Highway Car Accidents
According to the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Authority), traffic fatalities in 2021 reached a 16-year high. Several of the deaths happen on the highway, and regardless of how much driving experience a person has, driving on the road can be challenging because of the high speed of the vehicles. Not only are highway accidents common, but they can also result in serious injuries or fatalities. If you have been involved in a highway accident in or near Northridge, consider hiring a car accident lawyer in Northridge to assist you in insurance claims or any legal proceedings needed to protect your rights.
What Makes Highway Accidents Dangerous?
There are several factors that can make driving on a highway dangerous, including traveling at high speeds, driver fatigue, and driver distraction. Highway accidents can also lead to vehicle pile-ups, which means several people can suffer injuries.
Most interstate highways around the U.S. have a speed limit from 50 mph to 75 mph, while major interstates have a speed limit between 65 to 75 mph. Generally, the left lanes are for vehicles moving at higher speeds, while the right ones are for slower vehicles.
A significant percentage of highway accidents involve truck drivers, and the primary cause of that is driver fatigue. It is common for truck drivers to overwork or take long night shifts, increasing the chances of driver fatigue. In addition, trucks are heavy and bulky, making them difficult to maneuver or brake to avoid an accident.
Another reason highways are dangerous is non-adherence to proper lane-shifting procedures. Aggressive or erratic lane changing can be hazardous, especially when traveling at high speeds. Highways in states that get snow are even more dangerous, as vehicles can lose traction on icy roads.
Common Causes of Highway Accidents
It takes only a few seconds of driver distraction to cause a road accident, and according to the NHTSA, about 94% of the time, accidents happen due to human error. Like any other road accident, one of the major causes of highway accidents is overspeeding, which drastically reduces the margin of error for the driver and others around them on the road. Drivers who suffer from sleep apnea or do not have a proper sleeping schedule can nod off behind the wheel, becoming a threat to everyone else on the highway.
Motorcycle Accidents On the Freeway
Motorcycles are popular in many U.S. states and are becoming increasingly common on highways. Unfortunately, motorcycle accidents on roads often result in severe injuries as motorcyclists don’t have the same level of protection as drivers and passengers in a vehicle.
Several factors come into play in motorcycle highway accidents. For example, the motorcycle’s smaller size makes it easier to stay in the vehicle’s blind spot. This means the driver may not notice the motorcycle when changing lanes, taking an exit, or braking.
Motorcyclists can also be at fault for the accidents, especially those who attempt lane splitting by weaving through traffic to get ahead. Another common mistake by motorcyclists is not checking their side view mirror when changing lanes.
Establishing Liability in a Highway Crash
Establishing liability in a car accident can be challenging. As the plaintiff, you must prove that the defendant had a duty of care in the accident and they breached that duty of care. For example, if the defendant was texting while driving, that is a breach of duty. However, proving that the driver was texting can take time and effort. A skilled and experienced attorney can help you gather evidence to prove liability in a highway crash.
If you successfully prove liability, you can claim compensation for economic and non-economic damages resulting from the accident. Economic damages would be the financial costs you suffered from the accident, such as medical treatment bills, lost wages, and out-of-pocket expenses. In contrast, non-economic damages would be your pain and suffering and the emotional trauma you suffered from the accident.
What happens if you share fault in the accident?
Many states follow the comparative negligence rule in which the plaintiff only recovers damages that were not a result of their fault in the accident. So, for example, if you are 50% at fault for the accident, you would only get 50% of the total compensation.
Contact a Northridge Attorney for Your Car Accident Case
You could benefit from hiring an experienced Northridge personal injury attorney to get compensation for your damages. The attorney can help you in multiple ways, including negotiating with the insurance company, communicating with the opposite party, preparing for trial, and helping you gather evidence. In addition, they might have access to resources that can strengthen your case.
The attorney can also guide you on how to maximize your settlement amount. We welcome you to contact our Northridge personal injury attorney at King Law Firm to provide the support and guidance you need to get through this challenging phase of your life.