Unfortunately, many people are injured every year in car accidents caused by negligent driving. If you, or a loved one, has been injured in just such an accident, you need to know your rights.
Every state defines within its laws what exactly negligence means. However, a simple definition is: When a person fails to do something he or she should have done. In the context of car accidents that usually means the driver failed to prevent an accident that should have been preventable.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
Attorneys look for certain indicators of negligence. If you know any of these signs were present before or after your accident, make sure you get legal advice.
- Excessive speed. There are speed limits and these limits are posted for a reason. Road conditions mean that only some speeds are safe. If the other driver was driving too fast then he or she may not have allowed themselves sufficient reaction time to avoid an accident.
- Road rage. Tailgating, cutting off drivers, yelling at drivers and other hostile actions are clear indicators of a driver who is not only NOT paying attention to the road and dangers, but may actively be causing dangers himself/herself.
- Distracted drivers. We all know the dangers of texting while driving. But there are other distractions that can be just as dangerous: talking on the phone, setting GPS, eating, looking for items in the glove box or on the floor, talking with passengers, eating or anything else that causes you to divide your attention. I was almost T-boned once by a driver who had a whole newspaper spread out across the steering wheel.
- Intoxication. Drinking and driving certainly do not mix. Drugs and driving do not mix. But some people may not be aware, or may ignore, that prescriptions and driving often do not mix. Until you know how your medications effect you, do not drive. If they ever cause you symptoms such as lethargy or distractedness, then for driving purposes, assume they always cause such symptoms.
- Faulty equipment. If you know your vehicle has faulty equipment, such as bad brakes, you could be negligent in choosing to drive it. You could be negligent if you drive a vehicle without first ensuring that it is safe to drive. So, always keep your vehicles well maintained.
Hopefully you and your loved ones will never be in an accident. This information should help you to avoid being a danger to others and help you be a better defensive driver when others are causing driving hazards. And if you are ever in a wreck, look for the above signs that the other driver was being negligent and let you attorney know.