Avoiding an Accident
If you are confronted by an aggressive driver, the NHTSA recommends that you take the following actions:
- Get out of the way: first and foremost, make every attempt to get out of his or her way.
- Put your pride aside: do not challenge the aggressive driver by speeding up or attempting to hold-your-own in your travel lane.
- Avoid eye contact: eye contact can sometimes enrage an aggressive driver.
- Avoid gestures: ignore gestures and refuse to return them.
- Report serious aggressive driving: you or a passenger may call the police, but, if you use a cell phone, pull over to a safe location.
Every 30 minutes, someone in this country dies in an alcohol-related crash. Last year alone, over one million people were injured in alcohol-related traffic crashes. In a lawsuit arising from a drunk driving accident, in addition to the intoxicated driver being held liable for the injuries he or she caused, a bar or social host may be liable for damages if they served an obviously intoxicated guest, who then drove and caused an accident. The fact that the person who served the intoxicated driver alcohol may be held liable does not relieve the intoxicated driver of liability, however. Experienced personal injury attorneys are aware of the many laws governing legal responsibility and can help you identify who might be held responsible for your injuries, including people or businesses you may not have considered.
Accidents that are Not Caused by the Drivers Involved
In certain cases, accidents are caused by factors unrelated to the conduct of any particular driver. For example, an automobile accident may occur due to a defect in someone’s automobile. In such a case, an automobile manufacturer or supplier may be responsible for injuries caused by a defect in the automobile under the law of product liability. A product liability suit is a lawsuit brought against the seller of a product for selling a defective product that caused physical injury to a consumer or user. If a manufacturer of a product creates a defective product-either in designing, manufacturing, or labeling the product-the manufacturer is liable for any injuries the product causes, regardless of whether the manufacturer was negligent.
Another example of a situation where a driver may not be at fault for an accident is where a mechanic fails to properly repair a vehicle, and the failure causes an accident. In such a case, the person who improperly repaired the automobile, and his employer, may be liable for the injuries sustained under the theory of negligence.
Other factors, such as poorly maintained roads and malfunctioning traffic control signals can contribute to cause an accident as well. Improper design, maintenance, construction, signage, lighting or other highway defects, including poorly placed trees and utility poles, can also cause serious accidents. In cases such as this, government entities may be potential defendants. Special rules apply to claims and lawsuits brought against governmental bodies, however, and good legal advice is critical to preserving and winning such claims.
In all of the above cases, it is essential that accident victims take prompt measures to preserve evidence, investigate the accident in question, and have physicians or other expert witnesses thoroughly evaluate any injuries. If you have been a victim of an automobile accident, do not hesitate to call upon personal injury attorneys who are skilled and experienced in motor vehicle accident cases to assess your situation and determine the best methods for you to obtain any compensation available for the damages you suffered.