LAKEWOOD CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEY
Throughout the United States, car accidents happen every day. They happen on small rural roadways and wide, congested interstate highways. Sometimes, a collision’s only victims are the involved vehicles’ paint jobs. In others, drivers and their passengers suffer severe injuries and even death. In California, there were 3,623 recorded traffic fatalities in 2016. There were far more traffic injuries, and beyond that, far more traffic accidents.
When you are injured in a car accident, you can be put into a very difficult financial decision. Your high medical bills, compounded by your lack of earnings as you spend time out of work to recover, can create a financial hardship for you and your family. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you can potentially recover compensation for these expenses through a personal injury claim.
What Causes Car Accidents?
Car accidents have a variety of causes. What caused your car accident will impact your personal injury claim, potentially to the point of rendering the claim invalid. Your car accident could be attributed entirely to the poor maintenance of the roadway where it occurred or the confusing, dangerous layout of a parking lot or garage. In a case like this, the owner of the parking lot or garage or the government agency charged with maintaining the road may be the negligent party, which means they are liable for your damages.
“Negligence” is a critical concept in personal injury law. When a party fails to act within their duty of care, which means their duty to prevent injury to others by operating a vehicle safely, maintaining a safe premises on their property, or ensuring that their product is safe for the consumer, that party is negligent and thus, liable for any damages that arise from accidents caused by their negligence. Damages are the expenses the victims face because of their accidents.
A driver can be negligent in the following ways:
- Driving drunk or under the influence of another drug;
- Distracted driving;
- Driving aggressively, such as tailgating;
- Disregarding posted speed limits and other traffic rules;
- Failing to maintain his or her vehicle properly, creating a safety hazard; and
- Driving when he or she is too tired to do so safely.
Pedestrians and bicyclists can also be negligent for similar reasons, as well as failing to observe proper road protocol.
A vehicle’s manufacturer or seller can also be negligent by failing to ensure that the vehicle is safe for the consumer. A faulty or defective part that was not properly announced or recalled can render a manufacturer liable for victims’ damages, and when a car dealer sells a vehicle despite knowing that it poses a potential safety hazard to the buyer, the seller may be at fault.