Tappahannock Car Accident Lawyer
Every year, thousands of Virginia residents are injured in car crashes that could have been avoided if one of the parties had used more care while driving. Accidents caused by one person’s negligence or recklessness are especially frustrating for injured parties and their families who are stuck dealing with painful injuries and expensive medical bills. Fortunately for these individuals, it is possible to collect compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage from the responsible party. Filing a claim is not always easy. If you were involved in a car accident and suffered an injury or sustained property damage to your vehicle, it is important to retain an experienced Tappahannock car accident lawyer who can help you seek fair compensation for your losses.
Car Accident Causes
Car accidents are often unpredictable, and they can occur anywhere and at any time. Still, there are certain activities and behaviors that are notorious for causing accidents, including:
- Fatigued driving
- Distracted driving
- Drinking and driving
- Aggressive driving, such as tailgating and weaving through traffic
Texting and driving
Of these behaviors, distracted driving has proved to be one of the deadliest. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that as many as 1,161 people are injured in car crashes caused by distracted driving every day.
- The CDC divides distractions into three general categories:
- Visual distractions, which involve a driver taking his or her eyes off the road
- Manual distractions, which require a driver to take his or her hands off the wheel
- Cognitive distractions, which involve a driver taking his or her mind off driving
In many cases, an activity falls under more than one of the above categories, and this is doubly dangerous for others on the road. For instance, texting has proven particularly dangerous while driving, as it satisfies the criteria of all three types of distractions. Eyewitness testimony, photographs of the scene of the accident, and phone records can all help establish whether someone was texting at the time of the crash. If there is convincing evidence showing that a defendant was distracted prior to the crash, it will be much easier to prove that he or she was at fault. For this reason, it is important for car accident victims to retain an experienced car accident attorney with access to a dedicated and thorough investigative team who can help build a strong case.
Defective vehicle parts are another cause of serious car accidents across the state. Although it is possible to collect damages from a manufacturer or seller whose negligence caused the defect, an injured party must demonstrate that the problem was a safety-related defect to recover damages. Under federal law, a vehicle defect is defined as any defect in the construction, material, component, or performance of a vehicle. Such safety defects pose a risk to drivers, passengers, and others on the road; they also generally exist in specific car parts designed or produced by the same manufacturer, or in a batch of vehicles with identical design.
Some of the most dangerous safety-related vehicle defects include:
- Defective steering components
- Defective fuel system components that result in gas leaks
- Sticky accelerator controls
- Defective engine cooling fan blades that cause injury
- Seats that fail unexpectedly
- Airbags that don’t deploy
- Wiring system issues that cause fires
- Important car parts that separate from the vehicle and cause loss of control
Injured parties who can establish that another person or entity breached a warranty or was negligent may be eligible to collect compensation for both economic and non-economic losses. For example, manufacturers and distributors can be held liable for injuries resulting from their failure to test a product, use of inferior materials, or failure to use reasonable care when assembling the parts.
According to data published in The Washington Post, more than 50 percent of all fatal car crashes involve poor road conditions. These types of hazards range from crumbling asphalt and potholes to missing guardrails and dangerous shoulders. Other dangerous road conditions that are commonly involved in car accidents include:
- Dangerous curves
- Outdated exit ramps or signs
- Faded lane markers
- Misplaced construction equipment
- Many of these problems are merely the consequence of wear and tear, while others are the result of more serious issues, such as:
- Poor maintenance
- Poor road planning
- Poor drainage
- The use of inferior materials or building practices
- Failure to comply with building codes
- Failure to update road signs
- Overgrown foliage
- Poor lighting
Road building and maintenance are usually the responsibility of a municipal or state government, yet government entities are almost always immune from suit. Sometimes, it may be possible to file a claim against negligent government employees or agencies, but plaintiffs are required to comply with specific procedural rules. For instance, before filing a claim in court, a party injured because of a city’s negligence must first file a notice of its claim within six months of the accident. Failing to follow these rules can lead to a case being barred, which can have devastating consequences for injured parties who have no other means of paying medical bills.
Regardless of whether a car accident was caused by distracted driving, a government’s failure to maintain the roads, or a manufacturer’s defect, injured parties can and should seek compensation from those responsible for their losses. Many car accident victims not only have to foot the bill for emergency treatment and transportation, but they must also pay for multiple surgeries, doctor’s appointments, prescription medications, and specialized medical equipment. Many injured parties are also required to take weeks or even months off from work, which can make it nearly impossible to stay on top of mounting medical bills. Recovering damages is often the only way for injured parties to stay financially afloat and obtain all necessary medical care.
Schedule a Consultation with an Experienced Tappahannock Car Accident Lawyer Today
Collecting compensation from the negligent person or entity who caused your accident can make all the difference in helping you get started on the road to recovery. If you were recently injured in a car crash in Tappahannock, please schedule a free consultation with an experienced car accident lawyer by contacting us at Emroch & Kilduff today.