Life after a car accident can be confusing, overwhelming, and filled with unknowns. Dealing with medical providers and insurance companies, all while getting your life back on track, is also burdensome. Chances are, you could use some help. The Lakewood car accident attorneys at Gerash Steiner Blanton, P.C., are experienced professionals that can take the burden of fighting for compensation off your hands. Contact us today.
Common Causes of Car Accidents in Lakewood
Fender benders, T-bones, and head-on collisions are all common types of car accidents. Some of the most common causes of car crashes include the following:
- Distracted driving,
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs,
- Reckless driving, and
- Inclement weather.
In more nuanced cases, an accident could be caused by cars and trucks with design defects that make them vulnerable to accidents. If you are unsure whether your accident was caused by a manufacturing issue, a Lakewood auto accident attorney can analyze your case and help make this determination.
Safety Tips to Avoid the Common Causes of Car Crashes
Following a few quick safety tips can help you avoid an accident and the possibility of a lifetime of pain.
- Drivers and passengers should use seat belts on every trip, no matter how short. If you don’t wear a seat belt, an insurance company might argue that you are partly at fault for your injuries which could substantially decrease or eliminate monetary compensation.
- Use your blinker when changing lanes to let everyone else know about your lane changes, and check your blind spot each time.
- Be sure that you pay attention to signs indicating one-way roads when driving in unfamiliar areas. Wrong-way drivers are especially dangerous because people are not on the lookout for them and often react too late.
You can help avoid accidents if you pay more attention and always try to make better driving decisions. For example, drunk driving, reckless driving, and speeding are solely at the driver’s discretion and resultant accidents are entirely avoidable.
Common Injuries Associated with Car Accidents
The CDC found that car accidents are the leading cause of injuries in the U.S. Adding insult to injury, the CDC found that Americans spend more than 1 million days in the hospital each year because of car accident injuries. Common injuries include the following:
- Fractures and broken bones,
- Back injuries,
- Soft tissue injuries,
- Neck injuries and whiplash,
- Disfiguring facial injuries and scars,
- Crush injuries, and
- Lacerations, bruises, and “road rash.”
Another common injury is Traumatic brain injury (TBI), which occurs when a blow or a piercing injury to the head damages the brain. Car accidents are a leading cause of TBIs.
Spinal cord injuries, paralysis (quadriplegia, tetraplegia, and paraplegia), and internal injuries are more serious but, sadly, still relatively common. The impact of a crash and torque on the body can cause long-term spinal cord damage. Further, damage to internal organs could occur when a crash forces the body into an object or flying debris hits the body. Internal bleeding from this type of injury requires emergency medical treatment.
Not all car accident injuries are physical, however. You might also suffer from mental and emotional injuries because of a car accident. After your physical injuries heal, you might notice that your mental health deterioration and emotional suffering linger long after. If so, you might have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). If you have PTSD, activities that used to be routine may become problematic and even impossible. Financial recovery is available for both monetary and non-monetary losses associated with your accident.
Can I Be Compensated for My Car Accident?
To have a successful car accident claim, the victim must prove that the negligence of another party caused the accident. Proving negligence requires showing that:
- The driver had a duty to other vehicles on the road to operate their vehicle safely;
- The person breached this duty by engaging in unsafe behavior; and
- The unsafe behavior caused injury to the driver or a passenger.
It is crucial to a car accident case that you prove a clear connection between your accident and the breach of duty. For example, you need to show that an at-fault driver ran a red light while looking at their phone, which resulted in a collision that caused your injuries. Once you establish the relationship between the breach and the accident, then you must show the accident caused your injuries. Proving a nexus between negligence and injuries can be daunting. If you want to be successful, speak to a seasoned Lakewood auto accident lawyer today.
If you can successfully prove these elements, then the next step is proving the extent of your damages.
How Do I Know How Much My Case Is Worth?
The value of your claim depends on the assessed amount of damages. An insurance company calculates damages by assessing “special” and “general” damages.” In calculating these types of damages, the goal is to compensate a person and make them whole again. To begin calculating your damages, assess the losses you have incurred due to the accident, including medical expenses, lost wages, diminished earning capacity, out-of-pocket expenses, mileage, and future medical expenses.
Other types of damages include “general damages.” These damages are non-economic, less tangible, and not based on invoices or pay stubs. In fact, the insurance company may not consider them at all if you fail to claim them. Even though they are harder to calculate, your attorney knows how to assess these damages, so you are fully compensated for your losses. Some examples of non-economic damages are:
- Pain and suffering,
- Physical impairments such as disfigurement, scarring, or amputation,
- Emotional distress,
- Loss of enjoyment of life, and
- Loss of consortium.
To determine your claim’s worth, an experienced attorney will compare your claim’s damages to similar claims. The attorney will then consider what an insurance company has paid in the past for comparable damages and arrive at an appropriate value for your claim.
Call Lakewood Car Accident Lawyers Who Can Help
If you were in an accident, you need experienced Lakewood car accident attorneys on your side fighting for compensation. The attorneys at Gerash Steiner Blanton, P.C., have decades of litigation experience and are not afraid to fight for you in court. Attorney and law firm partner Dr. Eric Steiner has 20 years of experience in law and 17 years of experience as a doctor. With nearly 70 years of combined legal experience, our partners believe there is no better firm for your case. For a free case review, contact us today.