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Practice Definitions - Motor Vehicle Accidents
Motor Vehicle Accidents
In America, a leading cause of death is Automobile Accidents and motor vehicle collisions. According to national statistics, approximately 6,000,000 auto accidents occur each year, causing close to 40,000 fatalities. It is estimated that 1 out of every 5 Americans will be involved in an alcohol-related car crash at some point in their lives according to the NHTSA (National Highway Transportation Safety Administration). The NHTSA compiles statistics regarding motor vehicle accidents and some of results are alarming.

For example, in 2001:

  • 3,000,000 people were injured in motor vehicle accidents.
  • 41,300 died in motor vehicle accidents.
  • 40% of the fatalities were alcohol related.
  • 2,600 children under the age of 15 were killed in motor vehicle accidents.
  • 7,500 young drivers (16-20) were involved in fatal crashes.
  • 3,000 motorcyclists were killed.
  • 4,700 pedestrians were killed.
  • Improper use of seat belts accounted for 63% of the fatalities.

As you can see, the car accident injury statistics in America are staggering. Injuries from car accidents are the leading cause of death for people from the ages of 6 to 33 years old. To minimize your exposure to the risk of being involved in an automobile accident there are defensive measures you can take:

  • Always obey all the traffic rules;
  • Drive defensively;
  • Wear your safety belt;
  • Never drink and drive;
  • Make sure your passengers and especially children are properly restrained.
Automobile accidents are the most common type of personal injury claim. There are probably more automobile accident claims than all other types of personal injury claims combined. If you have been injured or a family member has been killed as a result of the fault or neglect of another, you have a legal right to recover damages for your injuries and losses. The more serious your injuries or the more complicated your case, the more likely an attorney will be of benefit to you.

Many people forget about other claims related to the fact that an automobile collision has occurred, such as claims for uninsured or underinsured insurance benefits, claims against a wrongdoer's employer or even, in some cases, claims against automobile manufacturers or highway designers. In many personal injury claims, other issues may arise. Do health care providers, insurance companies, workers compensation insurers, or government entitlement programs such as Medicare or Medicaid have to be repaid for benefits that you may have received? How long should you keep your totaled vehicle or wait to repair any damage after the accident? What settlement documents will you have to sign and are they fair? Insurance companies hire only experienced claims adjusters and lawyers. Is the playing field level if you do not have an experienced professional on your team?
Should I hire a lawyer?
Automobile accidents (including tractor/trailer and truck collisions) are on the rise and are too often responsible for injuries and deaths. Fatal and serious injuries from automobile collisions in the U.S. often require hiring experts including reconstructionists, investigators, vocational rehabilitationists or life care planners. To prove the case to a jury or in a settlement conference, detailed medical illustrations and other forms of demonstrative evidence are often used to explain the collision and the injuries. A car accident lawyer can help "level the playing field" by providing auto accident victims with information regarding the practical and legal aspects of personal injury law and auto accident claims. Use the State Lawyers Directory to find a qualified lawyer for your needs.

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