. This can also make available a number of legal avenues that can allow you and your family to seek compensation for past and future medical bills, lost income as well as pain and suffering—all damages that you deserve when another driver or party made careless decisions in the moments leading up to the accident.
Determining Fault in Car Accidents
One way the insurance company and your legal representation will investigate what caused the accident is by identifying the accident type. While car accidents are sometimes caused by uncontrollable circumstances, such as product defects and bad weather, driver mistakes typically cause or contribute to a majority of accidents.
The following are some of the most common causes of motor vehicle accidents that we see and have handled in our practice:
- Failure to obey traffic signs and signals. When someone fails to yield, blows a stop sign or runs a red light, disaster can occur. An at-fault driver could strike a pedestrian or bicyclist, T-bone a vehicle in cross traffic or even collide head on with an oncoming vehicle turning left in front of him or her, causing an accident.
- Intoxication. Using drugs or drinking alcohol before driving a car is a dangerous game, because these substances impair judgment, slow reaction time, decrease coordination and weaken the senses. If someone gets behind the wheel of a two-ton steel machine after indulging in mind-altering substances, he or she puts him or herself and everyone else on the road at risk of a serious or fatal car accident.
- Driver inattention. Drivers talking on cellphones, reading, texting, scolding their children, doing hair and makeup, eating or drinking are focusing on these tasks instead of their driving. Driver inattention can cause rear-end and head-on collisions, which even at seemingly low speeds can cause severe damage to both vehicles and passengers. In a distracted driving case, our firm was successful in gaining a $1.2 million settlement for the family of a 95-year-old pedestrian who was struck and killed by a driver attempting to use his cellphone while driving.
- Driver inexperience. Inexperienced drivers, such as teenagers, often cause car accidents because they may not know all the rules of the road, and because when something goes wrong, they do not always know how to correct the problem or evade the danger.
- Aggressive driving. Aggressive driving is not just restricted to the phenomenon of “road rage.” Aggressive drivers tailgate, jump lanes, whip in and out of traffic, drive on the shoulder to pass traffic jams, honk their horns and flash their lights. Aggressive drivers are unpredictable and frequently cause motor vehicle accidents.
- Speeding. The higher your rate of speed, the more damage any accident will cause, both to the vehicles and to the passengers.
- Driver fatigue. Driving while tired is just as dangerous as driving while drunk, if not more so. Fatigue is common on long driving trips, and over-the-road commercial truck drivers frequently drive while sleepy to avoid missing deadlines. Driver fatigue is a leading cause of large truck accidents in the United States, and in fatal car accidents involving commercial trucks, the person driving the car is almost always the one who loses.
- Defective vehicles and vehicle component parts. Car accident litigation has instigated many changes in the way the automotive industry designs, markets and manufactures cars. However, many dangerous car defects that cause accidents still occur.
- Poor vehicle design. Many sport utility vehicles (SUVs) have stability issues that make them more likely to rollover in the event of a crash. SUV rollover accidents are under products liability law. Although the introduction of electronic stability control systems has helped to reduce the risk of rollover, these accidents continue to cause serious injuries and deaths throughout the United States. When a design flaw contributes to an SUV rollover accident, the manufacturer may be legally liable.
Local Car Wreck Attorneys Who Only Get Paid If You Do
The experienced accident and injury lawyers at our firm want to help you if a car accident has injured you or a family member. We will work alongside you to seek what your family needs and address any concerns you may have. You deserve legal representation that listens to what is causing you stress and will make every possible effort to remedy these issues.
We take many cases on a contingency fee basis, which means that our clients are able to seek compensation without taking any upfront costs or financial risks. If you have been in a wreck, and you have questions about anything relating to the accident, contact our accident and injury attorneys today for a free discussion about your specific situation.