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Category Archives: Car Accident Lawyers

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What Are the Biggest Dangers of Distracted Driving?

According to a recent study, the average American sneaks a peek at their cell phone about 80 times per day. That works out to once every 12 minutes or so.

People check their cell phones when they first wake up in the morning. They also check them while they’re eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And unfortunately, many people check them while they’re driving as well.

Almost 60% of people admit to checking their phones when they’re behind the wheel, despite the many dangers of distracted driving. Here are just a few of the dangers that a person can face when using a cell phone while driving.

Accidents

Every year, there are about 6 million car accidents that take place in the U.S. These accidents happen for any number of reasons.

In some cases, accidents occur when people are driving too fast. In others, slippery road conditions are to blame.

But in recent years, distracted driving has turned into one of the top reasons for motor vehicle accidents. There are about 400,000 people injured during distracted driving accidents each year.

A driver’s eyes only need to be diverted from the road for about three seconds on average for an accident to take place. That means that something as simple as a quick text message could lead to a distracted driving accident.

Deaths

Distracted driving kills. There are some people and publications that have gone as far as to call it the “new drunk driving” because of how dangerous it can be.

There are more than 3,000 people killed during accidents involving distracted drivers every year. That represents about 9% of all U.S. motor vehicle fatalities.

This is obviously one of the biggest dangers of distracted driving. When a person takes their eyes off the road for even just a second or two, it could lead to them killing themselves or others in a crash.

Lawsuits

A decade ago, there weren’t many distracted driving lawsuits working their way through the courts across the country. But in 2019, it’s not uncommon at all to see these kinds of lawsuits funneling through the justice system.

If you ever cause an accident as a result of distracted driving, you could face a lawsuit. You can also consider suing someone else if they cause an accident due to distracted driving.

A car accident attorney can explain your rights to you. They can let you know if you have a strong enough case in the event that you’re involved in a distracted driving accident.

Keep These Dangers of Distracted Driving in Mind at All Times

Every time you climb into the driver’s seat, you should remember the dangers of distracted driving and to put your phone away. These simple measures can help prevent a serious, life-changing accident.

Lead by example. If you have friends who drive while distracted, encourage them to put their phones down and keep their eyes on the road.

Read our blog for more information on the dangers of distracted driving.

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Who Is Liable in Hit and Run Accident Cases?

If you’ve been involved in a hit and run accident, you may feel helpless and hopeless.

With over 600,000 hit and run accidents happening each year, you are not alone. When someone hits you and leaves the accident, they are in much more trouble than someone that hit you and stayed to face the consequences.

Continue reading this article to find out who is liable and other facts you need to know.

Must-Know Facts About a Hit and Run Accident

If you’ve been involved in a hit and run accident, you want to know who is liable. Who is going to take care of the damages including your doctor bills?

You were minding your own business as you were driving home from a long day at work. There aren’t many people around so you feel safe to relax as you’re making it the last few miles to your home.

You’re making a left turn and out of nowhere, a car strikes you as they go through a red light. You’re upset that you’ve been struck but then you see the car leaving the scene of the accident.

You’ve been involved in a hit and run!

Check State Laws

There are different laws in each state so you’re going to need to check the laws in your state.

If you’re in a state with no-fault car insurance then your car insurance will take care of everything because you pay for PIP or personal injury protection within your policy.

Check Your Insurance Policy

If you don’t live in a no-fault state then you need to look at your car insurance coverage.

Look at the limits of each part of your coverage. The medical coverage you pay for may not be enough to cover your injuries and expenses so make sure you look at what you’re paying for.

You may want to look into how much medical costs are and then see how high you need to raise your limits on your insurance coverage. You can make the changes yourself in some cases but other times the insurance company sets the limits themselves.

Your collision insurance will pay for any damages from the other driver but you will have to pay any deductible that is on your account. You will have set up and agreed upon the deductible amount on your insurance at the time you signed off on the policy.

When you’ve been struck by a runaway driver, you are likely to need to use your uninsured motorist coverage. The claim is submitted against your own insurance company vs. against the other driver since they aren’t able to be charged for hitting you.

