Traffic accidents injure millions of people each year and kill thousands. Weather, distracted or drunk driving, vehicle malfunctions and driver error account for the large majority of accidents. If you or someone you know has been injured in a vehicle accident that was caused by another driver’s fault, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit. If the accident involved a truck, you may need help from a truck accident lawyer, since there are special rules and considerations that come into play.
Drunk and distracted drivers cause accidents
Each year, thousands of people are killed and millions injured in automobile accidents. In 2013 alone, 21,132 people riding in passenger vehicles were killed and around 2.05 million were injured. Very often, the accidents are caused by drunk and distracted driving. Of the total accidents in 2013, 3,154 deaths and about 424,000 injuries were caused by distracted drivers.
Distracted and drunk driving is a major problem in the U.S. and at any given moment there are as many as 660,000 drivers using cell phones or other electronic devices. The use of phones and other portable devices, which necessitate visual-manual subtasks like reaching for a phone, dialing and texting, are shown to increase the risk of accidents threefold.
Drunk driving injures one person every two minutes due to a drunk driving accident. There are an estimated 300,000 drunk driving incidents each day, but fewer than 4,000 arrests. Clearly, law enforcement cannot keep up with the scale of the problem, and it is estimated that on average, a drunk driver has driven under the influence around 80 times before being arrested for the first time.
Do I need a lawyer after a car accident?
If you plan to file a personal injury claim, the answer is yes, you’re better off with a personal injury attorney on your side. Since the laws governing personal injury cases are so complicated, you stand a better chance of winning your claim if you have a personal injury attorney representing you. As many as 95-96% of all personal injury claims are settled without the case going to trial. Letting lawyers negotiate your personal injury settlement for you ensures that you will receive the maximum compensation due to you.
You should be aware that there are time limits, known as “Statutes of limitations”, within which you can file a “civil” lawsuit, such as a personal injury lawsuit. In Tennessee, the statute of limitations is one year for personal injury cases and wrongful death cases, and claims have to be filed within that time period.
Special considerations when you need a truck accident lawyer
If your accident involved a commercial vehicle, it’s important have a truck accident lawyer help you file your personal injury claim. Truck accidents are like car accidents but there are many more issues involved. The trucking industry is covered by federal regulations on the maintenance and operation of trucks, and this information is relevant to your case.
Your truck accident lawyer will be able to access information about the truck and driver, including that contained in the truck’s “black box”.
Like the black boxes on airplanes, truck black boxes record the vehicle’s actions such as speed and direction, which may have played a role in the accident. A truck accident lawyer will also be able to determine the liability of the company as well as the driver, in calculating the compensation due to you.
In all cases of personal injury, including those that involved a commercial vehicle like a truck, time is of the essence. The claim must be filed before the statute of limitations kicks in. When you are busy dealing with so much else – medical care, insurance, the state of your vehicle – having a good truck accident lawyer to help you file your claim can make all the difference.