A traffic accident is defined as a collision involving one or more vehicles. It can also involve other “moving objects,” such as a pedestrian or cyclist. Fixed objects, such as a tree, a wall, or a parked vehicle, can play a role as well.
Defining Common Road Vehicle Accident Types
While any collision between a motor vehicle and a person or object can constitute a traffic accident, they often fall into a few common categories based on their characteristics. The following are examples of different collision categories:
- A collision involving a motor vehicle in transport: These accidents are both a collision and a motor vehicle accident. When these traffic accidents occur, the first harmful event is the vehicle colliding with one or more vehicles while in transport, including a passenger vehicle, truck, or motorcycle.
Within this category, there are many subcategories as well, including:
- Head-on collisions
- Side-impact or T-bone collisions
- A collision involving a fixed object: Collisions involving a fixed object means the first harmful event occurred when the vehicle in transport struck a fixed object, including bridge railings, embedded rocks, guardrails, and utility poles.
- A collision involving a parked vehicle: When a parked vehicle is involved in an accident, that means the first harmful event is when one vehicle strikes another that is not in transport. Depending on where the collision occurs, this type of accident can fall into the subcategories listed above, as well.
- A collision involving a pedestrian: This can happen in a parking lot, on a sidewalk, at a crosswalk, or elsewhere in the street.
- A collision involving a bicyclist: Bikes and cars often have to share the road, especially in cities that utilize bike lanes and prohibit the use of bicycles on the sidewalk. This proximity can make traffic collisions involving bicyclists more common.
Risks Associated With Traffic Accidents
Beyond researching what the definition of a traffic accident is, reading statistics can illustrate how dangerous and devastating these collisions can be—and thus the importance of preventing them. There are many risks associated with being involved in one, including severe injury and death. The severity of a vehicle accident and the resulting injuries can depend on the presence of certain factors, such as:
- Driver distraction
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), during 2018, there were 36,560 driver fatalities throughout the country. Of those deaths, speeding killed 9,378 individuals that year.
An additional 10,511 and 2,841 of these fatalities involved drunk driving and driver distraction, respectively. Records from the National Safety Council (NSC) states that, during 2019, there were 39,107 motor vehicle-related fatalities.
These three factors remained significant contributors. The most important thing to note about distraction, intoxication, and speeding is that they can all help support a personal injury case. Drivers who commit these acts are often liable when collisions occur, meaning you could hold them accountable for your or your loved one’s injuries.
Recoverable Damages for a Traffic Accident
If another driver caused you or your loved one to suffer injuries due to their negligence, you may qualify to file a claim or lawsuit against them for compensation.
Our hard-working firm fights hard on your behalf to ensure you receive past and future economic losses. The following is a list of potentially recoverable damages you might receive:
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Ongoing care costs
- Prescription medicine
- Loss of wages or employment
- Medical bills
- Physical and emotional therapy
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent disabilities
Time Limits for Filing a Traffic Accident Lawsuit
Failure to file a lawsuit within the time frame you have—which varies depending on your state—prevents attorneys from taking your case to court. It is important to know your state’s statute of limitations for personal injury and wrongful death cases in traffic accident situations. It is not uncommon for these deadlines to slip through the cracks.
A few years may seem like a long time to begin this process, but it takes a while to build a strong, compelling case, so do not delay in seeking legal help. An attorney from our team will work diligently on your behalf to ensure evidence is collected and preserved before it disappears.
Steps to Follow After a Traffic Accident
There are specific steps you can follow after a traffic accident to help protect your rights and maximize your compensation. Despite the safety technologies that are in place to help protect motorists during a collision, millions of Americans are injured on the country’s roads. If you are involved in a traffic accident, we recommend you follow these steps:
- Stop your vehicle immediately, check for injuries, and call 911 for help.
- Preserve all evidence from the scene of the accident. Take pictures of the scene and property damage.
- Wait for law enforcement and first responders to arrive.
- Exchange information with eyewitnesses.
- Report the incident with your insurance company.
- Consider retaining an attorney.
Let Our Traffic Accident Team Help You Recover Compensation
Our team of traffic accident lawyers understands personal injury laws, regulations, filing procedures, and recoverable damages. We handle cases involving:
- Car malfunction or defect
- Driver error
- Drunk driving accidents
- Highway defects
- Reckless or aggressive driving
- Pedestrian accidents
Since you might be facing several of these scenarios, or a multitude of other situations, we are here to sort out all of the details of your traffic accident. We work hard to determine who is at fault by examining if your case involves:
- Driving while intoxicated
- Making illegal maneuvers
- Texting or talking while driving
- Operating a vehicle with other distractions
Contact Our Firm Today for Your Free Case Review
If you were involved in a traffic accident, we are available to help you build a case to recover compensation that you are entitled to from the at-fault party. You should not have to pay for treatment for injuries someone else caused. The defendant(s) are responsible for that. Call Morelli Law Firm to review your case today.