Learn More About Legal Matters

Now that you understand how compensation with a hit and run accident works, why not learn more about other legal issues? Bookmark your favorite section of our blog for more great reads today.

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Lawyers for Car Wrecks: How to Know When You Need to Hire One

Over 1 million people die in car crashes every year, and an additional 20 to 50 million are injured or disabled, which is why road safety is so important.

But in the United States alone, there are over 200 million licensed drivers. So car accidents are inevitable. And no matter the outcome, they are stressful and difficult to deal with.

Car accidents are also expensive, which is why, if you’re in a car accident, you may need to hire an auto accident attorney.

But how do we know when to hire lawyers for car wrecks? Keep reading to find out when you should hire one for a car accident.

There Was an Injury or a Death

If you were in a car crash that resulted in someone being seriously injured or killed, you should absolutely contact a vehicle accident attorney.

These accidents can result in complicated and even multiple lawsuits. These type of lawsuits are complicated and require the expertise of a seasoned lawyer. Whether the accident was your fault or not, it’s in your best interest to hire help if any injuries were incurred.

Plus, in the event of an accident, many people experience shock and don’t realize they’re injured or how badly they’re injured until hours later. If there’s even the slightest chance that you are, see a doctor right away and call a professional personal injury law firm like Hare Wynn.

Multiple Parties Were Involved

The more people involved in an accident, the more complicated it gets. Police reports are essential because they help determine fault.

Especially if there is a dispute over who caused the accident, you should acquire the services of a seasoned liability lawyer. They’ll be able to navigate and communicate with insurance companies for you and make sure that you aren’t blamed for anything you didn’t do.

You Need to Collect Evidence

There may be evidence that requires collecting such as witness statements, camera footage, or things like whether or not drivers were wearing seatbelts. Plus, many newer car models are equipped with a black box that may reveal vital information about an accident.

A lawyer will be able to get all of that evidence and put it together to help your case.

You Are Missing Work and Your Car Needs Serious Fixing

It might be the smallest detail that prevents you from having to pay your deductible or outrageous car costs.

Plus, if you’re missing work because your car isn’t drivable or if you are injured, you need to call a lawyer. If the accident wasn’t your fault, you could be eligible to receive compensation for missing work, sustaining an injury, experiencing stress and trauma, and other results of an accident that often go overlooked.

Lawyers for Car Wrecks Make Things Easier

The reasons why there are lawyers for car wrecks is because they are often a necessity. Going through an accident can be, at best, stressful and anxiety-ridden.

Missed work, sustained injuries, and a crashed car are all things you may receive compensation for if you’ve been in an accident. But the best way to handle it is with a seasoned professional by your side every step of the way.

Do you need help finding a lawyer for something else? Feel free to browse our listings of reputable lawyers to find exactly who you need in your area.

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Getting the Help You Need: Benefits of Hiring an Auto Accident Attorney

We all know that auto insurance is necessary. It compensates us for personal injuries in the event of an accident, along with any liability costs. However, filing an auto accident claim isn’t always so straight forward.

Insurance companies will try to make sure that you get the least compensation possible. Having an experienced car accident lawyer on your side will help you navigate through the complicated world of car accident formalities.

Read on to learn how an auto accident attorney can help you!

Auto Accident Attorney Knowledge

A car accident lawyer ensures that you’re duly compensated for your injuries, and for the loss of your car. They collect all the needed evidence and try to source a few witnesses to strengthen your case.

Moreover, they’re more than capable of working with insurance companies that try to hold back your compensation. Everything they do is to advance your interest to the best of their ability.

Fair Representation

When disputing a claim, most people will hire an auto accident attorney. Professional, experienced auto accident attorneys will have no issue helping you file a claim in the case where you believe you’re owed more compensation.

You may need more compensation for loss of income, stress from your injury, more medical compensation, and more. Most importantly, your lawyer will represent you in court, meaning you’re free to continue with your daily life while the court proceedings are ongoing.

