Motor Vehicle Accidents

According to the CDC, more than 32,000 people are killed and 2 million are injured each year from motor vehicle crashes.  These accidents result from a variety of negligent acts by drivers – speeding, failing to pay attention, making unsafe turns, and consuming alcohol are among those acts.

In 2013, the US crash death rate was more than twice the average of other high-income countries. In the US, front seat belt use was lower than in most other comparison countries. 1 in 3 crash deaths in the US involved drunk driving, and almost 1 in 3 involved speeding. Lower death rates in other high-income countries and a high percentage of risk factors in the US suggest that we can make more progress in reducing crash deaths.

Drivers and passengers can:

  • Use a seat belt in every seat, on every trip, no matter how short.
  • Make sure children are always properly buckled in the back seat in a car seat, booster seat, or seat belt, whichever is appropriate for their age, height, and weight.
  • Choose not to drive while impaired by alcohol or drugs, and help others do the same.
  • Obey speed limits.
  • Drive without distractions (such as using a cell phone or texting).

While accidents involving passenger cars are the most common, accidents with buses, motorcycles, and large trucks also result in serious injuries or death.  Those injured while riding motorcycles are more vulnerable to catastrophic injury, given the lack of protection afforded the rider compared to other vehicles.

In order to recover monetary damages, the person injured in a motor vehicle accident must first prove that the other driver was negligent, and that the negligence caused the collision.  The ways in which a driver can be negligent vary widely, and include driving too fast, driving while distracted, using a cell phone while driving, failing to stop in time, and failing to observe a stop sign.

The next part that must be proved, in order to recover monetary damages, is that the person suffered injuries and that these injuries were caused by the collision.  Neck and back injuries are particularly common in motor vehicle accidents, but there are other types of injuries that can occur as well.

If you are in a motor vehicle accident and are injured, you should seek immediate medical attention.  Insurance companies will frequently point to a delay in treatment as evidence that the injuries were either not severe, or that the person did not suffer injuries.  If your injuries require medical treatment, make sure to get medical treatment as soon as possible.