A road accident injury is any injury that occurs while driving in a vehicle on a highway or side street. Road traffic injuries can sometimes be quite serious, especially for those involving high speeds, multiple cars, or drunk driving (DUI).
Common causes of car accidents and road traffic injuries include: bad weather, violations of driving rules, intoxication, falling asleep at the wheel, speeding, and recklessness. Most car accident lawsuits are based on negligence claims, unless they involve some sort of intentional or severely reckless behavior. Motor vehicle accidents can include car-to-car crashes, truck accidents, car-to-pedestrian accidents, motorcycle crashes, crashing into a guardrail, and other types of collisions.
What are Common Examples of Road Accident Injuries?
Road traffic injuries can involve many different types of scenarios and situations. Some common examples of road traffic injuries include:
- Rear-end injuries – These can happen from following too closely or speeding
- "Rubbernecking" injuries – These are injuries resulting from stopping or slowing down in traffic to view a road accident
- Jaywalking - injuries are included in road traffic claims
- "Pile ups" – This is where multiple cars are involved, resulting in many injuries and damage to several cars
- Pedestrian accidents
How Is Fault in a Road Accident Determined?
Negligence is the main element that needs to be proved in a road accident claim Road or traffic collisions can occur either because the driver was not careful or other people on the road we’re not careful. There are a few situations in which the other driver will always be at fault. These situations include the following:
- Rear-End Collisions - If you've been rear-ended by another driver, it is almost assured that the other driver was at fault. A basic rule of driving is to make sure you have enough room to stop safely.
- Left Turn Accidents - Anytime a car is making a left turn the driver will be liable for a collision with a car going straight in the opposite direction. There are only a few rare exceptions to this rule.
In most jurisdictions, four legal elements must be satisfied in order to prove negligence in a road accident claim:
- Duty of Care: The defendant must owe the plaintiff a duty of care. In the case of driving laws, all drivers owe other drivers the duty to drive safely and to obey all traffic laws at all time.
- Breach of Duty: It must be shown that the defendant breached their duty to drive safely. For example, if the defendant failed to obey traffic signs, this considered a breach of the duty of care.
- Causation: The plaintiff must prove that the defendant’s breach actually caused their injuries. If the defendant did not actually cause the injuries, they will likely not be held liable.
- Damages: The plaintiff must be able to calculate the losses and costs associated with the injury and put it into monetary amounts. If they cannot easily determine the amount in numbers, their damages award may be reduced or even denied.
What Are Recoverable Damages For Road Accident Injuries?
A road accident injury can often lead to a personal injury lawsuit. The usually remedy in such a case is a compensatory damages award paid by the defendant to the victim of the accident. Compensatory damage awards are intended to cover the cost of the expenses sustained during the car accident. These costs may include:
- Medical and hospital Expenses
- Physical therapy expenses
- Damage to your car or property
- Reduced quality of life
- Pain and suffering
- Lost time at work
- Lost earning capacity
Do I Need a Lawyer for Help with Road Accident Injury Lawsuits?
Being involved in a road or traffic accident injury can sometimes also involve various legal issues and conflicts. You may wish to consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer for help with road traffic injuries or other related claims. A personal injury lawyer will be able to advise you on the injury laws in your state, and can represent you in court during trial.