Personal Injury Blog

distracted driving accident

Most of us take for granted the risks and serious responsibilities we take on each and every time we get behind the wheel. Driving is simply what we do day in and day out. That complacency doesn't mean you are inherently a dangerous driver, but maybe we can all use an occasional reminder about the responsibility that comes with driving more than a ton of metal at high speeds.

That said, here are some of the most common causes of traffic accidents.

Speeding

According to U.S. Census data, there were 10,591 traffic fatalities in 2009 that were related to speeding. It heightens the chance for an accident for two main reasons: the driver’s reaction time is shortened and everyone that comes within close proximity of the speeding vehicle has less time to react as well.

You may think that highways are where most speeding fatalities occur, but most actually happen on non-interstate roadways. According to NHTSA data from 2006, 47 percent of speeding deaths happen on roads with a posted speed limit of 50 mph or less. Over 20 percent happened on roads posted at 35 mph or less.

Drunk Driving

in 2012, 10,322 people were killed by drunk drivers. That’s close to a third of all traffic fatalities. In addition to the emotional toll it takes, drunk driving costs the U.S. $132 billion a year.

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personal injury damagesIf you win a settlement in a personal injury case, you’re likely focused on the total sum of the compensation. However, what you are awarded is broken down into different types of damages. There are two broad categories of damages: compensatory and punitive.

Compensatory Damages

What was the victim’s financial, physical, and emotional state before the injury occurred? This is the starting point for the judge or jury in a personal injury case, because their job is to agree upon a sum that will bring that victim as close as possible to the quality of life and financial status they had prior to the incident.

Coming up with the figure for certain damages can be fairly straight forward, while others take deeper contemplation. Compensatory damages can be further broken down into two categories: monetary and non-monetary losses.

Monetary Losses - These losses usually have little ambiguity to them. For instance, what were the medical expenses incurred as a result of the victim’s injuries? Past medical expenses are straightforward, however if there are future expenses that will be incurred after the legal proceedings are done, they will need to be estimated, which will be based on expert testimony.

Additional monetary losses may come in the following forms:

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sleep while driving

There are many people digitally distracted while driving, but simply not being well rested can be just as dangerous.

Falling asleep behind the wheel is more common than you think. According to a new survey from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in 25 drivers in the U.S. have admitted to falling asleep at least once in the previous month.

The demographic or behavioral profile of those who are most at risk for an accident caused by sleep deprivation include:

  • Males under 25 years old
  • Binge drinkers
  • People who don’t wear seat belts
  • People who have sleep problems (sleep apnea, a rising concern associated with obesity)
  • People who get less than five hours of sleep a night

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  • navigation app WazeAccording to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), 3,328 people died on the road due to an act of distracted driving. While we most closely associate texting and talking on the phone as the way drivers are distracted, the DOT has a new target in the war on distracted driving: navigation apps.

    While there may be slight differences in how distracted we are from one action to the next, if we’re doing anything other than keeping our eyes on the road in front of us, it’s a danger.

    There’s good reason for the DOT to be targeting navigation apps, because even though you are clearly distracted if you are driving when holding a cell phone and looking at a map rather than the road, there’s a loophole in the law.

    For example, a California man was recently given a $165 ticket for distracted driving while using a navigation app. He fought it, because in his words "I was not using my phone, I was not texting." He fought the ticket... and won.

    "The reality is that the law didn't cover that so they cited me for the wrong thing," the man said. "Had I been driving dangerously they could have cited me for that. Had I been swerving across lanes, they could have cited me for that. I wasn't doing anything but holding a handheld electronic device."

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    truck drivers insurance

    According to officials from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the number of fatal large-truck crashes has been on the rise the last few years, with 3,921 deaths in 2012.

    The emotional toll that these tragedies take on the friends and families of the victims is incalculable. But a glaring deficiency in the minimum insurance requirements for truck companies can be tallied, and it’s creating additional victims in American taxpayers who have to cover the difference.

    Federal law currently imposes the following minimum insurance requirements:

  • For-hire interstate general freight carriers ($750,000)
  • For-hire private carriers of oil and hazardous materials ($1,000,000)
  • For-hire and private carriers of other hazardous materials ($5,000,000)
  • For-hire passenger carriers of 15 or fewer seats ($1,500,000)
  • For-hire passenger carriers with more than 15 seats ($5,000,000)
  • For-hire general freight carriers of less than 10,0001 pounds ($300,000) However, there are plenty of cases where those minimums don't cut it.

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