Limitation Periods

Experienced auto insurance attorneys will be knowledgeable of the several limitation periods that are applicable to your claim. With awareness of these limitations, they’ll take the necessary actions for your interests before time runs out.

Different states have different limitation periods. The timer typically begins as soon as the day you have your accident.

Although most states give you two or three years to settle your car accident insurance claim after the deadline is up there’s no leniency. If you’re late by even a few days they’ll reject your claim.

Authorizations and Confidentiality

Authorizations enable your insurance company to contact your health provider and employer directly. This means that they may have access to confidential information that they don’t need to see.

Professional auto accident attorneys will obtain all the information and documents on your behalf and send them to the insurance company so you can avoid this.

Medical Examinations

Some insurance agents will arrange special medical examinations to assess your condition through their own doctors. A lawyer will monitor these examinations to ensure they’re conducted in a professional manner.

Find the Right Lawyer

An auto accident attorney will help you navigate the legal world of car accidents without a hitch. The goal is to get your life back in order as quickly and smoothly as possible.

Ready to find your own auto accident attorney? Head over to the Halt Law Directory to search through over 300 national law firms in the legal category you need!

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10 Crucial Stages of a Car Accident Lawsuit

It’s a sad fact that nine people die and more than 1,000 are injured every day because of a distracted driver. If you have been injured in an accident due to a distracted driver, then you may have a case for a car accident lawsuit.

This can seem like a confusing and scary time. After all, you’re dealing with injuries, vehicle damage, and insurance companies.  The best thing to do is to be prepared.

If you are injured in an accident, follow these ten steps for your recovery.

1. Initial Investigation

Your first priority at the scene of the accident should be to make sure that everyone is ok or gets the medical treatment they need. Once this is taken care of, try to do some initial evidence gathering.

Take pictures of the scene, the damaged vehicles, and get any witness information. This will put you one step ahead later on.

The police may take pictures, but don’t depend on these. Taking your own ensures that you have evidence of everything from where the debris ended up to where the cars are located.

2. Treat Your Injuries

Getting the medical treatment you need is the only way to get your life back on track as quickly as possible. It is also vital because some states, such as Florida, have laws about when you need to seek treatment. For instance, in Florida, you need to seek medical treatment within ten days of your accident.

Make sure you continue to receive treatment. Insurance companies will view any gaps as a sign that you are healing and getting better.

3. File a Claim

In the days following your accident, you need to file a claim with your insurance company. Even if the accident was not your fault, you still need to notify your insurance company. Some states are no-fault states, which means that the insurance companies share the cost regardless of fault.

Do not provide the at-fault driver’s insurance company with a statement. Do not accept their nominal settlement offering.

4. Attorney Consultation

Now is the time to start looking for an attorney. Bring your claim information and initial evidence that you gathered at the scene of the accident. You want to find an attorney who has experience representing plaintiffs in an auto accident lawsuit.

To make sure you have the right attorney, you need to make sure you feel comfortable with them and confident in their abilities. Make sure they have experience in representing plaintiffs with similar accidents and injuries.

5. Medical and Liability Investigation

Once you secure an attorney, they will begin to investigate. They will start with the evidence you gathered. They will then go further by contacting your witnesses, getting a police report, and keeping up to date with your doctors.

6. Settlement Demand

Once your attorney has all of the information, they will make a settlement demand to the insurance company. Sometimes the insurance company will make the first offer. This is usually a back and forth situation.

7. Settlement or Lawsuit

Once your attorney is done negotiating with the insurance company, they will present you with a final offer. It is now your choice whether you accept it or not. If you choose not to accept the offer, then you will need to file a lawsuit to recover compensation.

Keep in mind that insurance companies know that most people don’t want to file a lawsuit and would rather settle. An experienced attorney will be able to guide you towards a decision by explaining the possible outcomes if you choose to file a lawsuit.

8. Discovery

If you decide to reject the final settlement offer and file a lawsuit, then discovery will begin. This is when your team of attorneys and the insurance company will dig deeper into who you are and your background.

