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Auto Accident Lawsuit
Auto accidents are quite common on the roads of the United States. In fact, motor accidents are a common cause of property damage, injuries, and even death. In the country alone, more than 40,000 people die each year in motor accidents. Spinal cord injury and brain damage are the most common auto accident injuries.
Anybody involved in a car accident is entitled to receiving compensation for the injuries and damage to vehicle if the other party is at fault. In most cases, compensation involves payment of medical bills, lost wages, and other damages, including pain and suffering. Either the insurer or the guilty party is liable to pay the compensation, depending on the circumstances of the incident, degree or extent of injury, degree of fault of the responsible party, amount of damages, and the state’s laws on negligence.
One can file an auto accident lawsuit on a number of grounds. One can sue the culprit and seek punitive damages, medication cost, loss of earning, and other compensation when he becomes a victim of motorcycle accidents, bus accidents, bicycle accidents, hit-and-run accidents, pedestrian accident, and tractor trailer accidents and crashes. The definition of accident under auto lawsuits includes rear end collisions, rollover accidents, intersection accidents, crashes, alcohol and drug-related accidents, work-related motor accidents, and drunk-driving crashes.
Grounds for Filing Auto Accident Lawsuits
If you are a victim of auto accident, you can file lawsuits claiming damages on the following grounds.
Motorist Negligence: The driver is liable to compensate the victim for causing auto accidents or injury because of his negligence, distraction, or inattention.
Speeding: When an auto accident occurs due to over speeding, the victim is at liberty to take the driver to court.
DUI Accidents: Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol impairs the ability to drive properly and can cause accidents. While the state laws prescribe punishments for drunken driving, injured victims can seek damages from inebriated drivers by filing auto accident lawsuits.
Reckless Driving: A driver is expected to respect the rights and safety of pedestrians and other motorists on the road. He is liable to be punished and pay for damages if his rash driving causes injury to others. Accidents due to improper lane changing or ignoring of traffic signals by a driver also make it to the list of wrongdoings covered under auto accident lawsuits
Road Rage: Violence on the road and resulted injury make one liable to be punished and pay compensation to the other party.
Poor Conditions: There are numerous pieces of evidence when motorists have been awarded compensation for injury caused due to poor road conditions or traffic congestion.
If you are living in a state that has adopted 50 percent bar standard, you are entitled to compensation if you are less than 50 percent at fault. If a person injured in an auto accident dies, their family members can file a wrongful death lawsuit against the guilty party and seek compensation for the loss and damages.
Recoverable Damages in Auto Accident Lawsuit
Auto accident lawsuits may be filed for economic damages, including medical expenses, loss of wages, unable to work, and noneconomic damages, such as physical and emotional pain. Victims can seek compensations for:
Punitive Damages: Punitive damages are designed to punish the defendant for showing lack of care. This is to deter the defendant from showing the same conduct and committing the same act again. Courts usually award punitive damages in the case of excessive speed, driver incompetence, intoxication, violation of traffic laws, and vehicle's poor condition.
Comparative Fault: The jury will determine your percentage of fault and recovery, depending on the state law. If the injured person is partially at fault, their recovery of damages is reduced, citing contributory negligence under the rule of comparative negligence.
Medication Cost: Victims have the right to be compensated for money spent on treatment necessitated due to auto accidents.
Loss of Income: One can file an auto accident lawsuit seeking compensation for loss of income and job during the injury or treatment period.
Auto Repairing Costs: The guilty can be directed by the court to pay to the victim for costs incurred on the repairing of his damaged vehicle.
Well-Known Auto Accident Lawsuits
In August 2011, wife of crash victim Gilles J. Dugas of Ontario filed a personal injury lawsuit against trucker Ness and owners of his rig, seeking unspecified financial damages for her loss and pain. The plaintiff accused the defendant of careless driving and speeding that caused a horrific tractor-trailer collision, which crushed and killed her husband on Interstate Highway 81 near Carlisle in 2009. The trial is scheduled for January.
In December 2010, Toyota settled to pay $10 million to the family of victims of an accident. The lawsuit claims that when the victims’ car reached a speed of over 120 mph, it struck an SUV, rolled down an embankment, and caught fire. The lawsuit claimed that the crash was due to the trapping of the accelerator by the floor mat – the same had also been acknowledged by the investigators.
In 2010, parents of a teenager killed in a school bus crash and those injured during the incident filed civil lawsuits against the driver of the bus that crashed into another vehicle in January 2010 and plunged down the embankment. The lawsuits also name Autumn Transportation and Specialty Transportation, which own the bus. The plaintiffs allege that the defendant, who was talking over a phone when the bus hit another vehicle, might have been fatigued on the fateful day.
In 2009, family of a woman killed when her vehicle was struck by a truck driven by an employee of W.A. Botting Company. The lawsuit claimed that the defendant fell asleep at the wheel and hit the deceased’s vehicle. The plaintiff agreed for a settlement of $4 million with W.A. Botting Company.
In 2009, the City of Philadelphia agreed to a settlement of $2.2 million to the family of a man who was killed by a speeding police car while walking on a sidewalk. The accident also led to the death of the deceased’s infant son.
In 2007, two bicyclists were killed when they were hit by a speeding Chrysler Pacifica. Family of one of the killed bicyclist filed a lawsuit against the driver of the Chrysler Pacifica, accusing her of reckless driving and operating the cell phone while driving the vehicle. The plaintiffs agreed to a settlement of $5 million with the defendant. Last year, family of the other bicyclist had also reached a settlement of $2.5 million.
In January 2004, the jury awarded a victim $19.1 million in a personal injury lawsuit against the driver who accidently hit her while she was at her job site. The plaintiff alleged that she was struck by a van being driven by the defendant while she was placing cones along the Hazleton roadside construction site. The lawsuit contended that the plaintiff suffered from severe injuries during the accident, which left her incapacitated and she is unable to raise her children.
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