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An overview of car accident claims

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that there are greater than 5.6 million car accidents in the United States each year. Consequently, it is not surprising that car accidents give rise to the greatest number of personal injury claims in the U.S. Car accidents can occur in a number of different ways and result in serious injuries and damages to victims.

When victims have suffered damages in a car accident, negligent drivers may be responsible for the harm they have caused. Under the law, drivers are required to exercise reasonable care in the circumstances when driving and a failure to do so is considered negligence. Drivers who are negligent, or careless, and harm others may be responsible to compensate victims for the damages they have suffered including medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering damages, among other types of damages depending on the circumstances.

When evaluating a claim for damages, and the liability of a negligent driver, a number of considerations may be taken into account including police reports of the accident, witness statements and traffic laws. Factors that may be considered to determine if a driver was negligent can include if the driver disobeyed traffic signs or signals; if the driver failed to signal while making a turn; if the driver was driving above or below the posted speed limit at the time of the accident; if the driver disregarded traffic, weather or roadway conditions while driving; or if the driver was driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Car accidents can occur unexpectedly and cause serious harm, injuries and damages to victims and their families. The legal process seeks to provide resources and options for victims to hold negligent drivers responsible following a car accident.

Source: Findlaw, "Car accident basics," Accessed Oct. 15, 2015

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