Car accidents and other motor vehicle collisions can affect you for the rest of your life if your injuries are serious enough. But you shouldn’t have to pay for the mistakes of another person who wasn’t obeying the road rules.
By working with a personal injury lawyer experienced in car accidents from our firm, you can recover the compensation you need to pay for your losses. We’re ready to examine your case and determine your eligibility for financial compensation. Call an experienced auto accident lawyer today for a free consultation.
Most Common Types of Vehicle Collisions Claims
Vehicle accidents are one of the most common accidents in personal injury law. In our experience, the most common types of vehicle collisions include the following:
People use boats both for pleasure and work. If you pilot a boat as a hobby, liability rules may cover you more than if you navigate them for work and sustain injuries.
You can suffer injuries in several ways in a boating crash. Common scenarios that may lead to boating injuries include:
- Hitting another vessel in the water
- Striking an object underwater
- Contacting another boat’s wake
Both federal and state laws may apply to boat collisions. In addition, maritime law, rather than state common law, may apply when a boat collision happens at sea.
Trucking or 18-Wheeler Collisions
Truck crashes involve heavier vehicles than most other types of accidents. For example, a tractor-trailer weighs between 12,100 and 80,000 pounds, around 25 times more than the average car. As a result, a semi-truck driving 65 miles per hour on the freeway is harder to stop and is, therefore, more dangerous than a smaller vehicle traveling at the same speed.
Fully-loaded semi-trucks have longer stopping distances than smaller vehicles, depending on the road conditions and other factors.
Their size and mass make them harder to maneuver, especially when the weather or road conditions are poor. Due to the severity of these crashes, wrongful death cases are unfortunately common in trucking accidents.
Motor Vehicle Collisions
You have a legal right to recover fair compensation from the at-fault party when you’re injured in a car accident due to someone else’s negligence. All drivers must carry personal liability insurance or no-fault insurance, depending on their state’s laws.
The aftermath of a motor vehicle crash can be stressful and result in severe injuries. In this case, you can sue the liable parties for your injuries and damages by filing a claim against their insurance company.
Motorcycle crashes are most often a result of a negligent car driver that didn’t follow the rules of the road. Many drivers believe bikers don’t need a full lane because a motorcycle is smaller than most cars. Due to this belief, drivers of cars don’t respect motorcycle riders’ space.
This lack of respect can result in catastrophic injuries for the biker. Bikers don’t have any external protections like drivers of cars do, even if they’re wearing a helmet.
Of all road users, pedestrians have the least amount of protection. This lack of protection makes them vulnerable to severe injuries and even death. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, pedestrian fatalities are the highest in 40 years, with approximately 7,485 people killed in 2021.
Pedestrians are road users who walk, hike, or run on the sides of the road.
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More Road Collision Types
In addition to the most common accident claims, there are less common types of accidents for which you could file a claim. Less common accident types that can cause severe accident injuries include:
Bicycling, as an alternative mode of transit, has become increasingly popular. It doesn’t produce pollution and is a healthy exercise method. However, traveling by bicycle on roads shared with motor vehicles can be quite hazardous.
A National Safety Council analysis shows a 16% increase in fatal bicycle accidents in 2020. Also, 325,173 non-fatal bicycle accidents caused severe injuries to cyclists.
Most serious bicycle accidents involve a cyclist encountering a negligent or reckless motor vehicle driver. In these accidents, the cyclist suffers all the damage and can be severely injured or killed.
Ridesharing has also become increasingly popular. Freelance jobs like Uber and Lyft operators allow people to use their vehicles to give others rides.
It is difficult to find exact statistics on how often rideshare vehicles are involved in accidents. Uber claims their internal data indicate its rideshare drivers rarely get into accidents. Still, some researchers claim that ridesharing has increased the number of traffic deaths.
During rideshare, the driver uses their vehicle, so you might think the driver’s insurance would cover the damage. However, most car insurance policies exclude coverage if the car is used for business purposes.
Fortunately, Uber and Lyft have insurance policies covering damages incurred if one of their drivers causes an accident. In addition, if you are injured in a rideshare accident caused by someone else, that person’s insurance will cover your damages. Our rideshare accident attorneys can help you negotiate with a rideshare company’s insurance company or an individual’s.
