Lake Charles, Louisiana Auto Accident Attorneys
Being injured in a car accident and sustaining serious injuries can throw your life into total chaos. You are left injured, perhaps unable to work and pay your normal monthly bills, and could even be unable to pay your medical expenses. Your life may feel like nothing more than one stress after another, and you simply may not know where to turn or what to do to protect yourself, your family and your future. Hoffoss Devall is here to help. We have been helping those injured in car accidents throughout the state of Louisiana for many years. Our attorneys can help you receive the compensation you are entitled to following a Louisiana car accident.
- Common Car Accident Injuries
- Types of Car Accidents
- Fatal Car Accidents
- Commercial Vehicle Accidents
- Distracted Driving Accidents
- Drunk Driving Accidents
- UM/UIM Insurance Coverage
Car Accident Statistics
According to driverknowledge.com, there are approximately 6 million car accidents each year in the United States. Further car accident statistics include:
- More than 90 people die each and every day in the United States from a car accident;
- At least three million injuries are sustained from car accidents in the U.S. each year;
- Of those injured in a car accident, nearly two-thirds will experience a permanent injury;
- Even though seatbelts save lives, about one in seven people do not wear their seat belt when driving or while a passenger in a vehicle;
- Those who do not wear seat belts are 30 times as likely to be ejected from the vehicle during a collision;
- Each day, more than 9 people are killed as a result of distracted driving, and
- In addition to distracted driving, excess speed, reckless driving and impaired driving are the primary causes of car accidents.
Distracted driving is quickly becoming the primary cause of accidents in the United States. In fact, distraction is reported as a factor in nearly one out of every five crashes in which someone sustains an injury. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distraction claimed at least 3,166 lives in 2017 alone. Distractions are any activities that divert a driver’s attention from driving.
Common distractions include eating while driving, changing radio stations, adjusting the car controls, attempting to set a GPS device, talking to others in the vehicle, talking and texting on a cell phone, turning around to see what the children are doing in the back seat, or leaning down to pick up a bottle or a toy. While texting while driving is certainly one of the most dangerous distractions, virtually anything which takes your attention off the road and other drivers and passengers around you can cause a car accident.
Accidents Happen Close to Home
Although people tend to worry most about having a car accident when they are on vacation or traveling during the holidays, in reality, the chances that you will have an accident during these times are slim. If you are going to be involved in a car collision, it is much more likely to happen close to your home. According to autoweek.com, when more than 11,000 people who reported a car crash were asked how far from home they were at the time of the accident, more than half reported their accident occurred with 5 miles from home, and 77 percent reported their accident occurred within 15 miles from their home. Car accidents were twice as likely to occur within one mile of the driver’s home as compared to 20 miles from his or her home. Only about 1 percent of all car accidents take place 50 miles or more from the driver’s home. Although it seems curious at first glance, it makes sense because our comfort zone—where we live, work, take our kids to school, go to church and shop—tends to be within this ten-mile radius. The actual time that most of us spend on the roadways within ten miles of our homes usually adds up to considerably more miles than the miles for any vacation or holiday trips.
There exists a basic difference in attitude among those who are driving within their comfort zone as opposed to those on special trips. When we are heading out on vacation or to see our relatives, we tend to be more focused on our actual driving and more aware of the other drivers around us, meaning we are more observant of basic safety laws and rules. Contrarily, when we are going to and from work each day, taking our children to school or to practice, running to the grocery store to pick up milk or headed to the post office to get our mail we are doing something we do so many hundreds of times that we become less conscious of those around us, and tend to “zone out” rather than being alert.
Types of Car Accidents
Side-Impact Car Accidents
Side-impact accidents, also known as T-bone accidents, are among the most common types of car accidents—and can also be the deadliest. The sides of cars usually have fewer safety features than other parts of the car. Few cars have side-impact airbags other than the higher-end models, and there is not a length of hood or trunk for the other car to get through before reaching the passenger. In short, the passengers and driver in a side-impact crash have virtually no protection other than a metal and glass door which is why this area has been dubbed the “crumple zone.” Despite improvements to vehicles, NCBI research shows that side-impact crashes account for about one-quarter of all passenger vehicle occupant fatalities.