This process will include interrogatories, depositions, and requests for documents. These documents could be anything from photos taken at the scene, to police reports, witness statements, and medical records.

9. Mediation

Before you can go to trial, mediation will take place. This is where a neutral third party will sit down with the parties. The goal of this phase is to promote a settlement and avoid going to trial.

Unlike the movies, you are typically in one room with your attorney will the other party is in another room. The mediator will move between the two rooms to hear each side and determine a settlement amount.

10. Trial

If mediation fails, then the case will proceed to trial. Be prepared for this to take a long time. It could very well be a year or more after the lawsuit is filed.

It is your burden to prove that the other party was negligent. It is also on you to prove your injuries and justify the amount you are asking for.

The jury will also look at whether or not you were negligent, and if you were, did your own negligence caused your injuries.

Different states use different methods for determining your award based on liability. In some states, you cannot be liable at all. Others, you cannot be more than 50% liable.

Then some states allow you to recover the percentage that you were not liable; even if that amount is only 1%.

Do You Have a Car Accident Lawsuit?

If you have recently been injured in an accident, then you may have a case for a car accident lawsuit. Before you take any action, the best thing to do is to sit down with an experienced attorney.

They can listen to your experience and help you determine if you have a case.

Follow our blog and learn more about the blog from our regularly posted content.

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Know When to Hire an Attorney After a Car Accident: 5 Easy Steps

If you’ve been injured by a car accident because of the negligence of another driver, then you might be eligible for compensation. But don’t rely on your insurance company to help you out.

Monetary compensation can help with the financial burden of medical and automotive bills. It might not make you feel any better, but at least you can eliminate the financial stress.

If you’re wondering when to hire an attorney after a car accident, then you’ve come to the right place. Here are some tips on when to reach out.

1. Don’t Wait Too Long

After the accident, you may need to receive some medical attention. But you don’t want to wait too long before hiring an attorney. A car accident attorney can help you make the right moves in order to build your case.

Your first step will be to file a claim with your insurance company as well as the other driver’s insurance if they were at fault. Don’t agree to any settlements with your insurance company. They are probably going to offer you a small amount to simply get rid of your case.

Generally, if you’re injured in an automotive accident, then hiring a personal attorney is a must.

2. Protect Your Rights

If you want someone to advocate for you then don’t rely on the insurance companies. Their one motive is to keep their costs down. They also want to reduce overhead, so they might try to take the easiest and cheapest course of action.

That doesn’t always align with your best interests.

It won’t be long after the accident that the insurance company’s lawyers begin working on your case. So you shouldn’t waste time in finding your own personal attorney to defend you.

By hiring an attorney, you’ll have someone who is working towards the same goal: Winning your case and getting you compensation for your injuries. They’re going to know the laws in your state and be able to protect your rights.

3. Get Adequate Compensation

You may not be aware of all the types of compensation you can receive. Depending on the damages incurred, you can be compensated for a variety of incidents. Your attorney will know the full array of options.

For example, you can receive damages for physical as well as emotional trauma. Things like your medical bills and lost wages can also be recovered. Even family members might be eligible for compensation if you were unable to see them because you were incapacitated by the crash.

Learn more about finding a car accident attorney near you.

4. Going to Court is Confusing

If you try to represent yourself in court, you will most likely get chewed up and spit out. This is simply because most of us are not familiar with the details involved in negotiating a fair settlement from insurance carriers. Going to court is a complex affair, especially when multiple cars were involved in the accident.

Your personal attorney can help you calculate a reasonable amount of financial compensation that you deserve based on damages. Filing a lawsuit is very complicated and if you don’t have an expert on your side, you’re unlikely to leave with all the money you are eligible for.

5. Don’t Let Settlement Mills Fool You

A professional car accident attorney is not to be confused with the settlement mills you see advertised often on television and radio. These are businesses looking to settle cases rather than make the effort to go to court on your behalf.

They won’t fight for your best interest and instead will settle a case in the easiest way possible to make a quick buck.

When to Hire an Attorney After a Car Accident

More than likely, if you have suffered an injury from a car accident you should find a personal attorney to help you receive the compensation you deserve.

Even if you believe your injuries to be minimal, you may have long term or chronic damage that you won’t be aware of until later. At this point, it will be too late to try and receive further compensation from your insurance company.

Now that you know when to hire an attorney after a car accident, share your story with us.

Have you been in an accident? Tell us your experiences in the comments below.

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What to Do After a Car Accident: 5 Essential Steps to Take

Each year more and more vehicles are on the road. In fact, during the first quarter of 2018, there were over 272 million of them. The increase in drivers also increases the auto accident rates to the tune of 10 million a year.

Although most of them aren’t fatal, they’re still traumatic for those involved. Keep reading to find out what to do after a car accident has occurred.

What to Do After a Car Accident: Step-by-Step

We’ve put together this short guide on the steps you should take once involved in an auto accident. The trauma of an accident has a tendency to cloud a person’s judgment and cause panic. Follow these five steps to ensure that all your bases get covered.

Step 1: Remain at the Scene

You should never drive away from the scene of an accident. The most you should do is move your car out of harm’s way, if possible. Once that’s done, put your flashers on to warn oncoming traffic.

Step 2: Get Help

The next thing to do is call the police and an ambulance if needed. Keep in mind that pain from car accident injuries often shows up hours later. If you’re not sure if you’re hurt, say so rather than saying no.

Having a police report is essential to help decide who was at fault. Your insurance company will also need one to process any claims filed.

The other party involved may need medical help too. If you’re able, check on them as well.

Step 3: Exchange Information

It’s important to collect personal information from anyone else involved in the auto accident. Make sure it’s safe to get out of your car first. Then, politely ask for the following:

  • The name, address, and phone number of the driver and passengers.
  • The driver’s license number of the driver.
  • The year, make, and model of the other vehicles involved. Write down the license plate number too.
  • The name of the other parties insurance company and their policy number.
  • The police officer’s name and badge number.

You’ll also want to record:

  • Contact information for any eyewitnesses.
  • The address or location where the accident happened.
  • Digital images of the accident and vehicles involved, if able.

And finally, never admit or say that the accident was your fault; even if it was.

Step 4: Contact Your Insurance Company

Get ahold of your insurance company as soon as possible. You can start the claim at the scene of the accident if it’s practical. If not, do it as soon as you can.

Most insurance companies have electronic filing options to make it easier. Choices include starting your insurance claim through an app, online, or by phone. The number to call to report an accident is on the back of your insurance card.

Some insurance companies allow you to upload photos of the accident right from within their app. Also, have your insurance card handy for reference when starting a claim. You’ll need to access your policy number.

After reporting a claim, your insurance company will arrange your car repair as fast as possible.

Step 5: Get Legal Counsel

If you’ve sustained injuries, contact a personal injury lawyer such as Guajardo and Marks for legal help or advice. They will decipher car accident law and guide you on the next steps to take. Examples of issues they can advise you on are:

  • Getting full compensation for your vehicle.
  • Medical care and treatments.
  • How long it will take to settle a claim.
  • Whether the settlement offered is fair.

Personal injury cases get paid on a contingency basis so no fees are required up front. They get paid when you receive a settlement from the insurance company.

What’s the Bottom Line?

No one wants to get into an accident of any kind. However, if you are, knowing what to do after a car accident is crucial. Why not print out the steps above and store them with your insurance card?

Have questions or helpful tips about dealing with auto accidents? Let us know in the comments.

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What Is the Leading Cause of Car Accidents in the United States?

Every year, over 37,000 people succumb to road accidents in the United States. A further 2.35 million sustain injuries, some permanent.

Whether you’re a motorist or a pedestrian, these numbers are enough to send a chill down your spine. Every time you hit the road there’s a chance you could be involved in a serious accident.

This leads to the question: what are the leading of causes of car accidents in the United States? The more you know about this cause, the more you’re able to protect yourself while on out on the read.

Keep reading to learn more!

Distracted Driving Is the Leading Cause of Car Accidents

You probably thought drunk driving is the cause of most cost car accidents in the country. Or over speeding.

