Auto accidents can result in devastating injuries, however they are caused. If you, or a loved one, has been injured in an auto accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be able to make a claim for compensation against the person at fault with the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer.
In many states, you may even be able to make a partial claim, even if both you and the other driver were at fault. Don’t underestimate the financial effects of a serious auto accident. It could have a long term effect on your psychological and emotional state of mind as well as have an impact on your family, and cost you dearly in terms of medical bills and lost income.
Accidents are Easily Caused by Forgetful or Careless Drivers
Have you ever noticed just how many drivers fail to use their turn signals? If you are a careful driver yourself, you will probably be anticipating what other drivers are doing or not doing and make allowances when they make mistakes like not using their signals properly and in time. An investigation by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) found that an incredible 48% of drivers were either failing to use their signals before they made a lane change or failed to turn their signals off again when they finished. A quarter of drivers failed to use their signals when making a turn.
These figures have been confirmed by other data, such as that collected by the Response Insurance Co., who reported that over 50% of drivers said that they did not always use their signals properly when making a lane change. Even scarier were the reasons given: a quarter of them said they were “just too lazy;” over 40% said they “didn’t have the time.”
These figures are even worse when young drivers are examined. The same Insurance report found that three quarters of drivers between the ages of 18 and 24 just didn’t bother with using their signals when making a lane change.
Why is a Failure to Signal so Dangerous?
The same SAE report mentioned above cited the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s data for accidents caused by improper signaling and said that around 2 million such accidents are caused every year. In New York, failure to signal when making a lane change is the fifth most common reason for an auto accident. The most likely accidents that happen as a result of improper signaling or a failure to signal are rear end collisions when a car or other vehicle suddenly swerves out in front of you.
Rear-end collisions are normally the fault of the driver at the back, but if the driver in front fails to signal on making a lane change or turning into a side road, then that driver is at least partially to blame.
Who is at Fault When a Driver Fails to Signal?
This can get complicated as what was happening immediately before the collision took place and witness statements are crucial. In many states, but not all, state law provides for what is called “comparative negligence,” so if the driver who failed to signal caused the accident, even if the driver behind was too close, some of the blame will be attached to both.
This does affect a claim for compensation as a settlement will depend on the percentage fault lying with each driver. In some states, any sort of fault will prevent that driver from being able to make a claim, called “contributory negligence."
Getting Help With a Personal Injury Attorney
Because the state’s personal injury law can get complicated, it is always best to leave a compensation claim to an experienced auto accident attorney and it is preferable to make contact with one as soon as your injuries allow you to do so. A good attorney will be able to assess your chances of making a successful claim, collect evidence and talk to witnesses as well as negotiate with the insurance company of the person most at fault.
*The content of this article serves only to provide information and should not be construed as legal advice. If you file a claim, you may not be entitled to any compensation.