ntersections bring the highest number of traffic accidents. These areas or points have a lot of opposing traffic, which increases the possibility of an accident. If you are a victim of an intersection accident, you need to establish the at-fault party and hold him or her liable for your damages. You cannot get compensated as expected unless you involve a professional car accident attorney. We at Los Angeles Car Accident Attorney are ready to offer the best legal services to any clients seeking compensation after an intersection accident.
Types of Intersection Accidents
Different types of accidents can occur at an intersection. These accidents vary depending on the position of the vehicles involved and the nature of the intersection. Below is a detailed view of common accidents that happen at an intersection.
A rear-end collision is a type of accident that involves one car striking the other one from the rear. It is a lesser devastating accident compared to other types such as head-on or T-bone collision. It usually happens when a driver is tailgating a vehicle and hitting it once it makes a sudden stop. If a driver is tailgating a car near an intersection, there are chances of incurring an accident once the frontal vehicle makes a sudden stoppage. Most drivers who are tailgating a vehicle do not have enough time to bring their vehicle to a stop hence the accident.
Side Impact or T-bone Accident
A T-bone or side-impact accident occurs when the front of a vehicle smashes the side of another car. In most cases, side-impact occurs when one driver fails to yield to the right of way. This means that one driver makes an unsafe turn at an intersection, thinking that the other vehicle would stop. A side impact also involves a situation running a red light.
A head-on collision occurs when one vehicle jumps to the opposite lane of traffic while turning at an intersection. Since the other vehicle has the right of way, it would probably hit the one in the wrong lane, creating a head-on collision.
A sideswipe collision occurs between two vehicles traveling in the same direction where the right side of one vehicle impacts the left side of the other. This kind of accident occurs when one of the cars moves out of the lane it was traveling in when it was unsafe to do so. Most sideswipe collisions at an intersection occur at low speed since it occurs when two vehicles are leaving one point of the intersection while on the same lane.
In rare cases, you might experience a multiple collision at an intersection. This kind of accident depends on the nature of the intersection or the circumstances surrounding the crash.
Causes of Intersection Accidents
Several factors can cause an intersection accident. Most of these factors involve the negligence of other drivers. Below are a few of the common causes of intersection accidents.
Unsafe speed is one of the highest contributions to an intersection accident. This usually happens when a vehicle is speeding to beat a stoplight. Speeding increases the possibility of a potential accident since there is less time to bring the car to a stop and evade the accident. Rear-end collisions are commonly related to unsafe speeding.
Motorists who devote their attention to other things other than the primary task of driving can be significantly dangerous at an intersection. Such drivers are distracted by their mobile phones, snacks, or other items inside their vehicles. A distracted driver usually cannot see a traffic signal, ending up into an accident when entering an intersection.
Tired driving can be dangerous. A tired driver has a slow reaction time to a hazard at an intersection, especially when there is busting traffic. In that case, they have a high probability of causing intersection accidents such as T-bone or rear-end collision.
Impaired driving is also a leading cause of preventable auto accidents. A drunk driver has slow reaction times due to impaired motor functioning. Therefore, you would not expect such a drunk driver to see a traffic signal or make a reasonable safety decision when presented with a challenging situation.
Poor Intersection Design
Some intersections do not have the visibility needed to control motorists as expected. Some do not have clear designated lanes and functional traffic lights, increasing the possibility of an accident. A poorly designed intersection can easily confuse a motorist unfamiliar with the intersection, leading to an accident.
Defective auto parts also have their contribution to intersection accidents. For instance, a faulty brake can prevent a motorist from stopping, hitting a vehicle from its back. Vehicle defects are common in poorly maintained cars or defective auto products.
Traffic congestion is also a common cause of accidents in an intersection. It is exacerbated by aggressive driving when a motorist weaves in or out of the lane, tailgates, or changes lanes when stuck in traffic for long. Such actions can lead to accidents such as rear-end and sideswipe.
