Motor vehicle collisions are a common cause of serious injuries and fatalities in California. Personal injury lawsuits spinning off of motor vehicle collisions are the most common types of negligence cases that are filed in our court system.

When a person files a personal injury lawsuit based on negligence, he or she is alleging that the defendant failed to use that degree of care that an ordinary person would have used under the same or similar circumstances. In order to prove negligence, the person claiming injury is required to prove certain elements. According to fellow Long Island divorce attorney Todd Spodek, those elements are:

  • That the defendant owed the claimant a duty of care
  • The defendant breached that duty
  • The breach of duty caused the accident that’s the subject of the lawsuit
  • The accident was the proximate cause of the claimant’s injuries
  • The claimant suffered legally recognized damages

The claimant must prove every one of those elements. If he or she fails to prove any one of them, there isn’t a compensable negligence case.

Common causes of car accidents
There are many causes that contribute to car crashes, but some are seen more than others. Those most commonly seen are:

  • Driver error like speeding or following too closely
  • Driver distraction like using a mobile device while a vehicle is in motion
  • Driver fatigue that accounts for as many accidents as drunk driving
  • Disobeying traffic signals or signs
  • Failure to yield the right-of-way

Common car crash injuries
As no two people are the same, no two accident injuries are the same either. There are certain injuries that are seen more frequently than others though. Here are some of those injuries.

Whiplash
More appropriately called a acceleration-deceleration injury, whiplash can result from virtually any impact from any direction. Muscles, tendons and ligaments in the neck get stretched and torn when the torso is pushed in one direction and the head and neck are propelled in another direction.

Traumatic brain injuries
These can range from a mild concussion to bone fragments or a foreign object piercing the skull and brain. Surgery and extensive therapy might be required for a traumatic brain injury. Symptoms could be permanent.

Back injuries
Discs in between the bones of the spine can become displaced or herniated, and the actual bone itself can shift. Any of these injuries can cause compression of the spinal cord or spinal nerves. Surgery for these conditions is often required.

Chest trauma
Blunt force trauma can fracture ribs and cause organ damage. Internal bleeding can result from this trauma. Immediate medical care is required under these circumstances.

Other injuries
Arms, hands, legs and feet are unrestrained, and fractures of those body parts are common motor vehicle crash injuries. Cartilage and ligament damage are also common.

Damages
If a person injured in a car accident is able to prove negligence, he or she will be entitled to an award of damages. Those damages might include but not be limited to:

  • Past and future medical bills
  • Past and future lost wages
  • Any permanent disfigurement or disability
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of a normal life
  • Funeral and burial expenses in the event of a wrongful death

Don’t give a statement
The insurer of the person who caused your accident might contact you and want a written or recorded statement. You’re under no duty to cooperate with them and help them with the defense of their case. They’ll only try to use that statement against you in the future and attack your credibility. Contact us first. Anything that you say to us is privileged. If you retain us, you’ll never hear from that insurance company again.

As qualified Santa Ana car accident lawyers, our objective is to maximize any compensation that our clients might receive for their injuries pursuant to a settlement or verdict. If you were the injured victim of the carelessness and negligence of the driver of a motor vehicle, you can protect your rights by contacting us right away for a free case consultation and evaluation with a member of our auto accident team. If we’re retained to represent you, we’ll do whatever we can legally do for you to obtain maximum compensation for your injuries.