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The Different Injuries Associated with Auto AccidentsAuto accidents are, unfortunately, very common. Most auto accidents that we witness or drive by on the side of the road are minor. Without a doubt, minor collisions could result in little to no harm. The parties involved in minor accidents could experience some soreness or pain but no life-changing harm. As the severity of auto accidents increases, the risk of suffering dangerous injuries also increases. Some of the most common injuries associated with auto accidents could include the following: head injuries; traumatic brain injuries; facial injuries; neck injuries; back injuries; shoulder injuries; hip injuries; pelvic fractures; spinal cord injuries; knee injuries; arm injuries; leg injuries; severed limbs; lacerations; nerve damage; muscle damage; organ damage. Depending on the severity of the accident, the injuries suffered could be moderate to severe. Injuries ranging in severity from moderate to severe are likely to result in the need for extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation – which could be very expensive. In some cases, it might be impossible for victims to reach a full recovery; rather, they are forced to deal with the aftermath of their accidents for the rest of their lives. In accidents like the one discussed above, the injuries sustained are so severe that they are fatal. Auto accidents are not random events – although some of us might feel like accidents can just happen without any real reason. Unfortunately, the reckless actions of parties (and even entities and local agencies) can lead to accidents and a number of injuries. Ultimately, it is harm that could be prevented.
Understanding Liability in Auto AccidentsAfter a car accident, one of the most important questions is always the following: who is at fault? Who caused the accident? Who acted negligently and contributed to the harm that you or your family suffered? The answers to these questions depend on the circumstances of the accident. In general, some of the parties or entities that could be liable for auto accidents include the following:
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- Drivers – drivers have a duty of care to all parties on the road. They must exercise care and caution to ensure that they do not contribute to auto accidents. Drivers can negligently cause auto accidents by failing to adhere to traffic laws, traffic rules, and being generally reckless.
- City agencies – city agencies have a duty of care to ensure that traffic runs smoothly and efficiently, without putting any drivers or other parties on the road at risk of an accident. When city agencies fail to identify and address any hazards, they are putting innocent parties at risk of suffering accidents and a number of injuries. Any blind intersections, uncontrolled intersections, poorly-lit intersections, or intersections with faulty signals, for example, could cause dangerous car accidents.
- Auto manufacturers – auto manufacturers have a duty to their consumers. They must ensure that their autos are safe to be driven. Before making their autos available for consumers to drive, they must identify and address any potential hazards. They must subject their autos to inspections and numerous tests to ensure that they are safe.
- Auto mechanics – auto mechanics have a duty to perform repairs and maintenance on their clients’ vehicles. They are paid to perform these services and ultimately ensure that vehicles are in safe condition. By failing to complete repairs, installing incorrect parts, damaging the vehicle during repair, performing wrong repairs, failing to identify mechanical issues in need of repair, and leaving debris or foreign objects inside the vehicle could all result in the vehicle being in an unsafe condition. This could cause an accident.
Could a Defective Intersection Really Contribute to an Auto Accident?A lot of work goes into making sure that traffic lights at intersections are functioning properly – after all traffic lights ensure that traffic flows smoothly. Traffic lights also ensure that drivers are aware of whether they need to stop to give other traffic the right of way or whether they have the right of way to enter the intersection? Without a doubt, traffic signals can be defective – making intersections dangerous. How many times have you seen normal traffic signals simply flashing the red light? How many times have you seen normal traffic signals completely turned off? During severe weather conditions or power outages, for example, traffic signals could stop working. Traffic lights could also be improperly installed or maintained. Without a doubt, traffic lights can fail to work properly – but is it possible for traffic lights at an intersection to conflict and show green at the same time? Although it is rare, severe malfunctions can occur causing traffic signals to show green lights to all traffic. In these rare cases, drivers believe that they have the right of way when they enter the intersection; they never expect to be struck by other vehicles that also have the right of way.
Important Steps to Take after Any Car AccidentAfter being involved in a car accident, it is important for victims and their families to take immediate action. Some of the most important steps to take after a car accident include the following:
- Take photos of all injuries suffered
- Take photos of the scene of the accident
- Gather all driver information (including insurance information)
- Gather witness information
- File an accident report with the authorities
- Report the accident to your insurance company
- Seek medical attention
- Seek legal assistance
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What Action to Take Depending on the Cause of Your AccidentIf the harm that you suffered was a direct result of the negligence or recklessness of a party or entity, you could pursue a claim. What type of claim could you pursue? What are the options available to you? The legal action that you could take will always depend on the specific details of your claim. Some of your options include the following:
- File a personal injury claim against the liable driver (or his or her insurance company)
- File a wrongful death claim against the liable driver (or his or her insurance company)
- File a personal injury claim against the city (or city agency)
- File a wrongful death claim against the city (or city agency)
- File a product liability claim against the manufacturer (auto manufacturer, for example)
- File a personal injury claim against an auto mechanic (the company)
- File a wrongful death claim against an auto mechanic (the company)