Injured - The FindLaw Accident, Injury and Tort Law Blog

Motor Vehicle Accidents

Motor Vehicle Accidents are the leading cause of personal injury lawsuits in America. According to the NHTSA, someone in the United States is involved in a car accident every ten seconds. Generally, most lawsuits involving car accidents are brought about using theories of negligence. Sometimes, however, personal injury lawsuits could be brought under the theory of reckless driving, where the driver had a clear disregard for the probability of accident. Other theories under which a motor vehicle lawsuit could be brought are intentional misconduct and even strict liability. Strict liability imposes responsibility regardless of fault, but is usually only ever imposed in cases involving product defects or extra hazardous activities.


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When most of us think of negligence and injury, the classic example is the simple car accident. We all owe a duty to drive carefully, someone breached that duty by driving irresponsibly or ignoring a traffic sign or signal, this causes a crash, and someone else is injured. Perhaps negligence and car accidents are so closely linked because so many lawsuits follow accidents.

But as seemingly familiar as so many people are with accidents and the personal injury lawsuits that follow, we still have questions. Here are seven of the most common car accident lawsuit questions, and where to find the answers:

Joshua Kuiper should've known the dangers of drunk driving, including the liability for causing an accident. Kuiper is a former Kent County, Michigan prosecutor, who was fired after crashing his truck into a parked car while traveling the wrong direction on a one way street, seriously injuring Daniel Empson, who was getting a coat out of his car parked on the street.

Kuiper, who was charged with a felony charge of reckless driving, should also be aware of dram shop laws, which hold bars and restaurants liable for injuries caused by overserved patrons. If not, he knows now -- the injury lawsuit Empson filed against Kuiper has been expanded to include three establishments that served him before the crash, alleging they should've known he was drunk.

In February 2015, two drunk drivers crashed head-on in Staten Island, New York, which left William Cuffee, a passenger in one of the driver's vehicles, brain damaged and severely injured. Cuffee's mother, who now cares for her son, recently filed a lawsuit against both drivers, as well as the pair of establishments one driver was drinking in prior to the crash that night.

The drivers each pleaded guilty to separate criminal charges related to the incident. However, when a person convicted on criminal charges caused injury to another person while in the process of committing a crime, a criminal conviction may not be the end of it as they can be sued in civil court as well. Cuffee's mother had to sue on his behalf as the court declared him incapacitated.

Boats, many of which lack brakes, seat belts, and airbags, can be just as dangerous as cars. And a recent lawsuit in Washington details just how dangerous they can be.

The surviving family members of a man who drowned in a boating accident at Lake Coeur d'Alene last summer claim the man piloting another boat wasn't paying attention after dark and plowed right through a stationary boat, killing three people. The wrongful death lawsuit also claims the man behind the wheel, Dennis Magner, lied to investigators about who was driving at the time of the crash.

We tend not to think of driveways as unsafe spaces. After all, our cars are generally already parked at home, or pulling in or backing out slowly (hopefully), so our driveways rarely feel like danger zones.

But recent studies have shown that driveway accidents are sadly all-too-common, often targeting younger children and can be fatal. And in a tragic twist, the vast majority of children are injured with their parent or a close relative behind the wheel. So what do these accidents look like? And who might be liable for children's injuries sustained in driveway accidents?

As soon as the dust and tail lights have settled, and we make sure everyone is okay, we want to know whose fault a car accident was. Did someone not use their blinker? Did you check your blind spot? Was the other driver speeding?

Multilane roads and highways normally have higher speed limits, meaning we're around more cars and switching lanes at a much faster pace. And many different elements can come into play when trying to decipher who is at fault for a lane-changing accident. Here are a few.

When a person is injured in an auto accident, they may be entitled to recover monetary damages for their injuries. In some circumstances, an injury victim can be entitled to recover after suffering an emotional, or mental health, injury, such as post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), as a result of a car accident. Unless the mental health injury rendered a person incapacitated, they will need to file a lawsuit within the normal time period allowed by their state to file.

While uncommon, in severe auto accidents, particularly when there is a loss of life, severe injuries, or maybe just a whole lot of property damage, it is easily foreseeable that an individual could suffer from PTSD. However, to establish a personal injury case based upon a PTSD diagnosis can be rather challenging. Unlike broken bones, cuts, bumps, and bruises, a mental health injury may not visible on the surface.

Bicycle injury accidents occur with regular frequency in most cities where bicycle delivery services are common. When a bicyclist is involved in an injury accident, there are specific issues that can arise if the injured person was working as a bicycle courier or messenger.

Whether the cyclist is at fault, or the other party was at fault, there are similar considerations that non-cyclists should be aware of when it comes to accidents with bicycle messengers. If the bicyclist was currently engaged in a delivery, or was en route to make a pick up, there is a chance that the cyclist will be covered under an employer's workers' compensation policy, regardless of who is at fault. Cyclists should avail themselves of workers' compensation, if it is available to them, as failing to do so could result in a reduction of the potential damages.

Although cars still can't simply fly over traffic, technology has gotten us to the point where driverless cars are a reality. Despite the promise of this technology leading to a future without car accidents, driverless cars have a long way to go. Since the limited deployment and testing of autonomous cars started recently, there have been numerous accidents, and even a fatal crash, that have been attributed to auto-pilot modes or driverless vehicle automation.

These crashes have led many folks to wonder: who's responsible for a driverless car crash? While the answer may seem to be as simple as asking who owns the vehicle, this might not actually be the case, or provide adequate relief in jurisdictions, like California, that limit vehicle owner liability.

Tire blowouts on the road are scary. Whether it’s your own tire, or the tire of an adjacent vehicle, tire blowouts frequently lead to damaged vehicles, car accidents, and injuries.

Determining liability in a tire blowout crash is often more complex than in other auto accidents. Apart from regular old driver negligence that may have occurred, there are potential product liability claims.