Most people do not contact a lawyer if they unfortunately have been in a car accident. More importantly many people do not believe they need a car accidents lawyer because they have accident coverage through their own car insurance. The truth of the matter is anytime you are injured in a car accident caused by someone else you have the right to receive legal representation to help recover fair compensation for lost wages, pain and suffering, medical bills and more.
Common Car Accident Misconceptions
- If you have car insurance the insurance company will handle everything and get you the best possible outcome – Insurance companies always act in their best interests, not yours. Yes, you may receive a check for an amount that you believe is fair, but in reality “fair” is subjective and having a professional that has experience dealing with auto insurance companies is the only way to ensure you get the “most” you are able to receive for your particular case.
- With all your current financial obligations in life (rent/mortgage, gas, insurance, childcare, groceries etc.) you are not able to afford a car accident lawyer – Collier & Collier, your Richmond Virginia car accident lawyers, work on a contingency fee basis. This means that you only pay fees based on your settlement. Please keep in mind that once you contact Collier & Collier our best interest is directly aligned with your best interests. When thinking about the costs of hiring a car accident lawyer like Collier & Collier the costs of not using an attorney can outweigh the costs of using one, especially when you consider the settlement amount that could exceed what the auto insurance companies are willing to pay.
- It’s not worth the time of going to court and dealing with all of the paperwork and phone calls – Here at Collier & Collier we want to make sure we get you the highest possible settlement amount from the auto insurance companies while causing the least amount of impact in your daily life. This means we will attend court on your behalf when necessary. Also, if you are left high and dry by the auto insurance company in regards to repairs on your vehicle or rental coverage, our car accident lawyers help with that. Click here for a free consultation.
- You can hire a car accident lawyer later if need be – Many people think that if they are unhappy with the outcome of their case with the insurance company, they can then go to a car accident lawyer and find resolution there. Please keep in mind the goal of the insurance company is to process your claim as quickly as possible by offering an amount that we find inadequate. The insurance company does not want you to know that you can hire a car accident lawyer to negotiate the settlement. The fact of the matter is the sooner you contact us after the car accident the stronger your case and more leverage we have.
- The insurance company is going to make sure I get the best possible outcome – When you watch auto insurance commercials everyone is smiling and everyone seems happy, especially the people who filed the claim. When you submit your claim, the representatives may seem overly nice and try to handle your claim as fast as possible so you do not negotiate the outcome. In reality insurance is a business. Auto insurance companies collect money from their insureds and the difference between their collected monthly premiums and the claims they pay out is profit. With this knowledge, how can you blindly trust them to give you the maximum settlement amount without legal representation? Click here for a few highlights of settlements we received not only for car accident related cases but other cases as well.
Types of Car Accidents we Handle
There are many types of car accidents that we have successfully handled in the past including but not limited to:
- Car Accidents
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Truck accidents
- Drunk driving
- Texting while driving
- Failed vehicle systems
- Pedestrian related car accident
- Rush hour fender-benders
- Running red lights
- Failure to yield
- Much more!
What to do if you are in car accidents
In order to ensure your safety and the make sure you have all the information we need to handle your case we recommend taking the following steps:
- Call the police – In our experience the police report is vital in properly handling your case with the insurance company. A lot of the pertinent information we need for your case will come from the police report including details of how the car accident occurred, whether a ticket was issued to the other driver or not, the insurance information for the other driver, etc.
- Get the medical attention you need.
- Take Pictures & Document – Now days virtually everyone has a cell phone with camera functionality. Taking pictures of the accident, surrounding area, other vehicles/people involved will only help your case in the long run. Also, writing down the contact information of any witnesses and people involved including license plate numbers, insurance companies and driver’s license numbers is essential to our office obtaining a complete understanding of the accident.
- Contact Collier & Collier, Your Richmond Virginia Car Accident Lawyers – Be sure to contact our office in order for us to handle your case and contact the insurance company on your behalf. Contacting your car accident lawyer prior to filing your claim goes against what you see in the insurance commercials, but this is the approach you need to take. Having professional legal representation during your claim is crucial to achieving the best possible result.
What Is the Most Common Cause of Car Accidents?
Learn about what is the most common cause of collisions (and several of the next most common). On top of that, we’ll teach you how to be a safer driver to boot!
Every year, there are an estimated six million car accidents in the United States. Although there are many things that can result in a car accident, there are just a few causes that make up the majority of collisions. While most collisions don’t result in anything too severe, thousands of people die every year in more serious ones. Unfortunately, even if you’re an extremely cautious and alert driver, you still can’t 100% protect yourself from any potential accident.
By learning what is the most common cause of collisions, however, you could know what to look out for so that you minimize your chances of getting into an accident. Interested in learning more? Continue reading and we’ll walk you through everything you need to know.
1. Distracted Driving
Distracted driving is the most common cause of car accidents in the United States. That’s because so many different activities can cause you to become distracted while driving. And it seems that as time goes on, drivers are only getting distracted more easily. Texting while driving is a major reason for distracted driving. But distracted driving was a problem long before cell phones were around. This is why it’s so important that drivers know what can cause distracted driving.
Common activities that lead to distracted driving is reaching for objects, interacting with passengers in the car, and being in an extreme emotional state (such as crying or even laughing too hard). Teenagers are also especially prone to distracted driving. Fatigue, reading or writing, and using touchscreens are also all common reasons for distracted driving.
