Millions of people are injured in motor vehicle accidents each year – many very seriously. According to statistics provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, someone in the United States is involved in a car accident every 10 seconds. In 2008, an estimated 37,261 people were killed and 2,350,000 people were injured in traffic accidents. Here are some other startling facts:
- Motor vehicle crashes continue to be the leading cause of injury death in the United States for people ages 3 to 33.
- Motor vehicle crashes took the lives of 1,633 children (ages 1 to 15) and 4,497 teenagers (ages 16 to 20) in 2008. Older adults (over 65), with 5,533 deaths in 2008, continue to be a high-risk age group for motor vehicle fatalities.
- In the United States, 4,378 pedestrians died from traffic-related injuries and another 69,000 sustained non-fatal injuries in 2008.
- In 2008, 32% of traffic fatalities were alcohol-related. Either the driver or an affected person (e.g., a pedestrian or bicyclist) had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of at least 0.08 grams per deciliter (g/dl).
At Wattel & York, Attorneys At Law, our Arizona personal injury lawyers have extensive experience in handling accident cases and make it a point to investigate every possible contributing cause of an accident to make sure you receive full compensation. You take the time you need to recover from the trauma of your injuries while we take over the investigation. We will help you find the right medical specialist for your injuries, and will work with the specialists so that any payment to them can be delayed until your case is completed, whether it is by settlement or trial.
In the case of car accidents, fault is usually determined by the law of negligence. If a person negligently operates a vehicle and damage is caused to another person or property, that person may be required to pay any incurred damages. People must exercise a standard called “reasonable care under the circumstances” when driving a car. Failure to do so is often the basis in determining damages that are caused by an accident.
Many factors can contribute to the question of whether a driver was negligent, and courts look for these in determining fault. Some of these factors, but not all, are:
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Driving too fast or too slow
- Not signaling when turning
- Disregarding weather or traffic conditions
- Ignoring traffic signs or signals
- Failing to drive on the proper side of the road
Liability may also be found when an accident is caused by intentional or reckless conduct. A reckless driver is one who drives in an unsafe manner and with willful disregard to the possibility that the driving may cause an accident and injure someone.
Accidents can also be caused by factors that are unrelated to a driver’s conduct. Under the law of product liability, an automobile manufacturer or supplier may be held responsible for damages that result from an accident. A product liability lawsuit can be brought against the seller or manufacturer of a product if it is deemed defective and played a role in an accident. This goes beyond a defective part, however – if the design, development, and/or labeling of the product is at fault, the manufacturer is liable for damages.
Other examples of possible cases include faulty vehicle repairs by mechanics, malfunctioning traffic signals, poorly maintained roads, and the improper design, construction, maintenance, lighting, etc., of a highway. Lastly, a drinking establishment may be liable for damages if they continued to serve alcohol to a guest who is obviously intoxicated and who ultimately drives and causes damage in an accident.
If you or someone you love has been a victim of an automobile accident, call Wattel & York, Attorneys At Law, now at (877) 572-4143 or submit a simple case form. An initial consultation with us is free of charge, and if we take your case, we will work on a contingent fee basis, which means we get paid for our services only if there is a monetary award or recovery of funds. Call us now! You may have a valid claim and are entitled to compensation for your injuries. But remember, a lawsuit must be filed before the statute of limitations expires. We have car accident lawyers in Tucson as well as 4 offices around Arizona to better serve you.