Auto Accident Attorney
At the end of a glorious beach weekend with a couple of friends, the three of you are heading back to your rental cottage. The rural road is dark and suddenly another car appears, going way too fast, and has crossed over the center line of the highway. The driver overcompensates by turning the wheel sharply to the left, and in a sickening blur, the car shoots up an embankment before rolling over on its way back down. You end up in the hospital with broken bones and a painful recovery ahead. A skilled auto accident attorney will be able to help you during the time after your accident. Keep reading to learn more.
What to Do in an Auto Accident
If you are injured in an auto accident, you should get the immediate medical attention you need. Ask your lawyer, if available, or a friend to represent you at the scene and do the following:
- Get the contact information of others involved
- Obtain insurance information from the other driver
- Ask witnesses what they saw, and note their names and phone numbers
- Take photos of the vehicles, the scene and any contributing factors, such as road obstructions
- File a police report or obtain the number of a report in progress
- Call an auto accident attorney on your behalf
Also, it is important to remain as neutral as possible and not assign blame at this point since that could lead to a shouting match. It is equally critical not to make any admission of fault until you reach a settlement with the liable party or have your day in court.
As soon as possible, call your own auto insurance carrier to submit a claim. Explain the circumstances leading up to the incident, and offer the contact information for the others involved, including the witnesses. The claim adjuster will consult with the other driver’s insurer and get back to you. Do not accept a settlement offer until you can speak with an auto accident attorney.
Auto Accident Statistics
In 2016, 102 Americans lost their lives every day in traffic accidents, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Alcohol impairment was a causal factor in nearly one-third of those accidents. The majority involved motorcycles, but passenger vehicle incidents came in a close second. These statistics underscore the fact that negligent or reckless drivers represent a serious safety risk to others sharing U.S. roadways everywhere. Additional NHSTA statistics bear up this conclusion:
- Nearly 2.5 million people were injured in vehicle accidents in 2015
- Injury/fatality accidents occurred about half the time on city streets and half the time on rural roadways
- 27 percent of fatal crashes involved a speeding driver
When you take a broad perspective, the number of people killed in auto accidents annually, for example, which is currently approximately 12 people per 100,000, seems relatively low. However, statistics mean nothing when the accident victim is you or someone you love.
You can take steps to protect yourself and your passengers from serious injuries in an auto accident by wearing a seatbelt consistently, securing children under 12 in age-appropriate car seats, and never driving while you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. However, there is nothing you can do to avoid car accidents entirely, especially when another driver is involved.
Auto Accident Causes
While unexpected circumstances, such as a blinding dust storm, sometimes result in accidents for which only nature is to blame, driver negligence and intentional actions cause the majority of vehicle collisions nationwide. The injuries that result cost billions of dollars each year in terms of medical care, days away from work, ongoing therapy and permanent loss of income. The top 10 causes of traffic accidents are:
- Driver distraction, including talking on the phone, eating, reading a map, applying makeup or speaking with passengers
- Intoxication, either alcohol or drug-induced
- Driving recklessly, including road rage maneuvers, aggressive passing, and unsafe lane changes
- Inclement weather, such as rain, snow or icy conditions
- Failure to stop at a red light
- Impaired visibility at night
- Mechanical problems due to auto manufacturing flaws or postponed repairs
- Following another vehicle too closely
- Disregard of traffic rules/inexperienced driver error
With driver error factoring into the majority of these potentially catastrophic incidents, negligence or intentional actions are frequently at the root of auto accident injuries and wrongful deaths. For example, in the rollover scenario described earlier, several factors contributed to the victim’s injuries, including nighttime vision issues, alcohol impairment, and speeding. Although the sudden appearance of the deer was the catalyst to the crash, the driver was responsible for drinking and driving at night as well as for exceeding the speed limit. As a result, the driver is at least partially liable for the accident victim’s losses and is legally responsible for paying for them.
Auto Accident Injury Types
Auto accident injuries run the gamut from cuts and bruises to permanent disability, and each represents its own degree of current and future expense. If you are lucky, you may spend a couple of hours in the emergency room to have a cut stitched up, but it is also possible that your injury is so severe it changes your life forever. Accident victims can experience any of the following conditions.