Manual-visual tasks, which are tasks that require you to look away from the road for an extended period of time, are most likely to be the cause of a distracted driving collision.
Let’s look at some of the other most common causes of car accidents.
2. Impaired Driving
Over 10,000 people died because of impaired driving in 2016. That’s almost one-third of all driving-related deaths. Although the majority of impaired driving accidents are caused by alcohol, various prescription and recreational drugs also lead to many collisions and fatalities.
Across the United States, a driver is considered to be driving under the influence if their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is over .08%. If you’re younger than 21 years old, then it’s illegal to be driving with any alcohol in your system.
With that said, you shouldn’t ever assume that you’re totally fine just because you’re within the legal limit. Even drinking a small amount of alcohol can impair your ability to drive safely.
If you have a BAC of just .02, you’ll start to experience trouble performing several tasks at once. Your visual functioning will also decline. Also, you’ll start to feel overly relaxed and your judgment will be impaired.
After your BAC hits .05, reaction time, information processing, and eye movement will all slow down. You’ll also have difficulty steering and will be less coordinated. When your BAC reaches .08, your reasoning and perception will become extremely impaired. Also, your reaction time and vision will become poor and you won’t be able to have full control over how fast your vehicle is going.
It can be difficult to determine how much alcohol will put you over the legal limit. Factors such as body type, weight, food intake, and gender can all affect how powerfully and quickly alcohol affects you. If you ever find yourself trying to decide how many drinks you can have while still being able to drive legally, the best and safest answer would be zero.
How to Reduce the Risk of Drunk Driving
Don’t ever rely on your ability to make important or smart decisions while you’re intoxicated. This is why you should plan ahead so that you can eliminate the possibility of driving while there is alcohol in your system. Having a designated driver who will make sure that they won’t drink on the night you go out is one of the most popular methods. Don’t ever assume that someone’s going to volunteer. Instead, everyone should be clear on whose responsibility it is.
If you’re going out by yourself or you don’t have a ride home, then you want to make ride arrangements beforehand. Or you can make sure that you have your phone with you so that you can use a ridesharing app. If you end up hosting a party, then make sure that there are non-alcoholic drinks available. You also want to keep an eye on your own alcohol consumption so that you can help the guests make intelligent decisions. When you act responsibly, you’ll be setting an example of how to have a good time while not drinking excessively or not drinking any alcohol at all.
You also want you and your friends to hold each other accountable. If you go out with friends, coworkers, or family members, you want to make sure that everyone in the group is on the same page about holding each other accountable. All of you should be encouraging each other to drink water in between alcoholic beverages. You also want to make sure that nobody who is impaired will be driving.
Another major cause of traffic accidents is speeding. And when the driver is speeding and they also have alcohol in their system, the chances of them getting into a serious accident are greatly increased. Unfortunately, we don’t treat speeding with the same social stigma that we treat distracted driving and drunk driving.
There are various reasons for why speeding is so dangerous. First off, the faster you drive, the greater the time and distance you’re going to need in order to stop your car. So if you’re speeding and see a stopped car in front of your or an object in the road, you might not have enough time or space to safely stop. Also, high-speed accidents usually result in severe injuries. This is because you’re more likely to get whiplash when you’re involved in a high-speed collision.
Whiplash is when your head snaps back and forth after a sudden crash or stop. This causes your brain to hit against your skull. Whiplash can also lead to neck and spinal injuries. Aside from whiplash, you also might end up hitting your head on the steering wheel or some other hard surface. At extremely fast speeds, the crash can be so powerful that it can cause immediate brain damage or even death.
Of the six million car accidents that occur every year, one million of those are due to inclement weather. Although the majority of people believe that it’s conditions like fog, ice, and snow that are most likely to cause an accident, rain is the real culprit that people should be worried about. Nearly 50% of weather-related accidents happen while it’s raining outside and over 70% of weather-related accidents occur on wet pavement.
There a few reasons why rain is so dangerous. First, drivers tend to not exercise the same amount of caution with rain as they do with snow and fog. Second, rain can greatly reduce your visibility. And third, wet pavement can lead to a loss of traction on the road, thus making it difficult or even impossible for you to stop your car. This is known as hydroplaning.
5. Driving at Night
When driving at night, you’re presented with obstacles and risks that you don’t have to worry about when you’re driving in the day. In general, our eyes are not good with depth perception at night. Our ability to distinguish color is diminished, as is our peripheral vision. Because our vision makes up most of our reaction while driving, our ability to respond effectively to hazards on the road is decreased greatly when driving at night.
Even if you have your brights on, your visibility is going to be limited to about 400 feet in front of you. With your regular headlights on, it’s usually 250 feet or less. This all means that you’re not going to have as much time to react. You also have to be especially careful when driving near trucks.
The Importance of Knowing What Is the Most Common Cause of Collisions
By knowing what is the most common cause of collisions, you can better protect yourself and your passengers by practicing good driving habits. Just make sure to keep your eyes on the road and stay alert. And remember that you shouldn’t just be worried about your driving but the
driving of everyone around you too. If you do end up in a car accident, it’s important that you contact an experienced attorney who can help you win the damages that you deserve. Contact us today at Collier and Collier and see what we can do for you!