Anyone who has been involved in a car accident knows that these crashes can be devastating to the victims and their families. Struggling to deal with one’s recuperation, emotional stress, medical bills, and insurance company is bad enough, but when there is significant personal injury involved, it is even more overwhelming. Hiring an experienced car accident lawyer can be the best choice in these kinds of situations. A skilled car accident lawyer is well versed in the relevant laws and can do the legwork while their clients heal. An experienced attorney can also help clients arrive at an appropriate settlement to receive fair compensation from negligent parties for injuries, expenses, and pain and suffering.
What are the Most Common Causes of Car Accidents?
The vast majority of car accidents can be traced to some kind of driver error, whether it was intentional or not. Some of the most common causes are aggressive driving, distracted driving, drowsy driving, driving under the influence, and speeding. There can be more than one factor at play, as well; someone who is texting while driving could also be speeding because they are not paying attention.
Aggressive driving: AAA explains that aggressive driving is intentional and is defined as unsafe driving behaviors that exhibit a disregard for safety and/or ill intention. Aggressive drivers can be seen cutting off other drivers, tailgating, and switching lanes without signaling. Other examples of aggressive driving include running through red lights, blocking cars that are trying to change lanes or pass, weaving in and out of lanes, and of course, speeding.
Aggressive driving can quickly escalate into road rage, which can be highly dangerous. When this occurs, drivers may force other vehicles off the road, sideswipe cars intentionally, curse or make obscene gestures, throw things from their cars, or ram other vehicles on purpose. In the worst scenarios, a firearm is involved. Other drivers who witness aggressive drivers or road rage should report it to the authorities immediately.
Distracted driving: A car accident can happen in a split second, and that is why it is so important for drivers to stay focused at all times. Anything that takes attention away from the road is considered to be a distraction. It can be visual, such as taking the eyes away from the road; manual, including removing one or both hands from the steering wheel; or cognitive, such as daydreaming or arguing with a passenger. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that approximately eight people in the United States die each day in car accidents that involve distracted drivers.
Most people realize the dangers of using handheld devices while driving, but texting, talking, and using the internet are just some of the multitasking activities that put drivers at risk when behind the wheel. Using a GPS, eating, drinking, and fixing one’s hair or makeup also take a driver’s attention away from the task at hand. Seemingly innocuous things such as changing a radio station or looking back to check on children or a pet can also cause serious and deadly accidents.
Drowsy driving: Fatigued drivers can be just as dangerous as drivers who are under the influence. Not only does it slow driver reaction time, but also it makes it harder to pay attention and hampers one’s ability to make the right decisions. Drowsy drivers often do not even realize how tired they are. The warning signs include missing exits, constant blinking and yawning, drifting in and out of lanes, driving over rumble strips, and forgetting the past several miles driven.
Driving under the Influence: Also called DUI or DWI, driving under the influence is another unfortunate driving behavior that causes car accidents, injuries, and fatalities. More than 100,000 lives are lost to DUI accidents every year. Alcohol and certain drugs can reduce a driver’s ability to focus, impair visual functions and motor coordination, and reduce reaction time. In short, impaired driving affects a driver’s ability to control a vehicle. The penalties for DUI are severe and may include jail time, high fines, license suspensions and revocations, driving restrictions, and/or mandatory treatment programs.
Speeding: There are thousands of speed-related car accidents every year, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) claims that this risky driving behavior causes about one-third of all motor vehicle fatalities. Speeding drivers have less stopping distance when they need it, less vehicle control, and a much higher degree of crash severity when accidents occur. Besides that, the occupant protection equipment will not work as well, leading to even more severe injuries.
Why do drivers speed? One of the main reasons is because they are running late. In reality, driving over the speed limit really does not get someone to their destination that much faster. Some drivers may get frustrated in traffic and become aggressive, increasing their speed and weaving in and out of lanes. Since they have the anonymity of being in a vehicle, many speeders feel detached and emboldened because others do not know who they are.
Common Car Accident Injuries
Any kind of car accident can cause serious injuries, even if they are not apparent at first, and even if there is little to no property damage. Some of the more common injuries include the following:
- Back and neck injuries
- Fractured or broken bones
- Head Injuries
- Internal organ damage
- Loss of a limb
- Muscle sprains and tears
- Nerve damage
- Spinal cord injuries and/or paralysis
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
Any one of these injuries could result in an emergency room visit or lead to a condition that requires long-term medical care. This can lead to extensive medical costs, an inability to return to work or care for a loved one, and significant emotional distress.
Northeast Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyers at Wiggins Law Provide Trusted Legal Guidance after a Car Accident
Dealing with the aftermath of a serious car accident can be one of the most traumatic times in one’s life, and you should not have to face it alone. The skilled, experienced Northeast Philadelphia car accident lawyers at Wiggins Law are available to assist. Our team can assess the circumstances of your car accident and evaluate your options. In many cases, we help clients pursue settlements and damages to compensate for their injuries and loss of property. Call us at 267-225-0770 or contact us online for a free consultation. Our offices are located in Philadelphia, and we proudly serve clients in Northeast Philadelphia, including Kensington, Tacony, Torresdale, Mayfair, Port Richmond, Allegheny, and Olney.