Who Will Protect Your Rights After A Car Accident?
Automobile accidents in Ohio and other states lead to a significant percentage of personal injury and wrongful death claims that injured victims or surviving families of deceased car accident victims file in the civil courts across the United States every year. In fact, records of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicate that police nationwide reported over 5,000,000 car accidents in 2014.
If you were involved in an automobile accident, the value of your civil claim would depend on the severity of the injuries and the amount of damage caused. Crashes range between bumper bashings or fender benders to multi-vehicle pileups that can cause multiple fatalities. A medical evaluation is vital, even after a minor accident because soft tissue injuries could have long-term consequences.
Police reports, witnesses, and the traffic laws of your state will help you to establish negligence on the part of another driver, and medical records can justify your claims. For a successfully presented personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit, you will have to show that another party failed to take due care and that negligence led to the unfortunate crash. Also, in some crashes, the manufacturer of the vehicle or government entities can be held liable for damages.
Negligent drivers come in many different forms
Some of the causes of crashes that typically lead to the filing of civil lawsuits include the following:
- Failure to obey traffic signals or signs;
- Disregarding prevailing weather conditions;
- Failure to consider traffic conditions;
- Driving too slow;
- Exceeding the speed limit;
- Driving while impaired by drugs, alcohol or medication;
- Failure to indicate intention to turn or change lanes;
- Reckless driving;
- Passing in the emergency lane, median or shoulder; and
- Distractions such as use of mobile devices and more.
When could a manufacturer be at fault for an incident?
If a mechanical or another defect in your vehicle caused the crash, the manufacturer and/or supplier could be held responsible for your damages. Such cases usually lead to product liability lawsuits rather than personal injury claims. If there is sufficient proof of a defect, the manufacturer will be liable for damages even without proved negligence.
What about the liability of government entities?
The following circumstances can lead to a government entity facing civil charges after a motor vehicle accident:
- Poorly maintained roads;
- Poorly designed roads;
- Malfunctioning or faulty traffic signals;
- Poorly positioned construction obstacles; and
- Insufficient lighting.
Rules for filing personal injury claims against government entities vary between different states, and proper legal advice is critical.
Regardless of the type of claim, you may be filing, in the aftermath of such an unfortunate event, you most likely need legal assistance. The support and guidance of a Cleveland attorney who is experienced in pursuing recovery of medical expenses and emotional losses sustained in car accidents can mean the difference between winning or losing compensation. In addition to navigating the lawsuit, a seasoned lawyer can assist with establishing negligence where necessary, identifies all of the potentially responsible parties, and documenting claims to file with the court.