Negligent Driving Accident Statistics and Causes: Does Your Claim Deserve a Liability Check?
As attorneys that help victims of car collisions find understanding and peace after their accidents, we take great interest in the habits of drivers. These habits are often exactly the cause of why our clients find themselves in the hospital, or unable to go back to work.
A Look at Current (and Alarming) Traffic Accident Statistics
- Texas alone suffers over 3,000 traffic accident deaths a year.
- Texas DWIs contribute toward more than 1,250 fatal crashes each year.
- Accidents involving speeding kill more than 400 Texans annually.
- Distracted drivers cause over 3,000 deaths every year.
- Of fatal teenage driving accidents, 10 percent of drivers report that they were distracted at the time of the crash.
- Nearly 10,000 people a year die as a result of aggressive driving such as speeding, reckless maneuvering, etc.
These statistics clearly show the consequences of risky driving behavior. Unfortunately, it’s in the best interests of insurance companies to keep you from finding out anything about the dangerous practices of the drivers they represent. In fact, one of the reasons that they offer you a settlement check so quickly is because they don’t want to give you any time to consider that their driver’s actions may have been the reason for the accident.
Identifying Negligent Acts
How seriously and carefully a driver takes his responsibilities is important because his habits—and his actions during the collision—have a direct bearing on how you are compensated for your injuries. It may not have been the random happenings of the universe that caused the accident. It could have been negligence or, even worse, it could have been a repeated offense of negligence.
Negligence is defined as a failure to use reasonable care, resulting in damage or injury to another person or object. The term can refer to a wide range of factors that cause a driver to lose control of his vehicle and cause a collision. In order to identify whether your accident was caused by negligence, you must understand the cause and effect of the following choices drivers make.
- Intoxication. We all know that alcohol and drugs can impair a person’s ability to concentrate and function. As such, the choice that a driver makes to get behind the wheel when he is unfit to drive is considered negligent.
- Distraction. To drive safely, you must be able to keep your entire focus on the traffic around you and the road ahead. Anything that could potentially take that focus away can be considered a distraction (texting, changing radio channels, unwrapping a burger, etc.). By succumbing to that distraction and willfully making the choice to take his focus away from driving duties, a driver is behaving negligently.
- Recklessness. Speeding, swerving in-and-out of traffic, and driving erratically or recklessly is negligent if your actions put other at risk. A driver has a legal duty to act in a prudent, safe manner. Choosing to ignore that responsibility puts the driver at fault for negligence and liable for any consequences that follow.
Combating Negligence With Experience
The negligence law in Texas follows a modified comparative fault system, which includes a 51 percent rule. Although on the surface, proving negligence may seem easy, it can be quite complicated when dealing with a personal injury claim—especially since negligence can be contributed to more than one person (including yourself). Based on this rule, the amount of fault directly coincides with the amount of compensation you can receive (if you’re 10 percent at fault, your compensation will be reduced by 10 percent). With so much at stake, it is in your best interest to discuss your case with an experienced and understanding lawyer.
A seasoned lawyer will utilize all evidence available—a copy of the accident report, statements from witnesses, pictures, additional resources that you may not have easy access to, and many more resources—to decrease any chance of you being blamed for even a fraction of the accident.
When you’re ready to have your questions answered and your rights upheld, contact attorney Steve Lee. He has been providing real help for car accident victims for over three decades and he’s waiting to help you. Call 713-921-4171 or contact Steve Lee for a free case assessment today.
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