Car accidents can cause severe injuries, such as bone fractures, burns, brain trauma, lost limbs, and neck and back injuries. Often times, these types of injuries can lead to a significant amount of time away from work and alter a person’s livelihood. After a car accident, it is important to take time to learn about your rights as soon as possible to make an informed decision about how to proceed. Prompt action could make a difference in the potential outcome of your case.
When the damage far exceeds a medical bill, the pursuit of reimbursement for pain, suffering, loss of future wages and other appropriate damages are necessary to calculate. Legal claims arising from motor vehicle accidents are typically governed by the law of negligence. Generally, people who operate automobiles must exercise “reasonable care under the circumstances.” A failure to use reasonable care is considered negligence. A person who negligently operates a vehicle may be required to pay for any damages, either to a person or property for the accident caused by his or her negligence.
As with other types of accidents, figuring out who is at fault in a traffic accident is a matter of deciding who was negligent. In many cases, your instincts will tell you that a driver, cyclist or pedestrian acted carelessly. However, it may not tell what rule or rules that person violated. An attorney will look to a number of sources to help you determine who was at fault for your accident, such as police reports, state traffic laws, and witnesses.
Courts look to a number of factors in determining whether a driver was negligent. Some of these factors include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Disobeying traffic signs or signals
- Failing to signal while turning
- Driving above or below the posted speed limit
- Disregarding weather or traffic conditions
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol