Car Accident Questions

Common Questions about Car Accidents

Am I liable in a rear-ended car accident?

If you are in a rear-ended accident it is generally not your fault, and it does not matter why you stopped. Traffic laws require drivers to allow enough distance between their car and the car in front of them to allow for a safe stop. If someone else fails to do this, they are at-fault if they rear-end your car.

I was not wearing a seat belt and I was in a car accident, can I recover damages for my car accident injuries?

If you have been injured in a car accident and you were not wearing your seat belt, it is important to discuss your car accident case with a car accident lawyer. State laws vary, and in some states, not buckling up may eliminate or reduce your compensation for injuries. In other states it may not matter.

I was in a car accident, how do I know if I am responsible?

Traffic laws provide guidelines for all drivers. If a traffic accident occurs, laws provide information about who was negligent, reckless or careless and who violated the law. Sometimes the violation will be clear (running a red light, stop sign or speeding). Other times it may not be obvious who is to blame. Many car accidents may be caused by the negligence of more than one driver.

Always call a police officer to the scene of a collision and get evidence which can help determine which person was to blame.

What do I do if I am in a car accident?

Call the police and make sure to collect information from each driver involved in the car accident. Notes should include the names, telephone numbers, license plate numbers and insurance information for each driver. Take pictures, if possible, and get a copy of the police report.

Document the details of the wreck, including the location, time of day, and any other relevant facts. Get witness statements, names and phone numbers.

Document your injuries. How do you feel? Are you experiencing pain? How do your injuries affect you? Contact your insurance company immediately. Finally, if you have questions about the compensation you may be entitled to receive, contact a car accident lawyer.

If I am injured in a car accident can I file a personal injury claim?

Some states allow drivers to seek additional compensation through a personal injury claim. Other states have enacted no-fault statutes that may only let drivers sue other drivers for compensation if injury or monetary limits are met.

Should I see a doctor after a car accident if I do not think I am injured?

Everyone involved in the car accident should see a doctor immediately following the wreck. Some injuries may not be readily apparent for days after a car accident. Never settle a car accident claim without first consulting with a doctor to make sure you know the full extent of your car accident injuries.

I was injured in a truck accident, what should I do?

If you are injured in a truck accident it is important to seek legal advice from an experienced truck accident lawyer. Truck accidents are much more complicated than car accidents. A truck accident lawyer can help you determine who may be to blame. Was the accident caused by a faulty product? If so, then the manufacturer of the product may be liable for your truck accident injuries. Was it the driver's fault? Then they may be held liable for your personal injuries.

Talk to a truck accident lawyer to help you determine what parties are involved and who should be held legally liable for your truck accident injuries.

I was making a left-hand turn, is the accident my fault?

If you were making a left-hand turn the accident is probably your fault, but there may be exceptions if the other car coming straight in the other direction was speeding, you were unexpectedly forced to stop your turn, or the car you hit was running a red light.

Unfortunately, proving any of the exceptions listed above may be difficult. It is important that drivers who are making an unprotected left-hand turn do so only after all oncoming traffic is clear. Talk to a car accident lawyer if you have compelling evidence to prove that the car accident was not your fault.

Should I ever admit that I am to blame for the accident?

Accepting responsibility and blame may be appropriate at some point in the legal process, but not at the scene of the accident or before you have spoken to a car accident lawyer. Car accident lawyers are trained to review the evidence and determine who is at fault. Many times you may be only partially to blame and can still receive compensation for your car accident injuries.

My bike collided with a car, am I to blame?

In most states a bicycle is a vehicle and is not given the right of way or special privileges on the road. Understanding traffic laws and following them is critical to ensuring your safety on a bike. If you were hit by a car while on your bicycle, it is up to the court to determine who is at fault, and they will do this by deciding if you were negligent.

If a car hit you after running a red light, failing to stop at a stop sign or making an illegal left hand turn, they would be considered negligent. If you, however, fail to follow the traffic laws and your negligence caused the accident, you may be unable to recover compensation for your loss.

How long does it take to settle a car accident claim?

Without more information about a case it is impossible to answer this question. It will depend on the number of parties involved and the injuries sustained. Most car accident claims are not settled until claimants have completed their medical treatment or until the medical cost for their injuries is totaled.

Do the police always have to be notified of a car accident?

The police should be called to the scene of any car accident where there is property damage, personal injury and especially death. Police are responsible for writing a traffic report and ensuring that all parties involved receive proper medical care.

I was drinking and in a car accident, what are the possible DUI penalties?

Driving under the influence of alcohol is a serious offense. Even first time offenders may suffer serious DUI fines and DUI penalties. Without knowing the specifics of your case, the types of injuries sustained by other drivers or whether this was your first DUI offense, it is impossible to say exactly what DUI charges you may be facing.

n general, drivers charged with DUI may receive probation, high fines, jail time, mandatory alcohol education classes, loss of their driver's license, and mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device.

I had an open alcohol container in my car at the time of the accident but I was not drunk, is this illegal?

Talk to a car accident or DUI lawyer for information about your state's opener container laws. State laws vary. Some states allow passengers to possess alcoholic beverages and other states do not allow any alcoholic beverage with the seal open to be in the car or glove box.