Every year millions of people are injured in motor vehicle accidents � many very
seriously. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration, every 10 seconds someone in the United States is involved in a
car accident. In 2000, there were an estimated 6,279,000 police reported
traffic crashes, in which 41,611 people were killed and 3,236,000 people were
injured. Other startling facts are as follows:
Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of injury death in the United States
for people ages 1-34.
Motor vehicle crashes took the lives of 5,606 teenagers and 2,027 children in
1999. Older adults, as a group, are also at higher risk of dying from motor
In the United States, 5,220 pedestrians
died from traffic-related injuries and another 69,000 pedestrians sustained non-fatal
injuries in 1999.
In 1999, 38% of traffic fatalities were alcohol related; either the driver or an
affected person (e.g., a pedestrian or a bicyclist) had a blood alcohol
concentration of at least 0.10 gram per deciliter (g/dl).
At Buchanan & Buchanan, P.L.C. we use our experience in handling accident
cases to investigate every possible contributing cause of an accident to ensure
that you will receive full compensation for your injuries. Evaluating all of
the facts involved in the cause of a motor vehicle accident requires skill and
experience. Our office will take over the investigation of your case so that
you can concentrate on recovering from your injuries. We can assist you in
finding an appropriate medical specialist to treat you, and we can make
arrangements with your medical care providers to wait for payment until your
case is resolved through settlement or trial.
Automobile accidents are generally decided using the law of negligence. A
person who negligently operates a vehicle may be required to pay any damages
caused by their negligence, either to person or property. Generally, people who
operate automobiles must exercise "reasonable care under the circumstances."
Failure to use reasonable care is the basis in most lawsuits for damages caused
by an automobile accident.
Courts look to a number of factors in determining whether a driver was negligent.
Some examples of these factors include, but are not limited to, the following:
Driving too fast or too slow
Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
Failing to signal while turning
Disregarding weather or traffic conditions
Disobeying traffic signs or signals
Failing to drive on the right side of the road
A driver may also be liable for an accident caused by intentional or reckless
conduct. A driver who is reckless is one who drives unsafely, with willful and
wanton disregard for the probability that the driving may cause an accident. In
certain cases, accidents are caused by factors unrelated to the conduct of any
particular driver. For example, under the law of product liability, an
automobile manufacturer or supplier may be responsible for injuries caused by a
defect in the automobile, or a component of the automobile, as in the Firestone
tire litigation. A products 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 developing, designing or labeling the product - the
manufacturer is liable for any injures the product causes, regardless of whether
or not the manufacturer was negligent.
In another example, if a mechanic fails to properly repair a vehicle, and the
failure causes an accident, the person who improperly repaired the automobile,
and his repair shop, may be liable for injuries sustained. Other factors such
as poorly maintained roads and malfunctioning traffic control signals can
contribute to the cause. Improper design, maintenance, construction, signage,
lighting or other highway defect, as well as improper striping on the road's
passing lanes, a sharp obstruction or problem with the roadway that obstructs
drivers' vision, or poorly placed trees and utility poles can also cause serious
accidents. Finally, if an accident is caused by an intoxicated driver, a bar
or social host may be liable for damages sustained if they served an obviously
intoxicated guest, who then drives and causes an accident.
In all automobile accident cases it is essential that measures be taken promptly
to preserve evidence, investigate the accident in question, and to enable
physicians or other expert witnesses to thoroughly evaluate any injuries. If you
or a loved one is a victim of an automobile accident, call Buchanan & Buchanan, P.L.C.
now at (616) 458-2464 or Toll Free: (800) 272-4080 or CLICK
HERE TO SUBMIT A SIMPLE CASE FORM. The initial consultation is free of
charge, and if we agree to accept your case, we will work on a contingent fee
basis, which means we get paid for our services only if there is a monetary
award or recovery of funds. Don�t delay! You may have a valid claim and be
entitled to compensation for your injuries, but a lawsuit must be filed before
the statute of limitations expires.