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Motor Vehicle Accidents

Motor Vehicle Accidents

Life changing motor vehicle accidents happen nearly every day. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2009, 76,309 people were involved in some form of fatal motor vehicle accident, with 33,808 fatalities occurring. (1)

The effects of these life-altering motor vehicle accidents can be among some of the most traumatic a person and their loved ones may ever experience. In just a fraction of a second, a life can be changed or lost forever.

Types of Motor Vehicle Accidents

It is important to note that motor vehicle accidents are not just limited to an accident in a car or truck. This category encompasses a wide range of vehicles, including, but not limited to:

Poor road conditions

The cause of a motor vehicle accident is not always the driver’s doing. Sometimes, it is possible that poor road design or poor road conditions cause motor vehicle accidents that result in injury or death.

Even if the driver is at fault for the accident, it is important to consider that outside factors may have contributed to the accident. These include:

  • Confusing road signage
  • Roads not designed for inclement weather
  • Lack of appropriate markings and signals or poor signal placement
  • Roads not properly banked or aligned
  • Blind curves in roads before intersections or ramps
  • Lack of visibility due to obstacles or shade
  • And more

Driver error

When a driver makes an error that causes a motor vehicle accident that results in seriously injuring others, it may qualify as grounds for driver error lawsuits. Examples of driver errors include factors like failing to yield, switching lanes without looking and more.

Distracted driving

When a person is distracted while driving, and this leads to a motor vehicle accident that causes serious injuries or death, a distracted driving lawsuit is a legal option. Distracted driving is defined by the official U.S. government website for distracted driving as “any activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving.” These activities may include:

  • Using a cell phone
  • Texting
  • Eating and drinking
  • Talking to passengers
  • Grooming
  • Reading (including maps)
  • Using a navigation system
  • Watching a video
  • Adjusting a radio, CD player or MP3 player

Text messaging while driving is considered the most serious form of distracted driving because it requires visual, manual and cognitive attention focused away from the act of driving. All forms of distracted driving endanger the driver, any passengers, bystanders and nearby drivers.

Traffic violations

Breaking a traffic law while driving can lead to serious motor vehicle accidents that injure passengers, other drivers or bystanders. Common types of traffic laws violations that can result in an accident include:

  • Entering and leaving roadways
  • Observing right of ways at intersections
  • Obeying traffic signs and signals
  • Reckless driving
  • Speeding
  • Illegal lane changes
  • Illegal U-turns
  • Using signals when changing lanes
  • And more

Traffic laws are put into place to help keep drivers, passengers and bystanders safe. When traffic laws are violated, they can lead to motor vehicle accidents involving injuries or even death. When this happens, the person who committed the traffic violation may be held liable for damages through a traffic violation lawsuit.

Intoxicated driving

Every 48 minutes, someone dies in a motor vehicle accident that involves an alcohol-impaired driver, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Intoxicated driving, also called impaired driving and drunk driving, accounts for almost 31 percent of all traffic-related deaths across the country. This makes driving while intoxicated a major issue in the United States.

Those who have been injured by intoxicated driving may be eligible for intoxicated driving lawsuits.

Boating accidents

The owner, captain or operator of a motorboat, sailboat, luxury cruise liner, charter ship or maritime vessel is responsible for the welfare and safety of those aboard the craft. When a boating accident occurs, serious injury is often a direct result, with the life and physical well-being of everyone involved being placed at risk.

Boating accident lawsuits can cover a broad range of incidents, including:

  • Disappearance of a passenger or member of crew
  • Wrongful death
  • Physical damage, beyond that of minor first aid
  • Excessive property damage

Airplane accidents

No matter how rare they may be, airplane accidents do occur and can cause serious injury. Among survivors injured in airplane accidents, or the loved ones of someone killed in an aviation accident, airplane accident lawsuits can be sought to identify those responsible and hold them accountable for injuries or wrongful deaths.

When an airplane crashes, negligence usually falls into the hands of someone. An airplane accident lawsuit can help determine who that someone might be.

Common reasons for airplane crashes include:

  • Defective equipment
  • Pilot error
  • Errors made by air traffic controllers
  • Defective airplane design
  • Structural problems with the airplane
  • Fuel problems
  • Faulty maintenance or repairs of the plane

Manufacturing defects

When a motor vehicle is manufactured improperly, it can result in accidents or malfunctioning that can lead to serious injury. Through motor vehicle manufacturing defect lawsuits, the manufacturer at fault is held accountable for the injury acquired by an innocent individual.

Bus accidents

As stated by the Federal Motor Vehicle of Safety Standards, a bus can be defined as a vehicle capable of carrying more than ten passengers. This definition can cover a wide array of vehicle types, including school buses, large vans, airport shuttles and public transport vehicles. There is also no one set of rules and regulations that governs bus accidents. Instead, liability can vary on a local and state level.

Because of the number of regulations involved in defining a bus and a bus accident, determining liability can become a complex task. Fault may be attributed to a wide range of parties, including:

  • Bus company
  • Maintenance company
  • Governing body (e.g. local government, school district)
  • Bus driver
  • Driver of other vehicles
  • Manufacturer

1 http://www.census.gov/library/publications/2011/compendia/statab/131ed/transportation.html

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