A highway injury is caused by an automobile accident on a freeway or interstate highway.
Because cars drive at substantially faster speeds (typically approximately 65 mph) on highways, speed is the primary characteristic distinguishing highway injuries from other types of road accidents.
What Are Some of the Most Common Causes of Highway Accidents?
The following are some of the most common causes of traffic injuries:
- Speeding and other traffic offenses
- Driving under the influence (DUI)
- Headlights, taillights, or turn signal lights that have failed
- Distracted driving, road rage, and aggressive maneuvers
In particular, drunk driving or DUI cases can include catastrophic injuries and extensive physical damage to the vehicle(s).
Speeding increases the likelihood of highway injuries and car accidents. Many states are beginning to enforce rules prohibiting smartphone use while driving to reduce the number of injuries and accidents on roadways.
It’s vital to remember that highways are surrounded by guardrails that can cause catastrophic injury if hit at high speeds, so staying alert and avoiding unexpected stops can help you escape such a major accident.
What Are Some of the Legal Consequences of Highway Injury Claims?
Highway injury lawsuits can result in the following legal consequences:
- A monetary award made to the plaintiff by the defendant.
- Driving privileges are revoked or suspended (especially for drunk driving cases)
- Criminal charges (especially for extremely reckless driving)
When traveling between states, keep in mind that rules surrounding speed limits, legal driving ages, open containers, and drunk driving frequently differ between jurisdictions.
What Are Some Examples of Common Highway Traffic Injuries?
Examples of often-mentioned highway traffic injuries include:
- Rear-End Injuries: These occur when a driver is tailgating or following too closely behind another vehicle. Rear-end collisions can also occur when a driver is rushing and cannot stop in time to prevent colliding with the vehicle in front of them.
- Rubber-Necking Injuries: Rubber-necking is reported to be a leading cause of accidents as well as a major cause of traffic congestion. Rubber-necking injuries are caused by halting or slowing down in traffic to witness a road collision in which the motorist is not involved.
- Jaywalking: Jaywalking is defined as crossing or walking a street illegally while ignoring incoming traffic. Jaywalking is unlawful in several places and can result in criminal charges. Although jaywalking is considered a pedestrian violation, it is covered under highway traffic claims.
- Pile-Ups: Pile-Ups happen when numerous vehicles are involved in a single accident. This results in several injuries for the drivers and damage to the automobiles involved.
- Pedestrian Accidents: Pedestrian accidents might include any injuries to which a pedestrian contributed or was otherwise involved in the collision.
In a Car Accident, How Is Fault Determined?
Highway accident claims are often based on the legal principle of negligence. The concept of negligence permits affected parties to be compensated for the carelessness of others.
A person is considered negligent if, given the circumstances, they were careless. This means that the plaintiff must be able to prove that someone else was negligent in creating the accident to receive damages for their injuries.
In general, the following four legal criteria must be met to show negligence in a car accident claim:
- Duty: A duty is a responsibility one person owes to another. People going about their daily lives bear a duty of reasonable care, defined as the care that any ordinary and prudent person would use in the same situation. In terms of traffic or driving legislation, all drivers have a duty to all other drivers to drive safely and to obey all traffic laws at all times.
- Duty Violation: A breach of duty happens when a person fails to provide the care required by their responsibility. The plaintiff must show that the defendant failed to meet their responsibility to drive safely. For example, suppose the defendant motorist failed to respect apparent speed signs, resulting in a highway traffic collision.
- Causation: The breach of duty must be the direct cause of any damage. The plaintiff must demonstrate that the defendant’s violation caused their damage; and
- Damages: In general, actual and quantifiable damage must have happened due to the highway traffic injury to file a negligence claim. This means that the plaintiff must be able to assess and convert the losses and costs linked with their injuries into monetary sums. Otherwise, the award of damages may be reduced or denied.
In such cases, the other motorist will nearly always be judged to be at fault, which means that the previously described four components of carelessness do not need to be demonstrated. If a person gets rear-ended by another driver, it is almost certain that the other driver is to blame.
One of the most fundamental driving laws is to provide enough space to stop safely, such as at traffic signals, stop signs, and behind other vehicles. As a result, unless proven otherwise, the individual who crashed from behind was most likely the motorist who was not obeying the rules.
Furthermore, whenever a vehicle makes a left turn, the driver is often held accountable for a collision with a vehicle moving straight and in the opposite direction. It is worth noting that there are just a few exceptions to this rule.
Is There Any Compensation For Road Traffic Injuries?
Personal injury lawsuits are commonly filed as a result of road accident injuries. Personal injury claims are legal actions in which a person has incurred bodily, mental, emotional or property damages. General remedies include compensatory damages awards paid by the defendant to the accident victim.
Compensatory damage awards are meant to offset the costs of the accident’s expenses.
Medical and hospital charges, lost earning capability or missed wages, damage to the victim’s vehicle or other property, reduced quality of life, physical rehabilitation fees, or missed time at work are some of these costs.
Compensatory damages are granted to put the plaintiff back in the position they were in before the harm or loss. In general, compensating damage payments fall into two categories:
- Special damages: Special damages are often those that can be quantified, such as those previously stated; and
- General damages: General damages may be granted for losses that cannot be simply estimated monetarily. Losses resulting from emotional distress, slander, or loss of consortium or companionship are examples of general damages.
It is crucial to note that state laws on compensatory damages differ. Some states limit compensatory damages, particularly general damages. Get in touch with a lawyer if you have any questions about damages and how they might apply to your particular highway injury case.
Do I Need a Lawyer to File a Claim for Highway Injuries?
Car accidents and highway injuries can entail complex legal issues that are difficult to comprehend. If you need assistance filing a lawsuit for a highway injury, you should consult with an experienced automobile accident attorney in your region.
Because state rules on negligence and damages recovery can differ greatly, it is recommended that you work with an attorney who can provide legal guidance on the applicable injury laws in your state.
Your lawyer can assist you in researching legislation and determining what forms of legal remedies are acceptable for your claim.