Despite the fact that cars are generally safer than they once were, traffic accidents, injuries, and deaths are on the rise. In 2021, an estimated 42,915 people were killed in car accidents nationwide – up more than 10 percent from the year prior.
If you’ve recently been injured or lost a close family member in a car accident, it’s important to understand your legal rights and options. You may be entitled to compensation, and enlisting the help of the experienced car accident lawyers at Bailey Glasser, LLP can help you maximize your financial recovery.
Since 1999, Bailey Glasser, LLP has been a fierce advocate for crash victims and grieving families across the nation. Our award-winning trial attorneys strive to make a genuine difference in the lives of the people we represent, and our results are a testament to that. We’ve secured millions in compensation while going up against powerful insurance companies, corporations, and negligent motorists.
We have law offices conveniently located in 14 states and Washington, D.C., to provide the legal assistance you need during this incredibly difficult time. Contact us today to get started by setting a time for your free consultation.
Leading Causes of Car Accidents
In theory, most car accidents are avoidable. Vehicles are designed to be safe. Everyone on the road – from motorists to bicyclists to pedestrians – share a responsibility to use caution and obey local traffic laws.
Unfortunately, all it takes is one simple misstep or error to cause a serious, potentially deadly car accident.
Common contributing factors include:
- Texting and driving
- Distracted driving
- Drunk driving
- Drowsy driving
- Failing to yield the right of way
- Merging errors
- Unsafe lane changes
- Illegal turns
- Running red lights and stop signs
- Negligent vehicle maintenance
- Road defects
In some cases, factors like vehicle defects, bad road and weather conditions, limited visibility, and road construction can contribute to or cause auto accidents.
Our personal injury attorneys will launch a thorough investigation into your car accident. We’ll carefully examine the specific details of the scene, crash, and evidence to uncover why the collision happened, how it could have been avoided, and, in turn, who is liable for the wreck.
Understanding Liability for a Car Accident
Ultimately, negligence – or a failure to use reasonable care – is the leading cause of wrecks nationwide. Anyone whose negligence contributes to a car accident – directly or indirectly – can be liable for resulting damages.
Depending on the specific circumstances of your crash, potentially liable parties might include or more of the following:
- Drivers of passenger vehicles
- Truck drivers
- Bus drivers
- Uber and Lyft drivers
- Employers of negligent parties
- Vehicle manufacturers
- Property owners
- Government agencies responsible for road design, maintenance, and repair
If you can prove that someone owed you a duty of care, breached it in some way, and that their actions (or inaction) caused you to get hurt, you may be able to hold them financially accountable for your car accident injuries.
Comparative Negligence and Shared Fault
What happens if you’re getting blamed for the crash or contributed to the wreck in some way? Can you still recover compensation?
The answer is: it depends.
It depends on where you live and how your state handles contributory fault. States adopt one of three systems: contributory fault, pure comparative fault, or modified comparative fault.
- Contributory negligence: shared responsibility is an automatic bar to third party damages
- Pure comparative negligence: damages are reduced in direct proportion to fault
- Modified comparative negligence: damages are reduced in direct proportion to fault up to a set limit (typically 50 or 51 percent liability)
For instance, let’s say you’re involved in a car accident and are assigned 60 percent fault for the crash. Under contributory negligence rules, you are not entitled to compensation because you are partly to blame for the accident. Under pure comparative fault rules, you can recover compensation, but your damages will be reduced by 60 percent. Under modified comparative fault rules, you cannot recover compensation because your liability exceeds the set threshold (50 percent or 51 percent, depending on your state).
Victim-blaming tactics are all too common in car accident cases. After all, if an insurance company or negligent party can shift blame to you, they can limit how much (if any) money they’ll have to pay for your injuries.
When you choose Bailey Glasser, LLP, our car accident attorneys will anticipate these tactics and work to limit their effectiveness. We’ll demand hard proof of the allegations and work to uncover evidence of our own to show that others – not you – are at fault.
Damages Available to Car Accident Victims
Compensatory damages are traditionally available to plaintiffs in a car accident case.
This can include compensation for financial costs and losses (known as economic or pecuniary damages) and hard-to-value life changes and trauma (known as non-economic or non-pecuniary damages).
Commonly awarded damages include compensation for:
- Present and future medical bills
- Rehabilitation and therapy
- Property damage
- Personal care assistance
- Lost wages
- Lost job benefits and opportunities
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Post-traumatic stress disorder/vehophobia
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life
In some cases, punitive damages may also be appropriate. However, generally speaking, a jury must be able to find by clear and convincing evidence that a defendant acted with malice, intent, or gross negligence.
Our car accident attorneys will work closely with experts and specialists throughout the claims process – particularly when it comes to determining what your car accident case is worth. They can provide insight into the more technical aspects of your situation, which can help us appreciate how the crash has affected (and will continue to impact) your life. In turn, we can work toward a meaningful financial recovery that helps to make your life easier for years to come.
Common Car Accident Injuries
At Bailey Glasser, LLP, we represent clients who have suffered:
- Broken bones
- Soft tissue damage
- Nerve damage
- Eye injury
- Vision or hearing loss
- Dental injury
- Joint injury
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Back injury
- Neck injury
- Burn injury
- Catastrophic injury
- Crushing injury
- Wrongful death of a family member
Seeking medical attention is critical after you’ve been in a car wreck. Not only will this help to reduce the risk of complications and death, but it’ll also create a record of your injuries. This can help to establish an important causal link between the crash and your injuries when you go to pursue compensation.
You Have a Limited Time to File a Car Accident Lawsuit
While state laws vary, one thing is certain: you will have a limited time to pursue compensation after your car accident. The statute of limitations that applies to your case will depend on the state where you live, but will typically be between one and six years.
Once the statute of limitations expires, you will forfeit the opportunity to demand financial accountability for the consequences of your crash.
Call the Trusted Car Accident Attorneys at Bailey Glasser, LLP for Help
You’re more likely to win your car accident lawsuit when you hire an attorney. You’re also more likely to walk away with more money – up to 3.5 times as much as if you handle your case on your own.
However, your choice of car accident attorney is critically important. You deserve to work with an experienced car accident lawyer that genuinely cares about the work they do.
For this reason, Bailey Glasser, LLP should be your first call after your car accident. We’re dedicated advocates for crash victims and their families who take the time to make sure that each client gets the time and attention they deserve. Our client-centric approach to litigation has helped us create meaningful relationships and win millions of dollars for the people we represent in the process.
Call our law firm – with 19 law offices located nationwide – to discuss the details of your car accident case. We offer a free confidential case evaluation, so reach out to a member of our team today.