Nobody wants a car accident injury—but since these crashes are so prevalent, it’s a good idea to understand the factors that cause them. Understanding how and why a car accident occurred can offer victims more than just peace of mind. The knowledge can also play a critical role in the legal process.
If, for example, a drunk driver totaled another driver’s car, knowing and proving that the individual was drunk is tantamount to case success.
We’ve gathered a handful of the most common causes of collisions across the country. Car accidents can and do happen for a variety of reasons, and they’re certainly not all listed here. This list is meant to serve as a springboard for curious drivers and previous car accident victims.
If you believe that you may have reason to bring a legal case against another driver, contact a car accident attorney as soon as possible.
Common Car Accident Injuries
Regardless of the cause, most car accidents end up causing the same types of damage. The injuries that a victim receives during an accident can vary tremendously based on a myriad of factors. It’d be useless to pretend that car accident injuries can be predicted with any accuracy, but some of the injuries that victims may suffer include:
- Broken bones (hairline fractures, compound fractures, etc.)
- Internal bleeding and/or organ damage
- Head, neck, or spinal injuries
- Paralysis and nerve damage
Common Causes of Collision
Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs
We all know that driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs puts us and those around us at tremendous risk. It doesn’t matter whether somebody’s mental state is altered by alcohol, drugs, or even improperly-dosed (but legal) medications; that individual cannot safely operate a motor vehicle whilst under the influence. Individuals who choose to operate vehicles while under the influence of alcohol or drugs often cause tremendous and devastating accidents.
Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of auto collisions in the United States. Many of us may believe that we don’t engage in this risky behavior, but the truth is that more actions than you may think qualify as distracted driving. A wide variety of actions and processes can distract you from driving, even if it may not seem like they do.
Distracted driving can be broken down into three main categories:
- Visually based. These are any distractions that take your eyes off of the road. Visually-based distractions may include looking towards the backseat to check on a child or staring at your entertainment center while you fiddle with the radio.
- Manually based. Manually-based distractions take a driver’s hands off of the wheel. These are especially dangerous, as they make it easy to lose control of a vehicle.
- Cognitively based. Cognitive distractions result in drivers taking their minds off of driving. Mental distractions, while they may seem benign, can actually make it incredibly difficult for us to drive effectively.
Road rage is a dangerous and frightening pattern of behavior to run into on the road. Drivers who insist on using their vehicles to annoy, harass, obstruct, intimidate, or injure other people practice road rage, and in the process, they put everyone around them at risk. In fact, one federal study found that more than 1/3 of driver error-related accidents can be traced back to aggressive driving.
If you see a driver begin to exhibit aggressive behaviors on the road, distance yourself from that driver as soon as possible, and contact local authorities. Look out for the following aggressive actions:
- Flashing headlights
- Brake checking
- Cutting other drivers off
- Verbally abusing other drivers
- Using rude gestures
- Disregarding traffic laws, signs, and signals
Sometimes, speeding plays a role in a larger issue, like driving under the influence or road rage. In other cases, speeding may create its own liability issues and not result from a larger driving problem. Regardless, speeding has been shown to play a role in numerous traffic accidents.
Speeding is incredibly dangerous. In fact, it’s been shown several times over to increase crash fatality rates. It gives drivers less space to brake, increases the energy expended in a crash, and lengthens the distance a vehicle can travel before somebody recognizes an emergency.
Damages: What Is Recoverable?
Most car accident victims want to know what sort of compensation they may be legally entitled to seek after a crash. Potentially recoverable damages vary from case to case. Some types of damages, however, tend to be more common than other types.
Car accident victims may seek compensation:
- Past, present, and future medical costs. This includes specialty treatments and services, emergency medical transport from the scene of the accident, etc.; medical costs also extend to include expenses like physical therapy.
- Lost wages or decreased earning ability. If a victim cannot work for some time after an accident (or if the victim’s overall earning ability is decreased due to an injury), he or she may be able to seek damages to account for lost wages.
- Intangible losses. Intangible losses associated with car accidents include pain and suffering and mental anguish. These experiences, while not as physically apparent as broken bones or other injuries, cause tremendous damage to the human psyche.
A Car Accident Attorney Can Help
A seasoned car accident attorney can work diligently to help you fight for your rights. Most car accident lawyers regularly serve accident victims who have been injured in a range of collisions. Regardless of the extent of your injuries or the damage caused, you deserve justice. Don’t allow the compensation you deserve to slip away due to fear or uncertainty.
If you’d like to find out more about your rights as a collision victim, speak to an attorney as soon as possible. In most cases, you can take advantage of a free initial consultation with a legal professional. Your rights should be your lawyer’s top priority. Find and partner with a legal professional that you trust to help you return to the life you deserve.