- Acute damage to the soft tissue, which primarily involves the muscles, ligaments, and tendons: Neck strain, sprained tendons in the ankle, knee or wrist, a hamstring tear and muscle contusions are all soft-tissue injuries caused by a sudden impact or an unnatural twist.
- Cuts and abrasions that are sometimes minor and often do not require professional medical care: Serious cuts and scrapes may cause extensive blood loss. They may require stitches and eventually, costly cosmetic repairs. In an accident, a flying coffee mug, a sharp metal edge or shattered window glass could easily cause cuts and abrasions.
- Head injuries resulting from a collision that range in severity from a mild concussion to permanent brain damage: You may hit your head on a hard surface upon impact, sustaining a skull fracture. You may be tossed around in a rollover crash or even ejected from the vehicle, which could result in a closed head injury involving damage to your brain.
- Back injuries ranging from strained muscles to broken vertebrae and damage to the spinal cord, which can cause paralysis: Back injuries are notorious for often requiring complex, long-term care, extensive physical therapy, chronic pain and sometimes, surgery. A serious back injury may cause permanent disability and loss of earnings.
- Chest injuries with varying degrees of severity: If you are driving a car with no airbag, or your airbag does not deploy immediately, a strong impact could drive your chest against the steering wheel, breaking ribs and putting your internal organs at risk.
- Injuries to the extremities, including arms, legs, hands, and feet: These could consist of relatively mild scratches, or at their most severe, they could involve traumatic amputation. Sudden impacts can cause broken bones as well.
It is important to bear in mind as an accident victim that some medical conditions are not readily apparent in the immediate aftermath of the traffic incident. For example, what you believe is a muscle strain could eventually present as a spinal injury. That is one of the critical reasons you should not sign off on a quick settlement offer from an insurance adjuster before speaking with your attorney.
Why Hire an Auto Accident Attorney?
Personal injury lawyers can help you as an accident victim in ways that significantly impact your financial future. At your initial complimentary consultation, your attorney will listen carefully to your story and help you establish who is liable for your losses. If you have cause to seek damages from the individual or entity at fault, your personal injury lawyer will act as your legal advocate in any settlement negotiations and if it comes to that, in a court of law.
An accident attorney is indispensable in disputes with insurance companies that try to whittle down your settlement. You need a legal advocate to help you quantify your current and future financial losses as well as such intangibles as pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life. Your lawyer should be ready to do what it takes to secure the full restitution you are entitled to by law. Also, a compassionate auto accident attorney will provide you with the moral support you need to navigate this difficult time in your life.
At Rizio Liberty Lipinsky we understand how an accident caused by somebody else can devastate your life. We also know how to help you pick up the pieces so you can move forward. Get in touch with us today at 888-292-8888, or fill out our online contact form to schedule your free consultation.
Rizio Liberty Lipinsky’s jury verdict of $57.9 MILLION was awarded to a 25 year old man who was severely injured in a car accident. This is the highest personal injury award in California and the second highest personal injury awarded nationwide that year. This verdict won Greg Rizio the prestigious Consumer Attorney of the Year award for 2015.
- This article should only be used for informational purposes. It does not constitute legal advice, and it does not create an attorney-client relationship with anyone. If you need legal advice, please consult an attorney in your community.
A Review of Rizio Liberty Lipinsky
Auto Accident Attorney
I was involved in a very bad car accident 2 years ago and I had a different lawyer at the beginning, but he wasn't able to do much with my case, he was slow and not really invested in it, he didn't even pay my medical bills with the first settlement, so I was having credit problems, a very bad situation!
Then I was introduced to Aaron Hicks of Rizio Liberty Lipinsky he managed not only to clean my credit in record time and pay off all my bills but also he also settled the case very fast.
It's difficult to find a lawyer that really care about you as a client and doesn't see you only as money, Rizio Liberty Lipinsky is different, they are very invested and really care about clients, I will for sure recommend them, you cannot go wrong with them, they follow you step by step, they are always available for any questions or concerns and they explain to you the process very well in order for you to understand what's going on with the case!
My lawyer was Aaron Hicks, he's very knowledgeable, kind and always ready to listen and help you out in any way he can! I'm so glad I found Rizio Liberty Lipinsky.