Why Do Car Accidents Happen?

Why Do Car Accidents Happen?

Car accidents remain a serious concern despite advancements in vehicle technology, such as backup cameras and forward collision systems. These accidents not only cause devastating injuries but also have lasting impacts on people's lives.

An experienced car accident lawyer can determine why your car accident happened, and seek compensation from the responsible parties for your injuries.

Human Error as a Primary Cause

A large percentage of road crashes are due to human error. This doesn't necessarily imply poor driving skills but often involves simple mistakes or lapses in judgment. For instance:

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving stands as one of the foremost causes of road accidents. This term encompasses a range of activities that take the driver's attention away from driving. 

Texting while driving is notably dangerous, as it distracts visually, manually, and cognitively. But distractions are not limited to phone use; they include eating, applying makeup, or conversing with passengers. These actions split the driver's focus, significantly raising the likelihood of an accident.

The danger lies not just in the duration of the distraction but also in the time it takes for the driver to regain full awareness of the road conditions, which can be crucial in preventing a crash.

Excessive Speeding

Speeding car on the road, demonstrating reckless driving. High-speed vehicle on the roadway.

Speeding remains a leading cause of vehicle accidents. It's often a result of drivers rushing to meet deadlines, attempting to keep up with traffic flow, or occasionally, simply not noticing their speed.

Speeding increases the risk of accidents in multiple ways.

It reduces the time drivers have to react to unforeseen road situations, increases the distance required to stop the vehicle safely, and, in the event of a collision, the increased speed often leads to more severe injuries.

Also, the effectiveness of protective measures in the vehicle, like airbags and seatbelts, can be compromised at higher speeds.

Drunk Driving

Despite ongoing campaigns and legal measures, drunk driving continues to kill thousands every year.

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs significantly impairs judgment, coordination, and reaction times, making safe driving nearly impossible. Alcohol and drugs affect cognitive abilities, leading to poor decision-making and a reduced ability to judge distances and speeds.

Drunk driving is not only illegal but also highly irresponsible, as it puts not only the driver but also other road users at severe risk. The tragic reality is that many fatal accidents each year are directly attributable to driving under the influence.

Running Red Lights

Intersections are common sites for traffic accidents, with many of these incidents caused by drivers running red lights. This often occurs not because of a deliberate choice to ignore the light but due to distractions, misjudgment, or impairment. 

Drivers might miss a red light because their attention is elsewhere or misjudge the time they have to cross an intersection.

In some cases, obstructed views or poorly positioned traffic signals can contribute to these accidents.

Running a red light can lead to side-impact collisions, which are often particularly dangerous due to the less protected nature of a car's sides than the front and rear.

Reckless Driving

A blatant disregard for traffic laws and the safety of others characterizes reckless driving. It can include aggressive lane switching, especially in heavy traffic or high speeds, engaging in road rage, tailgating, or driving significantly over the speed limit.

Other forms of reckless driving include not adhering to road conditions, such as driving too fast on wet or icy roads and performing dangerous maneuvers like drag racing or burnouts.

Reckless driving increases the risk of causing an accident and tends to result in more severe accidents due to the high-risk behaviors involved.

Non-Human Error Causes

Apart from driver mistakes, other factors can also lead to car accidents:

  • Adverse Weather: Conditions like fog or slippery roads can increase the risk of accidents, even for cautious drivers.
  • Poor Road Conditions: Issues like potholes can contribute to accidents, often beyond a driver's control.
  • Vehicle Defects: Sometimes, accidents occur because of vehicle defects unrelated to the driver's actions.

The Role of a Car Accident Attorney

In the wake of a car accident, dealing with the aftermath can be overwhelming. This is where the guidance of a car accident attorney becomes priceless.

Evaluating Your Claim

When you consult with an attorney after a car accident, the first step they will take is to evaluate your claim. It involves thoroughly reviewing the accident's circumstances, the extent of your injuries, and the damages incurred.

The attorney will provide legal advice based on this assessment, helping you understand the strengths and weaknesses of your case. They will explain the legal options available, including the potential for a settlement or the need to go to trial. This initial evaluation lays the foundation for your claim.

Investigating the Accident

An important role of an attorney in a car accident case is to conduct a comprehensive investigation. This investigation aims to gather all relevant evidence to establish who was at fault for the accident and the extent of the damages suffered.

The attorney will collect evidence, including police reports, witness statements, photographs of the accident scene, and any available video footage. They may also review medical reports to understand the full extent of your injuries.

This detailed investigation is essential for building a strong case to support your compensation claim.

Expert Consultations

Lawyer with client in office.

Attorneys often consult with experts to support a car accident claim. These experts can include accident reconstruction specialists who can help determine how the accident occurred and who was at fault.

Medical professionals can provide insights into the extent of your injuries, the required treatment, and the prognosis for recovery.

Economists or financial experts may assist with complex financial calculations, such as lost earning capacity. These expert opinions can prove the extent of your damages and the need for adequate compensation.

Negotiating with Insurance Companies

Dealing with insurance companies is a critical part of a car accident claim. An attorney will handle all negotiations with the insurance company on your behalf. 

They ensure you receive a fair settlement covering your medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and other damages. Insurance companies often attempt to minimize payouts.

However, an experienced attorney will use their negotiation skills to advocate for your best interests and secure the compensation you deserve without needing a trial.

Attorney, William B Kilduff
William B. Kilduff Car Accident Lawyer

Taking Your Case to Trial

If you cannot negotiate a fair settlement, an attorney is ready to take your case to trial. The attorney will present your case in the courtroom, including all the gathered evidence and expert testimonies, to argue for your right to compensation. They will advocate on your behalf, aiming for the best possible outcome.

Taking a case to trial requires skillful litigation, and an experienced attorney will work to convincingly present your case to the judge or jury, fighting for a verdict that provides you with the compensation you need to move forward from the accident.

Contact a Car Accident Attorney

If you or a loved one has been affected by a car accident, seek legal assistance promptly. A skilled personal injury attorney can offer the support and representation you need and fight for the compensation and justice you deserve.

William B. Kilduff


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Contact our offices today online or by calling (804) 358-1568 to schedule a free consultation, discuss the details of your injury, and determine the best path forward given your individual circumstances.

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