Millions of traffic accidents happen every year, resulting in injuries and fatalities. Some categories of people – pedestrians, motorcyclists, younger drivers – are at greater risk than others of being injured in a traffic accident. Anyone who has suffered such an injury knows that it can impact every area of your life – your health and physical well-being as well as your ability to work and support your family. In addition, there is the emotional trauma and distress which can be as difficult to deal with as the physical injuries. If your injury was due to the fault or negligence of another, at-fault party, you may be able to file a personal injury claim.
The cost of injury
Every year, there are about 5.5 million traffic accidents on American roads and highways. These result in 3 million injuries and 40,000 fatalities every year. The numbers cannot tell the full story, which is about the impact of injuries and fatalities on individual lives. Each incident disrupts or destroys lives, throwing them off track.
The person who has suffered an injury will be dealing with a crisis on multiple fronts. There are medical bills to worry about as well as the pain and dislocation from the actual injury. The victim may miss days or even months at work, or be unable to return to work altogether. The impact of the injury, medical costs and loss of income can all make up a triple whammy leading to severe emotional trauma and distress.
Who is at risk?
Certain categories of persons are more at risk of being injured in a traffic accident. Age is an important factor, and people between the ages of 21 to 24 years have a higher rate of injuries due to traffic accidents per 100,000 than any other demographic. Pedestrians are also more likely to sustain serious injuries in traffic accidents. Motorcyclists are likewise a high risk category for serious injury.
That’s because it can be difficult for other drivers to see them, on account of their smaller size. This is especially true in bad weather and other conditions of reduced visibility. For many drivers, motorcyclists can appear unpredictable, if they are not familiar with the way they operate. For example, on most makes of motorcycles, turn indicators do not shut off automatically after a turn has been completed. Unless the motorcyclist turns off the indicator manually, other drivers may see a blinking indicator even when the vehicle will not be making a turn. Failure to wear helmets can make injuries even more serious.
What to do if you have been injured
Drunk and distracted driving are among the leading causes of traffic accidents. If someone has been injured in an accident that was caused by another, at-fault party, they can file a personal injury claim. Most states have laws that allow them to sue for compensation for medical costs, lost wages, and emotional distress suffered by the victim.
If you or someone you know has been injured in an accident, the first step will be to meet with a personal injury lawyer to determine if you have a personal injury claim. Nearly all, or 96% of all personal injury claims are settled pre-trial through negotiations between the two parties. It helps to have an experienced attorney represent you in order to reach the best settlement.
Millions of people are injured in traffic accidents every year. Certain categories of people, such as pedestrians, younger drivers, and motorcyclists are at greater risk of injury than others. Most states have personal injury laws which allow someone who has been injured in an accident to sue the at-fault party for compensation. Legal representation in negotiating a settlement can help the victim obtain the compensation they deserve.