Car Accident Lawyers
A car accident lawyer is a type of injury lawyer who specializes in representing clients who have been injured in any kind of motor vehicle accident. They provide legal representation, service and advice to individuals who have been injured by negligent drivers, commercial truck drivers, motorcyclists, boaters, bus operators and more.
The car accident attorneys at Sobo & Sobo have over 50 years of experience winning injury settlements for victims across New York, New Jersey and Chicago, IL. Victims can connect with the legal help they need in a free consultation by calling 855-468-7626, or booking an appointment online.
Common Examples of Driver Negligence That Result in Lawsuits
Some of the most common examples of driver negligence that result in injury lawsuits include:
- Distracted driving: This includes activities such as using a cell phone, eating, grooming, or reading while driving.
- Driving under the influence (DUI): Operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is illegal and considered negligence.
- Reckless driving: This includes behaviors such as excessive speeding, tailgating, and sudden lane changes.
- Failure to signal: Negligence can be established if a driver fails to signal when changing lanes or making a turn.
- Failure to yield: Negligence can be established if a driver fails to yield the right of way to other vehicles, pedestrians or bicycles.
- Ignoring signals and road signs: If a driver disobeys traffic signals, stop signs, or other road signs and causes an accident, they may be held liable for all resulting damages.
Proving Another Driver’s Negligence
To prove another driver’s negligence in a car accident lawsuit, you will need to show that the driver had a duty of care to exercise reasonable caution while driving, that the driver breached that duty, and that the breach of duty caused your injuries and damages. This may require the use of evidence such as witness statements, accident reports, and medical records.
Common Types of Car Accidents
There are many different types of car accidents, each with their own distinct characteristics and causes. Some of the most common types of car accidents include:
- Rear-end collisions: These accidents occur when one vehicle crashes into the back of another vehicle that is stopped or moving slowly. They are often caused by distracted or tailgating drivers.
- Head-on collisions: These accidents happen when two vehicles collide while traveling in opposite directions. They can be caused by drivers who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or who are fatigued or reckless.
- T-bone collisions: Also known as side-impact collisions, these accidents occur when one vehicle strikes the side of another vehicle. They often happen at intersections and can be caused by drivers who run red lights or stop signs.
- Rollover accidents: These accidents happen when a vehicle tips over onto its side or roof. They are more common in SUVs and trucks, and can be caused by factors such as high speeds, sharp turns, or a defect in the vehicle’s design.
- Single-vehicle accidents: These accidents occur when a vehicle collides with an object or barrier, such as a tree or guardrail, without any other vehicles involved. They can be caused by factors such as driver error, poor road conditions, or mechanical failure.
Pedestrian Negligence in Car Accidents
Pedestrians are also subject to traffic laws, and can be considered negligent in a car accident if they fail to obey them. Examples of pedestrian negligence include:
- Jaywalking or crossing the street outside of designated crosswalks
- Ignoring traffic signals or road signs
- Walking or running while distracted (e.g. texting, listening to music, etc.)
- Walking or running under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Failing to look both ways before crossing the street
- Walking or running on busy roads or highways
- Wearing dark clothing at night or in low visibility conditions
- Ignoring construction or detour signs
- Running into the street to chase after a ball or pet
- Walking or running on a closed road or highway
If a pedestrian is found to be at fault for a car accident, they may be held liable for any injuries or damages that resulted from the accident. However, in many cases, even if a pedestrian is found to be partially at fault, the driver of the vehicle may still be held liable for a portion of the damages.
Unique Factors in Car Accident Lawsuits
The legal process for accident claims can vary based on the vehicles involved in the crash. For example, injured parties may have a different legal experiences depending on whether an accident involved cars, motorcycles, commercial trucks, busses and boats in the following ways:
- Statute of Limitations: The statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim may vary depending on the type of vehicle involved in the accident. For example, in New York, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim for a car accident is typically three years from the date of the accident. However, the statute of limitations for filing a bus accident claim can vary depending on whether the bus is operated by a government agency or private company.
- Insurance Requirements: The laws and regulations regarding insurance requirements for different types of vehicles may vary. For example, in New York, cars are subject to the state’s no-fault insurance system, meaning that injured parties must first seek compensation from their own insurance company, regardless of who is at fault. But in Illinois’ at-fault system, the person that is held at least 50% responsible for the accident must pay for the damages of all injured parties.
- Liability: Liability is the legal responsibility for an accident. In a car accident lawsuit, the parties involved would likely be the drivers and passengers of the cars involved. However, in a commercial truck accident lawsuit, the process would involve not only determining fault between the drivers, but also determining whether the company that owns the commercial vehicle or employs the driver is also liable. Also, in a bus accident lawsuit, the process would involve determining fault between the drivers, as well as determining whether the school district or transit bus company is also liable for any injuries or damages.
- Legal Standards: Different types of vehicles may be subject to different legal standards. For example, commercial trucks are subject to federal regulations and state laws, which may impact the legal process. Boating accidents, on the other hand, fall under maritime law, which may differ from state personal injury laws.
- Evidence Collection: The process of evidence collection may vary depending on the type of vehicle involved in the accident. For example, the evidence collection process in a commercial truck accident may involve a more complex investigation process, as the truck’s electronic logging device and maintenance records may be relevant to the case.
Legal Steps After a Car Accident
If you are involved in a car accident, it is important to take the following steps to protect your rights and gather evidence for a potential lawsuit:
- Seek medical attention for any injuries, even if they seem minor.
- Call the police and file a report of the accident.
- Take pictures of the damage to the vehicles and the accident scene.
- Get the contact and insurance information from the other driver(s) involved in the accident.
- Contact a personal injury attorney who can advise you on your rights and guide you through the legal process.
How Accident Attorneys Maximize Settlements
The primary role of a car accident lawyer is to help their clients navigate the legal process and pursue compensation for their injuries and damages. This can include:
- Negotiating with insurance companies
- Representing clients in court
- Maximizing compensation to cover all related damages including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering
- Minimizing fault for an accident on behalf of the victim
- Collecting and organizing witness statements, police reports, medical documents, and all other paperwork requirements
- Filing claims on the victim’s behalf
- Keeping clients up-to-date on their lawsuit’s progress with constant communication
Because of this, hiring help from a car accident attorney is often the best way to maximize the chance of winning settlements with the highest possible values.
Speak with a Car Accident Attorney
The car accident lawyers at Sobo & Sobo have won settlements for injured clients across New York, New Jersey and Chicago, IL for over 50 years. They understand how the physical and mental injuries caused by an accident can be exhausting, let alone the financial toll it can put on victims and their families. Car and auto accident attorneys provide free consultations to all who are interested in discovering the value of their case, and never charge any fees unless the case settles, guaranteed. Call 855-GOT-SOBO or contact them online to schedule your consultation.