Well, surprise!

Distracted driving is the number one cause of accidents. The National Safety Council reports that distracted driving is responsible for 25 percent of all vehicle crashes every year. This translates to at least 9 deaths every day and thousands of injuries.

What Causes Distracted Driving?

Take a walk through your local town or city and you won’t fail to see at least a handful of distracted drivers. So, just why is distracted driving so rampant?

Mobile Phones and Car Infotainment Systems

At a time when a whopping 96 percent of Americans own a cell phone, it’s not easy to see why these devices are wreaking havoc on our roads. We want to stay connected with our loved ones and friends, which means most drivers are inclined to pick a phone call or check a message when driving.

Smartphones and social media have made distracted driving even more rampant. Drivers want to peep at their social notifications as soon as they come, even when they know it’s not safe to do so.

Modern cars have sophisticated infotainment systems. While these systems add to the joys of motoring, they are an unnecessary distraction. Taking a second or two to turn on or adjust something is enough to cause a deadly crash.

Food and Drinks

You have at least passed by the coffee shop to grab some takeaway latte before driving home for the evening. Guilty or not guilty?

If guilty, you likely drank some of the latte in the car while driving, in which case you engaged in distracted driving. You might have gotten to your destination safely, but that doesn’t mean it’s a safe thing to do.

Age

Younger drivers, especially teens, are more prone to distracted driving than older drivers. Perhaps it’s the driving inexperience that causes young drivers to engage in distracted driving or perhaps it’s their “dare to do” attitude.

Whatever it is, 58 percent of all teen car crashes are due to distracted driving.

Get Car Accident Help

If you were involved in a car accident, knowing when to talk to a car accident lawyer can make a big difference, especially if you weren’t at fault. Your lawyer will help determine whether the cause of the accident was distracted driving or another cause, either of which you’ll be eligible for compensation.

Avoid Distracted Driving, Arrive Alive

Avoiding being a victim of the leading cause of car accidents is simple, really. Ensure all your focus is on driving. Taking your eyes off the road for a few seconds might seem reasonable to you, but you may never live to tell the tale.

Keep reading our blog for more tips and insights.

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What if a Mechanical Error Caused Your Car Accident?

Following a car accident, you need to prove fault in order to receive proper compensation. However, doing so is not always easy.

This is why hiring an attorney is key. By working with a personal injury lawyer and carefully documenting your case, you can gather the evidence necessary for a successful case. In many cases, your lawyer will help prove that the other driver was at fault. But in rare cases, accidents happen due to a mechanical error.

Whether your breaks were defective on a new car or your airbag failed to deploy, these situations present a unique legal case. This guide will break down how accidents happen due to equipment failure and how to handle this type of case.

What mechanical errors can cause a car accident?

While about 94 percent of car accidents are caused by drivers, about one percent are caused by vehicle errors. Since the chances of these types of errors are so low, you need to work closely with a car accident lawyer to prove your cause.

To start, they will advise whether your accident falls under the mechanical error category. Some of the most common mechanical errors that cause car accidents involve safety equipment. This could include seatbelts that break during an accident, airbags that deploy too forcefully, airbags that deploy while you are driving, and brake failure.

These could also include electrical defects and failed power steering. All of these issues would impair your ability to drive the vehicle or fail to protect you in a crash.

What should you do if a mechanical error causes your accident?

You must collect thorough evidence to prove that your injuries were caused by a mechanical issue. This is why it’s essential to bring your car to a mechanic after the accident. They will inspect the car and determine whether the mechanical design or a manufacturing defect is to blame.

Your lawyer will work to prove that the manufacturer used a faulty part or failed to issue a recall. Be sure to keep the records of this inspection and take plenty of pictures. Your insurance company may also send someone to look at the car. 

It’s also important to note that the error could have occurred due to negligence by your mechanic. If they failed to repair a part of your car or performed a sloppy repair job, they may be liable. Your attorney will sift through the evidence and determine whether the car manufacturer, parts manufacturer, or mechanic could be liable. 

Could a driver still be liable?