In 2018 and 2019, dockless electric scooters from companies like Bird, Lime, JUMP, and Gotcha were widely deployed on city streets and sidewalks across Alabama.
The rollout of these electric scooter-share services was immediately met with excitement by those looking for a convenient and inexpensive transportation option in busy urban areas.
However, these convenient and inexpensive scoots also met with a rash of accidents and injuries.
Scooter riders are responsible for sharing the road with other vehicles, not riding on sidewalks meant for pedestrians, and riding the vehicles responsibly.
However, this is often an issue since many riders lack proper training, practice, and experience riding these vehicles. In addition, because of the placement of these scooters, riders are often intoxicated or forced to share the road during high traffic. There are numerous causes of scooter crashes, and multiple parties could be at fault, including:
- The rider
- Other motorists
- The scooter companies
- Third-party maintenance companies
- The manufacturer
Compared to other modes of transportation, airplanes are extremely safe; however, unlike car crashes, most airplane accidents result in fatalities. Fatalities are more common due to the extreme heights and pressure airplane passengers experience.
Commercial pilots and airlines are legally required to carry liability insurance in the case of an accident, but private airlines and pilots are not.
As a result, cases in which people are injured through no fault of their own by a privately owned and piloted airplane are legally complex and require an experienced aviation accident attorney to navigate.
Common Injuries Caused by Negligence
Every motorist has a legal obligation to avoid behaviors or errors that could cause another person harm. Others could suffer permanent injuries when a person is reckless, careless, or otherwise negligent.
The following table illustrates common types of injuries you might experience if you were involved in a vehicle collision with a negligent driver:
|Scrapes, cuts, lacerations
|Abrasions or breaks in the skin caused by contact with a rough surface or sharp object.
|Cuts from broken glass, lacerations from a seatbelt in a car accident
|Broken or fractured bones
|Damage to the bone, causing it to crack or break completely.
|Broken arm from impact, fractured ankle from pressing brake pedal forcefully during a crash
|Soft tissue injuries
|Damage to muscles, tendons, or ligaments, often resulting in swelling, pain, and loss of function.
|Sprained wrist from bracing against the steering wheel, whiplash from rear-end collision
|Neck injuries, including whiplash
|Injuries to the neck, often caused by a rapid back-and-forth movement.
|Whiplash from a rear-end collision, neck strain from sudden side impact
|Damage to the muscles, ligaments, or vertebrae in the back.
|Lumbar strain from a collision, herniated disc from the impact of a crash
|Spine and spinal cord injuries (including partial or total paralysis)
|Damage to the spinal cord or vertebrae that can result in loss of sensation or motor function.
|Spinal cord injury from a rollover accident, fractured vertebrae from a high-speed collision
|Internal organ damage
|Injuries to internal organs, often caused by blunt force or penetration.
|Punctured lung from a broken rib in a car accident, liver damage from seatbelt during a crash
|Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
|Brain injuries caused by sudden trauma, leading to temporary or permanent brain damage.
|Concussion from hitting the steering wheel, contusion from side-impact collision
The severity of your injuries can affect your settlement amount. The more medical help you need, your settlement will likely be higher. For example, spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries are worth more and will increase your settlement amount.
How Long You Have to File a Motor Vehicle Accident Claim
The statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim varies from state to state but typically ranges from one to three years.
For example, Alabama has a two-year statute of limitations deadline for personal injury claims, according to Code of Alabama § 6-2-38.
It’s important to file your claim within this timeframe because once this deadline passes, you may no longer be able to seek compensation for your injuries, medical bills, or property damage.
Additionally, the longer you wait to file a claim, the more likely evidence will lose accuracy or witnesses will forget important details, making it more difficult to prove your case.
Therefore, it’s best to consult with a car accident lawyer as soon as possible after the accident to ensure you meet the required deadline for filing your personal injury claim.
One of our auto accident attorneys from our firm can help you determine exactly how long you have to file your claim. Depending on the details of your crash, you may have more or less time to file. However, regardless of your deadline, our team will ensure we file your claim on time so the insurance company has no reason to deny your claim.