Slippery road surfaces and poor visibility can cause intersection crashes. Heavy rain may gather in the middle of an intersection, causing drivers to hydroplane as they negotiate an intersection. This can easily create multiple accidents if there are a lot of vehicles present at the intersection.
Failure to Yield
Failure to yield is the primary cause of intersection accidents. This accident usually happens when the vehicle is making a left turn. For instance, if you have a green arrow, you have the right of way. However, if you have a green light and are turning left at an intersection, you must yield to the vehicle in the opposite direction.
Some drivers fail to realize this and fail to yield, causing an accident properly. If your car accident results from another driver's failure to yield, he or she should be held liable for your damages.
Type of Injuries Sustained in Intersection Accidents
The kind of injuries sustained at an intersection depends on the specific type and extent of the accident that you were involved in. This means that there are several types of injuries that a victim can sustain. Here is a closer look at the common type of injuries that result from intersection accidents.
Whiplash is a common name for the muscle, tendon, and ligament injuries. When you are involved in a car accident such as a rear-end collision, your body makes a sudden movement faster than your own. This causes a trauma that can strain the soft neck tissues and muscles. This injury can be painful and can take a lot of time to heal.
Scrapes and Cuts
You can get scrapes and cuts after a car accident. Cuts can result from the impact of your vehicle to other vehicles or due to a loose projectile such as your phone. Scrapes and cuts can be painful and pose a risk of infection or other complications.
Traumatic brain injuries and other brain injuries can cause immediate injuries and complications that can last for a lifetime. If you are not properly treated, you can end up with long-term problems such as sleeping difficulty and severe headaches. It can be challenging to diagnose a brain injury, bringing the need for an immediate treatment plan.
Ribs are fragile despite how light or moderate the impact might cause ribs to break. You can suffer from a broken rib when pushed forward, backward, or sideways during a collision. Broken ribs can be painful and can take a long time to rest.
Broken legs, arms, hips, and shoulders can also result from a car accident. A car accident puts an incredible amount of force on your bones more than they could withstand, leading to broken bones. Broken bones are common in all types of intersection accidents.
When it comes to suffering cuts in an accident, it is not surprising that you can suffer from internal bleeding. This type of injury can be fatal if it is not treated promptly. You should seek medical attention immediately to check whether you have suffered from internal bleeding. This will help you avoid life-threatening injuries.
A herniated disc is a type of spinal injury that involves the rupturing or shifting of one or more vertebrates of your spine. It can cause pain and complications if not handled immediately.
Severe Spinal Cord Injury
The spinal cord is also at risk of suffering from an injury after an accident. An acute spinal cord injury can cause lasting effects such as loss of movement or sensation of the lower extremity body.
The sudden impact of a car crash can cause your knee to strike the dashboard. Such an accident can cause pain to your kneecaps and ligaments. You might need crutches, a surgery, or braces to rebuild your knee after the damage. This can be costly and painful at the same time.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Not all accident injuries are physical. You can end up suffering from mental and emotional injuries after a car accident. One of the common types of emotional injury is post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD. This kind of injury makes routine things to become worrisome and impossible to undertake. Post-traumatic stress disorder requires the intervention of a psychologist to help a victim recover.
Compensatory Damages Following an Intersection Accident
Compensatory damages are intended to compensate a plaintiff of a lawsuit with enough money to cover the actual amount of an injury or loss. Compensatory damages can be economical and non-economic. Economic damages include those types of damages that are easy to calculate, while non-economic damages represent those that are not easy to calculate. Here is a detailed view of compensatory damages that you can recover after your intersection accident.
Medical expenses are the most substantial part of economic damages in a car accident claim. The medical expenses include all costs incurred as a result of the accident and the estimated costs of your future treatment and care. Medical expenses damages may include, but not limited to, the following:
Cognitive therapy in case of a brain injury
To determine the actual amount of medical expenses needed for your future medical treatment, your lawyer should engage a professional medical expert to make these calculations.
