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Driver Error: One of the Major Causes Car Crashes in the US

Every year, more than five million incidences of car crashes on US roads and highways are reported to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). More than two million of these crashes cause injuries, from minor scratches to serious physical harm, such as broken bones, spinal and neck injuries, damage to internal organs or brain damage; more than 30,000, however, result to victims’ instant death.

One hurting truth about car crashes is the fact that these can cause disability or the death of a friend or a loved one; it is insanely outrageous to know, however, that more than 90 percent of all car crashes are due to driver negligence or recklessness, making these totally preventable incidences.

Causes of car accidents can be categorized under two groups: those that are beyond the control of a driver, like road/highway defect or car/car part defect, and those that are within the control of a driver, such as drunk-driving, reckless driving, overspeeding and driver error.

The study conducted by the NHTSA, the 2008 National Motor Vehicle Crash Causation Survey (NMVCCS), shows that driver error was the major cause of car accidents from 2005 to 2007. There are many different things which can be considered as driver error, the ones that were most often reported though, included:

  • Driving while impaired by alcohol or while fatigued or feeling drowsy
  • Texting or conversing with someone over the phone
  • Driving recklessly, speeding, driving through a red light, not allowing down at curves, not stopping at intersections, making improper lane changes, improper overtaking, not using signals before making turns, tailgating, etc
  • Speeding or driving too fast for certain road conditions
  • Not wearing a seatbelt
  • Turning one’s focus away from driving and from the road (this is one type of error that majority of drivers are guilty of. The alarming thing is that many do not consider these to be dangerous, besides the fact that these errors, more correctly called driving distractions, are often unnoticed. Some examples include eating, adjusting a radio or using an electronic device, looking at a map, conversing with a passenger, lighting a cigarette, reaching for something from the backseat or anywhere else inside the car, and so many others.

The website of the law firm Habush Habush & Rottier agrees that everyone makes mistakes. However, the said firm continues, if these mistakes are committed while driving, then these can result to a collision which can seriously injured an innocent driver, pedestrian, or another motorist.

While no driver would want to be involved in an accident, much more injure anyone, the fact remains that if he or she does injure someone else, then that other person will be faced with concerns that will definitely affect his or her financial situation, like the sudden need to pay for medical treatment and inability to report to work which will mean loss of earnings. To save an innocent victim from still experiencing financial difficulties on top of the injuries that he or she had already been made to unjustly suffer, the law allows him or her to file a civil lawsuit against the at-fault driver for the compensation that will cover all present and financial concerns that result from the injury.

Trauma after a Car Accident

A report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) proceeds to show that motor vehicle injury is one of the major reasons for injuries and deaths in the USA, specifically for individuals older 1 – 3 4 years.

A Houston car accident attorney would point out how driver education is not sufficient to make sure road safety guidelines are observed by every driver. This is why the Nationwide Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has transferred to apply more laws, enforce these laws more steadfastly and demand more significant fines and severer punishment on violators.

Automobile mishaps present a larger risk than anyone may imagine. These may trigger loss of lives and critical injuries which may well alter the lifestyles of the sufferers (for the rest of their lives). NHTSA says that it is very lucky that not all car crashes cause injuries that are critical. The reason for an equally-significant difficulty to a lot of accident victims, nevertheless, is not the injury sustained, however, the experience of experiencing a life-threatening encounter; thus, a number of individuals who have been engaged in motor vehicle injuries develop long-term, panic and phobia tension after their terrible encounter.

Psychiatrists and psychologists both concur that of driving an automobile again, until about two weeks after a collision, trauma or anxiety, is a standard response and needs to be anticipated. CDC’s Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS), reports the types who generally develop the injury are passengers, rather than motorists. But while adult passengers may be capable of easily avoid driving automobiles (until they’ve overcome the trauma), the case is different with regard to quite young kids, whose parents decide whether or not they should trip or maybe not.

And while many are not unable to overcome the injury brought on by the injury, some suffer with it more persistently and longer, ending up experiencing sleep problems, depression and anxiety, which soon change associations, their behavior pattern and also function.

Actually the standard mental sessions required to help traumatized sufferers overcome their surprising encounter may lead to another group of issues caused by financial issues. Favoring treatment from bank cards and mortgage overpayment of invoices, a number of sufferers often are in overwhelming debts, with bankruptcy as the only means of authorized alternative.

One important point that accident casualties should do following an accident is always to have a lawyer who’ll represent, and negotiate for, them. The damages the law allows victims to receive will enable them to get the treatment they desire although injury sustained may be there to stay.

Putting a Value on Your Car Accident Claim

There are basically two things that can help determine the value of settlement compensation after a car accident: the full extent of your damages and the strength of the liability claim. In order to have an idea of how much the settlement compensation you should be receiving, you should understand how these two factors come into play.

The strength of your liability claim will depend on the evidence of “negligence” of the other driver that caused the accident. Recovering for damages from a no-fault state can be close to impossible, unless liability exists. You should be able to show the carelessness of the other driver in order to have a strong personal injury claim. If in case the accident was due to you and the other driver’s negligent actions, the settlement claim may depend on whether your state follows the comparative or contributory negligence rule.

As for the extent of your damages, there are three common methods that can determine the value of settlement is common car accidents: (1) colossus, (2) multiple of specials, and (3) per diem. Colossus refers to a software system used by insurance companies to compute the settlement value. Others may not use colossus specifically, but something similar to it. Although you are not allowed to use the colossus software, it is important for you to know how it works and how it will determine your settlement value.

The multiple of specials system requires the use of three elements in order to add the total damages. First is medical bills, another is lost income, and lastly the damages for pain and suffering. Insurance companies often challenge the amount of medical bills and lost payment, citing unreasonably high charges or that they are excessive and not properly supported. You have to make sure that you have supporting evidence for these claims. The damages for pain and suffering can be a more difficult thing to prove, but consulting with a personal injury lawyer would help you understand to put compute it.

One approach in calculating the pain and suffering is through the “per diem” method. The idea is to ask for a certain amount of compensation for each day that the pain caused by the accident has generated. One way to help compute for the daily rate is by every day earnings. You argument would be that the pain caused by the accident is in the least comparable to your effort of going to work every day.

Text mates in New Jersey could be held liable for Car Accidents

In what would seem a mystifying turn of events, state court judges agreed that text mates may also be held liable for civil lawsuits involving distracted driving.

The New Jersey Court of Appeals decided that it was possible for a recipient or originator of the text that causes a car accident may also be held liable for any consequences in a civil action. This ruling was based on a 2009 incident where a driver was distracted by a text sent by a 17-year-old female friend and plowed into a couple in a motorcycle, resulting serious injuries. The couple from Morris County sued the driver and his text mate. While the girl was found not liable in that particular case, it is the judges’ opinion that it may be possible in other instances if the texter “knows, or has special reason to know, the recipient will view the text while driving.”

Texting is considered the most dangerous of mobile phone-related distractions, making the risk of car accidents 23 times more likely. Talking and listening on a mobile phone increases the risk only 1.4 times; still risky but not as much as texting. While young adults and teenagers are often pinpointed as a big problem in this issue, many older adults are doing the same thing.

However, penalizing someone who is not driving merely by sending a text to someone who is seems to be stretching the point a bit too far. After all, it is the driver who decides to pick up the phone at inappropriate times, and the texter would not have any control over the actions of the person receiving the text. Judges justify the ruling by expressing the hope that such strict liability will make drivers- and their text mates – aware of the dangers of texting and driving.