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Compensation You Could Recover After a Vehicle Collision
After you suffer injuries, you may be eligible to recover two types of compensation: economic damages and non-economic damages. Economic damages are losses that will affect your financial situation, while non-economic damages are invaluable and are related to the long-term effects of your injuries.
Our legal team can help you recover maximum compensation for damages, including:
- Medical expenses
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of future earnings
- Mental anguish
- Physical therapy
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Disfigurement or scarring
- Permanent injuries/disabilities
A personal injury attorney from our law firm can assess your accident and tell you what damages you could collect in a free video consultation. Then, after you receive medical care, we can use your medical records as evidence when we present your case to the insurance company.
What Are Punitive Damages and How do You Recover Them?
Punitive damages are unique damages you can recover when the liable party intentionally or recklessly causes you harm by acting excessively negligent. Intentional harm is rare in motor vehicle collisions, but it’s possible.
To recover punitive damages, a judge or jury must decide that your case qualifies for them. In most cases, a jury is more likely to award punitive damages than a judge since ordinary people make most decisions based on emotions.
While our car accident lawyer can’t grant you punitive damages, we can help gather evidence that shows that the liable parties were grossly negligent. And when we meet with the insurance company, we can present our evidence to prove that you qualify for those damages.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Our experienced attorneys represent those hurt in motor vehicle accidents in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, and beyond. In addition, our personal injury lawyers are ready to assist you if you were hurt in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence.
To help you better understand how auto accident injury claims work, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most common questions about accidents:
Q: How Do You Determine Who Is at Fault in an Accident?
A: We establish fault by determining what happened. When you’re an auto accident victim, you may think you know who is at fault based on your observations. However, you and your car accident lawyer must prove that the party owed you a duty of care, which is a responsibility to act reasonably, but breached it by behaving negligently.
Then, you must prove that due to their breach of the duty of care, you suffered injuries that severely impacted your life. And your injuries must have caused financial and non-financial damages.
The police report, local traffic laws, the weather conditions at the time, and “what a reasonable, ordinary person would have done” all come into play. Your attorney will conduct the necessary investigation to establish who was at fault. Even if you were partly responsible for the accident, your attorney might still be able to secure compensation for your injuries.
Q: What Should I Do if I’ve Been Hurt in a Crash?
A: The first thing to do is to determine if anyone has been injured and call an ambulance if necessary. If anyone has been injured or a vehicle has been badly damaged, call the police. A police report is essential when trying to establish who is at fault.
Next, obtain as much information as you can. Strong evidence makes a strong case. Valuable evidence you should collect after your accident includes:
- Photos and videos of the accident scene
- Other driver’s contact and insurance information
- Witness statements and contact information
- Footage of the accident, if possible
Even if you don’t feel injured at the time, visiting your doctor after an accident is a good idea. Some injuries, including those to the back, neck, and brain, often only become apparent several hours or even days after the crash.
Links to Resources for Motor Vehicle Collisions
If you were involved in a car accident, you should get help and learn how to avoid similar incidents in the future. Our car accident attorneys have compiled the following resources:
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA): The NHTSA is a federal organization aiming to make traveling on American roadways safer.
- National Safety Council: The National Safety Council is a nonprofit organization that offers links and content on issues like the use of seat belts, teenage driving safety, and preventing car accidents.
- The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT): The DOT is a federal organization focusing on policy and lawmaking to guarantee safer travel throughout the country.
- MedlinePlus: A website from the National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health, MedlinePlus offers information on preventing motor vehicle crashes.
Contact Our Compassionate and Experienced Team Today for Legal Help
Even if you are not ready to file an auto accident claim, consulting one of our experienced lawyers at Heninger Garrison Davis as soon as possible can help you understand your options. We work on a contingency fee, meaning you don’t pay anything unless we win a fair settlement.
This arrangement ensures we are committed to working diligently on your behalf, and you can access quality legal representation without worrying about financial constraints.
Remember, act promptly to protect your rights and enhance your chance of a successful claim. Talk to our auto accident lawyers to gain valuable advice and support and to help you make informed decisions about your case. Call us or fill out the contact form for your free case evaluation today.