While mechanical failures are often caused by a third party, there are situations where the car owner can actually be liable. This is often true if you failed to properly maintain the car or ignored a recall notice.

For example, if you declined to replace your brakes after your mechanic discovered an issue, you could be liable when they fail and cause a crash. It’s also possible that you could be liable if you notice an issue and fail to bring the car to the mechanic at all. In these cases, the driver is often found liable even if a mechanical issue caused the accident initially. 

While it’s rare that a mechanical failure will be completely at fault for an accident, it does happen. You can more effectively prove your case by working with a qualified attorney and documenting as much as possible.

Just be sure to be honest, as you could get yourself in more trouble by covering your own role in the mechanical issue. By remaining honest and thorough, you can argue your case efficiently and finally move on from your accident.

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How Common Are Truck Accidents in California?

California drivers face constant risks on the road from other vehicles, pedestrians, cyclists, and a litany of other distractions. While this is also true of all other drivers, California’s highways tend to be particularly dangerous.

Highway 99, for instance, is considered the most dangerous road in the US. While this highway is relatively short compared to others on the list, it has the highest number of fatal accidents per 100 miles in the country. Large trucks are generally the most dangerous vehicles on any highway and California is one of many states where truck driving is the most dominant job.

Semi-trucks are approximately 20 times heavier than most cars on the highway, meaning the occupants of other vehicles involved are far more likely to be injured or killed during accidents. They’re also less stable than most vehicles because of their height, while their length creates particularly bad blind spots for the driver. These factors, combined with any number of mechanical issues and unsafe driving practices, make truck accidents frighteningly common.

In 2017, there were  4,761 fatalities and over 9,000 injuries involving trucks across the US. Understanding the common causes of truck accidents will be key in lowering these numbers in the future:

Accident statistics

With over 3.5 million licensed truck drivers in the US, it may seem like accidents are inevitable, but that isn’t true in the vast majority of cases. In fact, it’s estimated that 88 percent of truck accidents are preventable. These are defined as “Any accident involving the vehicle, unless it is properly parked, which results in property damage or personal injury and in which the driver failed to do everything that could reasonably be done to prevent the accident.” Under this definition, the majority of truck accidents occur due to simple negligence.

California’s highways contribute a significant amount to each year’s truck accident statistics. In fact, both I-5 and I-10 average over a thousand truck accidents each per year. In the past decade, California has averaged well over 250 truck accident fatalities per year, underscored by the fact that the national average increased 16% in 2017.

Performance causes

A performance cause for an accident is anything related to the driver’s state or actions that contributed to the crash. Of these causes, speeding is by far the most common. In fact, speeding is the most common cause for a fatal vehicle accident in general, resulting in over 25% of all traffic fatalities each year. In large trucks, speeding is even more dangerous because these vehicles tend to have long stopping distances, and going too fast just increases the problem. Speeding also reduces the vehicle’s stability due to moving cargo and makes it more difficult for the vehicle to successfully turn.

Over the counter drugs that cause drowsiness, as well as prescription painkillers, are noted to be correlated with truck accidents. However, their role in direct causation is still debated. Poor visibility due to bad weather and other conditions also contribute to truck accidents and, while no one can control the weather, protective eye gear like prescription sunglasses may help prevent these accidents.

Mechanical causes

A mechanical cause refers to any problems with the vehicle itself that caused or contributed to the accident. Of these, tire problems are a frequent offender. Tire blowouts are an extremely dangerous and another common cause of rollover crashes and other accidents (despite being entirely preventable with proper vehicle upkeep).

Brake problems are also a huge factor in truck accidents and are attributed as a factor in 29% of total accidents. Such problems can include outright break failure or worn breaks that increase stopping time. With proper maintenance, there scenarios are almost certainly avoidable.

While a small percentage of trucking accidents may be unpreventable, following stricter maintenance guidelines and ensuring safe driving practices can hopefully decrease the number of accidents in coming years. If you find yourself involved in a truck accident, it’s generally best to contact a truck accident lawyer in California to receive the best possible help for your situation.

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