The overwhelming majority of American households own a car, and many of us get behind the wheel every single day. But most drivers don’t spend much time thinking about the danger of car accidents, or what to do in the event that we ourselves are involved in one.
That’s okay, to an extent. Nobody should have to live in fear, after all. But American drivers should be realistic about just how common car accidents are. Every driver should be aware of how easily an accident can happen, and every potential car accident victim should know what their legal options would be in the event of an unfortunate accident that was not their fault.
Car accidents: a serious and ever-present danger
Car accidents are frighteningly common. The number of accidents reported to the police in a given year can be north of six million, not counting the minor accidents that go unreported. Severe accidents can, of course, result in deaths, as more than 35,000 people die in car crashes in a typical year.
Accidents can be mild or severe. They can involve one car or many. They can be caused by mistakes, bad luck, and problems with vehicles. When you put all of the potential causes for car accidents together, you have a lot of things that could go wrong. And, personal injury attorneys tell us, many of those things are what the law would consider “negligence.”
Negligence and other causes of car accidents
In a personal injury lawsuit, attorneys set out to prove that individuals deserve to be compensated for things like medical bills and lost wages. The idea is that the consequences of an accident should rest with the parties who are at fault, not the innocent parties who just had a bit of bad luck. The party at fault, of course, is the party that was negligent.
Negligence comes in all kinds of forms. It could be that a negligent party was texting at the time of a crash — or eating or drinking, which can be just as dangerous. Drivers have a responsibility to pay attention to the road. They have a responsibility to drive carefully, and they have a responsibility to maintain their vehicles. You should always rely on a qualified and certified mechanic, say experts at an automotive and diesel technology college in New York, and you should also make sure that your vehicle is well-maintained and that any necessary repairs are made quickly.
When a driver ignores these responsibilities, things can get dangerous. And if an accident results, injured parties may have the legal means to be made whole again.
Legal options following a car accident
If you’ve been injured in a car accident that was not your fault, you should reach out to an attorney, says one respected auto accident lawyer. If another party caused the accident through their negligence, then you may have a personal injury case. An award or settlement in a personal injury case can give you the financial means to get back on your feet. Things like medical bills, wages lost because you couldn’t go to work, and other financial damages can be reversed with the help of a qualified attorney.
You should only ever take legal advice from a practicing attorney. Set up a consultation as soon as you can, and show up with any paperwork and evidence that you have that is relevant to your case (this includes things like medical bills, police reports from the accident, and images or documents that prove your injuries and other damages). The attorney will take care of things from there, helping you see your legal options.