The most common place side-impact collisions occur is in intersections. If a car coming from the other direction runs a red light or stop sign, they can be traveling at a fairly high rate of speed when they collide with the side of the car traveling through the intersection. Many people see a yellow light and immediately speed up in order to get through the intersection, ending up hitting another car squarely on the side. Children are particularly vulnerable to side-impact car accidents—even more so if they are not properly restrained in an approved safety seat. In fact, serious injuries to children during a side-impact crash maybe even more likely when a vehicle does have side-impact airbags. Airbags are designed to protect adults in the event of a crash, and a much smaller child can be seriously injured in a side-impact crash, both with side airbags and without.
The more common injuries in a side-impact crash are leg and hip injuries since this is the area the oncoming car commonly strikes. Any impact which occurs near the bottom of the car door can crush the door, caving it in towards your body, reaching the leg and hip area and leading to fractures and serious lacerations. Broken or crushed ribs and arm injuries are more likely when the impact of the ongoing car is primarily in the middle of your car door. Broken arms, lacerations and even severed limbs result from this type of impact.
Rear-end collisions are often due to an error on the part of the driver in the back, although under certain circumstances the driver in front could stop without warning, leaving the car in the rear unable to stop in time to avoid a collision. Rear-end collisions are the number one type of car accident, largely due to distraction. Inattentive drivers could be talking on their cell phones or engaging in any number of other distractions and not realize they are too close to the car in front of them or that the car in front is stopping. When one car rear-ends another, it usually results in a powerful jolt, even at relatively low speeds. Those in the front car may suffer neck injuries, also known as whiplash, such a collision can throw the body forward while the head remains stationary, then whips backward.
When the car stops, the head is then thrown forward. Such violent motion can result in injury to the spine and the neck. Whiplash injuries may be apparent immediately following the accident or could manifest hours, days or even weeks later. Whiplash and spinal injuries can be so severe that the neck and back require traction or the victim requires long-term use of painkillers. The injured person may miss work for a short amount of time or even for a very long time, resulting in no income and medical expenses mounting at an alarming rate. Commonly, the person in the front car will sustain more significant injuries than the person in the rear car since the driver of the rear car had a moment in which to brace for the impact while the driver in front did not.
Head-On Car Collisions
Head-on car collisions are the deadliest of all types of car accidents. Although only about 2 percent of all car collisions are head-on crashes, they account for more than 10 percent of car accident fatalities. When there are survivors from a head-on car accident, it is likely they will be left with extremely serious injuries. In many cases, these injuries can cause permanent disability and, at a minimum, can alter lives in unexpected ways. Head-on collisions generally happen at higher rates of speed, on highways and freeways. This means that when two automobiles traveling at 60 mph or more collide, it’s a sure bet there will be significant levels of physical injury and property damage in the aftermath.
Most often a sudden lane departure by one of the vehicles is responsible for a head-on collision. These lane departures can be a result of an impaired driver, a distracted driver, a fatigued driver who nods off at the wheel, a driver who is passing in an unsafe manner, or inclement weather conditions. Drivers who ignore safety warnings regarding cell phones can be responsible for head-on collisions as they carelessly text or talk on the phone rather than keeping their attention on the road. Negligent drivers may disregard traffic signs or signals driving down a posted one-way street. Most head-on collisions actually occur on rural two-lane roads, when one impatient driver attempts to pass in a no-passing zone. Although the latest safety features such as airbags, seatbelts and lane-departure technology have reduced the number of deaths resulting from head-on collisions, there is a limit to their overall effectiveness due to the extreme forces involved.
Injuries from a head-on collision can include fractures, head trauma, spinal cord injuries which could lead to paralysis, severe burns, disfiguration, and internal injuries. Those who suffer facial lacerations could deal with substantial scarring, requiring multiple surgeries over a period of months or years. Soft tissue damage could result in or more catastrophic injuries. Rehabilitative therapy may be necessary and brain injuries could result in permanent personality changes or the necessity of a caretaker for the remainder of the victim’s life.
Getting the Help You Need from Hoffoss Devall Following Your Car Accident
If you have been involved in a car accident, who will advocate on your behalf to ensure your health and your financial interests are protected? There will likely be complex legal issues surrounding your Louisiana car accident and it is extremely important that you have an experienced auto accident attorney from Hoffoss Devall who focuses on these types of personal injury claims.
Do not simply hope that everything will work out for the best, as this is highly unlikely. Contact a knowledgeable Hoffoss Devall attorney who will work hard to ensure your medical bills are covered and you are not taken advantage of by an unscrupulous insurance company. We want you to have the time you need to heal from your car accident injuries and deal with the changes to your life while the Hoffoss Devall motor vehicle accident attorneys take care of the legal issues. Contact Hoffoss Devall today.