What Is the Definition of a Car Accident?
The definition of a car accident is an event where two or more vehicles collide, or a motorist crashes into a pedestrian or object. In both situations, a car accident can result in serious injuries or death.
According to road safety facts from the Association for Safe International Road Travel, 3,700 people die in a car accident every day. Additionally, 20 to 50 million people sustain non-fatal injuries that result in long-term disabilities.
Car Accident vs. Car Crash: What’s the Difference
In recent years, advocacy groups have argued that defining a traffic collision or car crash as an accident minimizes the severity of the at-fault driver’s negligent behavior.
Road safety advocacy groups have been pushing for a change of wording for car accidents. Organization leaders firmly believe that getting behind the wheel intoxicated, fatigued, or distracted is a conscious choice. Thus, when an impaired or distracted driver hits another car, kills a pedestrian, or destroys property, it can hardly be called an accident.
Therefore, road safety advocates believe we should only use the phrase car accident to define traffic collisions that are entirely faultless. In cases where another party’s negligence contributed to the injuries, victims should use the terms crash, collision, or wreck to describe their situation.
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Driver Error Is the Leading Cause of Collisions
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s crash stats cite driver error as the most common cause of car collisions. According to their research, mistakes due to careless or reckless behaviors account for 94% of all automotive crashes.
Examples of this type of behavior include:
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or fatigue
- Road rage
- Failure to obey traffic lights and other posted guidelines
- Not properly observing pedestrian and vehicle traffic
- Driving without regard to weather conditions
- Operating a vehicle with mechanical defects
These types of driver errors can constitute negligence, which can form the basis of a car collision claim. If a negligent driver caused your motor vehicle accident, you may be able to pursue compensation from the at-fault driver.
Third-Party Negligence Can Cause an Automotive Collision
While the vast majority of car accidents result from driver errors, a third party may also contribute to a motor vehicle crash. Third parties include government entities, businesses, and manufacturers who fail to:
- Fix or eliminate roadway hazards (such as potholes)
- Provide proper vehicle repair maintenance
- Replace defective or missing traffic signs and signals
- Remove overgrown vegetation that blocks traffic signs or roadways
- Keep roadways clear of construction debris
- Provide safe vehicles that are free of faulty parts
If a negligent third party caused your car accident, a personal injury lawyer can pursue legal action on your behalf.
What to Do After a Car Crash
If you are involved in a severe motor vehicle accident, it is essential to stay calm. Then, you can take immediate action to protect your rights to fair and just compensation. To do so, you must:
- Seek medical attention immediately, even if your injuries seem minor
- Retain all evidence relating to medical care (including bills, receipts, imaging scans, doctor contact information, and prescription medications)
- Obtain the names of any witnesses to the incident
- File a police report if one was not created at the accident scene
- Take pictures of your vehicle’s property damage and personal injuries
- Never accept any offers to settle your case from the insurance company until speaking with a lawyer
- Refrain from posting statements or photographs about the accident on social media
Keep in mind that following a motor vehicle crash, you need to do what makes the most sense for your situation. Your health and safety are always the number one priority. However, it’s also critical to preserve evidence and avoid making a self-incriminating statement that an insurance adjuster can later use against you.
That’s why we recommend reviewing your accident with a qualified car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Not only do legal professionals preserve your rights, but they can also help you track down the evidence you need to build a strong claim.
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Potential Compensation Available in Vehicle Accident Cases
The amount of compensation you can receive after a car collision depends on the unique facts and circumstances of your crash. You may be entitled to compensatory damages for:
- Pain and suffering as a result of your physical or emotional injuries
- Mental anguish
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Future medical bills or lost wages
- Loss of pension benefits
- Out of pocket expenses
A skilled car accident attorney can review your accident and seek compensation for all current and future damages you might incur later.
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Getting Affordable Legal Help After a Motor Vehicle Accident
Many people forgo legal help after an accident because they are preoccupied with their recovery. But when you retain our services, you can concentrate on healing while we fight to collect the compensation your injuries deserve.
If you retain our qualified legal team, we do not require any upfront fees. Instead, our law firm operates on a contingency basis. We advance all costs associated with the case and only recover a legal fee if you obtain compensation. Therefore, our clients feel confident that we will keep fighting for maximum recovery since we only get paid if they do.
How a Car Accident Lawyer Handles Your Car Accident Claim
If you have been seriously injured due to someone else’s negligence, your personal injury lawyer can get to work building your case immediately. A legal professional will:
- Gather incident and accident reports
- Conduct a site investigation
- Obtain available photographs and video footage from your accident
- Request EMS, hospital, and medical records
- Retain accident reconstruction and medical causation experts
- Take sworn statements from all parties involved in the crash
- Prepare your case for trial before a jury if necessary
A car accident lawyer acts quickly to ensure your claim gets filed within the necessary deadline. Personal injury claims have a statute of limitations, and missing the deadline can prevent you from receiving compensation for your injuries. But with a skilled lawyer in your corner, all documents will get filed within the necessary timeframe.
Speak With an Experienced New York Car Accident Attorney Now
The car accident lawyers at Dansker & Aspromonte Associates have decades of experience in personal injury law and know what measures will promote your case’s success. Our law firm represents claimants involved in collisions throughout the New York City metropolitan area. We can handle your accident, regardless of how it occurred.
Innovative Legal StrategiesEach client that comes to our team gets a managing partner and trial partner dedicated to their case. We put our collective 75 years of experience behind your case to obtain the best possible outcome on your behalf.
Small Firm Dedication & FocusOur firm is different from most firms in our area in that we are a “boutique” type firm that is small enough to give personal attention to our clients and yet experienced and powerful with a reputation as a hard-hitting litigation firm.
Providing Answers & SolutionsOur team is committed to always being able to provide you with updates on your case and answers to your questions. This is your case and we want to be sure you are confident every step of the way.
Proven Record of SuccessDansker & Aspromonte has been advocating for the rights of the injured since 1986. We have the tools, resources, knowledge, and commitment to get you the best possible outcome.