There are many different statistics relating to auto accidents. Here are some of the most important United States auto accident statistics as of 2021:
- There is an average of six million auto accidents each year;
- More than ninety people die in auto accidents every day;
- Three million people are injured as a result of auto accidents every year;
- The average number of permanent injuries resulting from auto accidents each year is two million;
- One in seven people do not wear their safety belt while driving;
- Safety belts reduce the risk of death by 45%, and reduce the risk of serious injury to 50%; and
- Those who are not wearing their safety belt are thirty times more likely to be ejected from the vehicle during an auto accident.
Most automobile accidents occur when the driver is distracted, tired, or drunk. According to the CDC, the most common causes of auto accidents which result in death are:
- Alcohol, which accounts for 40%;
- Speeding, which accounts for 30%; and
- Reckless driving, which accounts for 33%.
Additionally, more than nine people are killed each day because of distracted driving. Distracted driving was reported as a factor in nearly one out of every five auto accidents which resulted in injury.
One of the leading causes of car accidents is negligence. In some cases, only one of the drivers involved in the accident is at fault, while multiple drivers may be responsible for the actions that caused the accident in other cases. An example of auto accident related negligence would be when a driver does not stop to look both ways at a stop sign. Another example would be texting while driving.
Other examples for common causes of car accidents include:
- Dangerous weather conditions;
- Defects in a car or related mechanical issues;
- Poor visibility relating to factors other than weather, such as trees blocking the view of the road for drivers;
- Driving under the influence (“DUI”);
- Issues with road signs or stop lights; and
What Are Auto Accident Attorneys? What Do Auto Accident Attorneys Do?
Auto accident attorneys are personal injury attorneys specializing in car collision cases. These can include:
- Accidents between two drivers;
- Multiple car crashes;
- Automobile and pedestrian accidents;
- Car and motorcycle;
- Bicycle accidents; and
- Trucking accidents.
Automobile accident lawyers frequently have years of experience handling auto accidents. They may have specialized knowledge of certain cars, different highway systems, and car safety restraint technology. An auto accident attorney could also have a high degree of knowledge in terms of certain injuries, such as whiplash.
Some examples of tasks that auto accident attorneys commonly perform include, but may not be limited to:
- Helping their clients understand personal injury and roadway laws;
- Reviewing, processing, and filing court-related documents for trial;
- Adhering to all deadlines and local ordinances;
- Obtaining witness statements;
- Analyzing the scene of a car accident in order to obtain evidence;
- Negotiating with the opposing counsel and other parties, such as insurance companies; and
- Helping with determining who is at fault in an auto accident lawsuit.
Additionally, there are some auto accident attorneys who are specialists in terms of newer technologies. Some examples of such technologies could include accident reconstruction, or computer-generated physics programs. These can often help determine liability more accurately by utilizing calculations of speed, road conditions, and other such measurements.
How Should I Hire an Auto Accident Attorney?
Because auto accidents can quickly become complicated and involve many different areas of law, you should consider hiring an attorney to assist you. There are many different ways to find an attorney who will suit your needs. You could begin by asking people you know for recommendations, or using an attorney referral service such as LegalMatch.
Before you meet with an attorney, you should compile all potential evidence to support your claim and provide the details of your issue. Generally speaking, most states maintain their own car accident form which is available at the police station or the local DMV. The purpose of this form is to help gather all the necessary information required for the car accident. To file a proper insurance claim, as well as provide what your attorney needs, you will need the following information:
- The date and time of the accident;
- The address of where the accident occurred;
- The name of the road where the car accident occurred;
- The direction in which your car was traveling;
- The direction in which the other vehicle was traveling;
- Photos and/or video of the accident scene;
- A written description of what exactly happened in terms of the car collision;
- A record of as many details as possible, to make sure your information is accurate;
- A note of driving visibility and weather conditions;
- Contact information for everyone involved in the accident, such as their name, insurance information, and address;
- Any witnesses’ names, as well as their contact information; and
- The contact information of the police officer that is dispatched to the accident scene.
If there were any passengers in any of the vehicles involved in the accident, you should also obtain their contact information to provide to your attorney. You may also wish to obtain a copy of the police report to give to your attorney.
When you are hiring an auto accident attorney, be sure to compile a list of any questions you may have. You will want to discuss any legal details with your attorney. Additionally, you may want to ask them about their experience with cases similar to yours, as well as their legal background and education. If you do not feel that they would be a good fit for your case, please do not hesitate to consult with other attorneys until you find the best fit for your specific needs.
Are There Any Legal Defenses Available in Auto Accident Lawsuits? What Are the Damages for Auto Accident Claims?
One of the main reasons why you would want to hire an auto accident attorney is to represent you in any resulting lawsuits. An attorney will be able to determine what defenses are available to you based on the specifics of your case, if there are any.
Some examples of common auto accident defenses include:
- Lack of proof;
- Lack of fault;
- Emergency scenarios;
- Assumption of risk;
- Contributory or comparative negligence;
- Expired statute of limitations;
- Involuntary intoxication; and
- Failure to mitigate damages.
When auto accidents lead to a civil lawsuit for damages, the liable party may be responsible for reimbursing the victim for losses. Examples of commonly awarded damages related to auto accidents include:
- The costs associated with any resulting injuries;
- Any damage that was done to the vehicle or other property;
- Lost wages;
- Lost earning capacity;
- Pain and suffering;
- Emotional distress; and
- Criminal penalties, especially for cases involving drunk driving.
Do I Need an Auto Accident Attorney?
As previously mentioned, you should consult with an car accident attorney if you find that your case involves injuries or other complications. An experienced local car accident attorney can better explain to you your state’s specific laws regarding auto accidents and liability for injuries and damages resulting from those accidents.
A well qualified and knowledgeable car accident attorney can also help you gather and preserve the evidence needed to support your claim. An attorney can also represent you in court as needed. An attorney can either provide you with a solid legal defense for the claims being waged against you, or help you work towards a suitable damages award for the damages you suffered as a result of the accident.