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What Are the Most Common Causes of Car Accidents and Injuries?

If it seems that there are now more people and cars throughout the city of Irvine, it is not just your imagination at work. The population of the Orange County area has increased throughout the past few decades.

Even Irvine, a once distant suburb of the greater Los Angeles area, has experienced the effects of these rapid changes and sudden growth in population. The population continues to increase, 287,401 people and counting, as are the number of car accidents. The most recent report of a car accident took place in September of 2021. A driver got involved in a fatal car accident with another driver who was under the influence of drugs. The at-fault driver was arrested on suspicion for driving while under the influence of drugs based on observations made by police who were at the scene of the accident.

If you suffered injuries after a car accident in the city of Irvine, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. At West Coast Trial Lawyers, our experienced Irvine car accident attorneys have over 60 years of collective legal experience in handling personal injury cases. With our track record of recovering more than $1 billion in settlements for our clients, we have been ranked as one of the top personal injury law firms in Irvine.

Please don’t hesitate to contact our 24/7 legal team by calling (949) 207-9619 or emailing info@westcoasttriallawyers.com to schedule a free consultation at our Irvine personal injury law firm.

Common Causes of Car Accidents

Our experienced Irvine car accident attorneys are prepared to handle all types of car accident claims that are caused by just about any type of circumstances imaginable. The reality is that many factors can contribute to a car accident, therefore, each one will involve unique situations, including the cause of the accident, the specific injuries, and liability. This includes:

Drunk Driving: Driving while intoxicated is a serious criminal offense that, because of its recklessness, almost always qualifies for punitive damages. Punitive damages are a special type of monetary award that is determined by a court when a defendant acted in a particularly reckless or deliberately harmful manner. Just like speeding, driving under the influence of alcohol is especially destructive and has the potential of causing harm to everyone on the road.

Speeding: A driver who is speeding does not have enough time or space to react to sudden changes. They may also have a difficult time controlling their vehicle if they are unable to handle its speed. This can create a dangerous environment to other drivers nearby as it could result in a serious car accident that may involve multiple parties.

Aggressive Driving: Due to how common and destructive it is, road rage has been added to California’s reckless behavior laws. Reckless behaviors are any number of actions that may not necessarily have a deliberate intention to cause someone harm, but which go beyond simple negligence.

Distracted Driving: This type of accident is becoming more common by the day. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that about nine people a day are killed because of a driver who is distracted. The most common example of distracted driving is texting while driving. Consider this fact. It takes five seconds to send or read a text. To make sense of how long that really is, if you’re driving on the freeway and going 55 mph, that’s comparable to closing your eyes and driving across the length of an entire football field.

Common Car Accident Injuries

As discussed above, there are so many circumstances that can cause a car accident. But what about injuries? Again, these can vary widely, but there are essentially two types of car accident injuries: impact injuries and penetrating injuries.

Impact injuries are typically caused when an accident victim’s body hits the hard interior of the car they are riding in. A classic example is when someone’s head clashes with the side window or when a knee slams on the dashboard. These types of injuries can cause damage that ranges from bruises, broken bones, and even brain damage.

Penetrating injuries include cuts, scrapes, and serious internal wounds. This type of injury can be caused by shattered glass, twisted metal, and loose objects flying out of the car after an accident.

Other common types of car accident injuries include the following:

  • Brain damage
  • Fractured bones
  • Arm & leg injuries
  • Internal bleeding
  • Chest injuries
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder

Receiving Compensation After a Car Accident

If you were injured in a car accident that was caused by someone’s negligence, you may be entitled to receive compensation for damages, such as property loss, medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. An injured car accident victim is, in rare cases, also entitled to punitive damages. Punitive damages are rare and will be added to the normal damages a car accident victim is already entitled to.

A court awards punitive damages, but only when a defendant deliberately tries to cause someone harm or behaves in a very egregious manner. Driving under the influence or being guilty of a hit and run are two examples of incidents that may qualify a victim for punitive damages.

How to Determine if I Am Entitled to Compensation?

Whether you are entitled to compensation generally will depend on one thing: liability. Determining liability is based on the legal concept of negligence. This basically means that whoever was negligent in causing an accident is typically held liable for any injuries caused, as well as the corresponding damages.

What is negligence as it relates to car accidents? It is a type of careless or reckless behavior. Below are just a few examples of driver negligence that may subject someone to liability for an accident:

  • Not paying attention to the road,
  • Speeding,
  • Driving under the influence,
  • Texting, or
  • Disobeying traffic laws.

All drivers have a duty of care while on the road. In other words, they must be mindful of other drivers and pedestrians. They are also expected to obey traffic lights and signs to ensure a safe environment for those who are nearby.

It is also very important to understand that even an injured driver may share some degree of responsibility, which may limit the compensation they are entitled to receive. California is a comparative negligence state. This means that more than one entity can be responsible for a car accident. In cases where more than one entity is responsible for a car accident, liability will be divided according to each individual’s degree of negligence.

West Coast Trial Lawyers Is Here to Help

If you were involved in a car accident and would like to pursue legal actions against the party at-fault, West Coast Trial Lawyers has experienced Irvine personal injury attorneys who will help you get the justice and compensation you deserve.

Contact our 24/7 legal team today by calling (949) 207-9619 or emailing info@westcoasttriallawyers.com to schedule a free consultation at our Irvine personal injury law firm.

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