When accident victims are left without the ability to work either temporarily or permanently, they may need to recover damages for their lost income. Calculating this kind of damages is quite straightforward since it involves reference to your current earnings. However, if you want to determine your future earning capacity, it can be complicated since it consists of determining the victim's life expectancy, damages formula, and use of tables.
Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering are non-economic damage that is more intangible. It involves the mental and emotional anguish experienced by a victim after a car accident. The amount that you can recover from pain and suffering varies depending on the nature of your injuries and diagnosis.
Loss of Consortium
If the accident left you in a disabling condition that would hinder you from enjoying a healthy relationship, your spouse should file a damage claim for loss of consortium. This also involves the loss of the ability to enjoy sexual activities. Your partner cannot prevail in this kind of claim if you do not prevail in your injury claim.
The kind of accident you were involved in might leave you with a scar or a permanent disfigurement. If you were disfigured or scarred during the intersection accident, you should seek compensation for your damages.
Loss of Quality of Life
Some injuries can leave you with permanent disabilities, which can reduce the quality of your life. You should seek compensation for this kind of experience from the at-fault party.
Apart from the injuries sustained from the accident, you can also end up losing your vehicle. You can recover damages that result from the damages incurred on your vehicle from the at-fault party. The at-fault party should either repair or replace your vehicle, depending on the extent of the damage.
How to Effectively Recover Damages after an Intersection Accident
You need to have a reasonable plan to recover your damages. Such a plan involves several considerations that you need to learn about. Below is a clear description of all the steps you should undertake when recovering your damages.
Hire a Reliable Attorney
The first step in recovering your damages is hiring a reliable car accident attorney. You should know that not all attorneys are as reliable as you think, and you need to narrow down to someone who suits you best carefully. A competent attorney should have enough experience in car accident cases and should be available.
Establish Liability of the Other Motorist(s)
The process of establishing the liability of the at-fault party involves four crucial elements. These four elements are discussed below.
Duty of Care
The first element of your injury claim. The duty of care simply means the moral and legal obligation that one party owes to the other to protect his or her safety and well-being. In driving, a driver has the duty of care to all other road users and should operate the vehicle safely and reasonably to reduce the possibility of an accident. A driver should employ his or her duty of care at an intersection by slowing down, yielding to the right of way, obeying traffic signals, and avoiding tailgating.
Breach of Duty of Care
The second element that you should prove in court is that the at-fault party breached his or her duty of care by the actions that led to the accident. This means that you have to prove that the at-fault party failed to behave with the care that a reasonable person would consider in a similar situation. The breach of duty of care would be exercised by behaviors such as speeding, texting, failing to yield to the right of way, and other activities leading to a car accident.
The legal term used to describe breach of duty is negligence and usually involves the violation of a statute or law, which in this case involves traffic laws.
Causation means that the failure to exercise reasonable care or breach of duty of care led to your injuries. Causation can be established even when the at-fault party's recklessness or carelessness does not solely have to be blamed but contributed to the injury.
If your recklessness or carelessness played a part in causing the accident or injuries, you could still get compensated under the California pure comparative law. Under this law, you can get compensated based on the percentage contribution of the other party. If the other party had a 70% contribution to the accident while you contributed the remaining 30%, you would only be eligible for 70% of the total compensatory amount.
Suffered Actual Damages
Fourth and finally, a plaintiff should prove damages or losses to recover compensation after a car accident. When you are proving your damages, you need to have tangible evidence to help in your claim. Some of the evidence that you can present to the court include:
Medical records that show that you went through medical treatment after the accident
An official letter from your employer that confirms your lost income during treatment
A statement from a psychologist that proves that you suffered from mental and mental anguish
Receipts that show your purchase of prosthetic devices, medication, and other related items
A testimony from your spouse that proves a loss of consortium
Apart from proving the elements stated above, you can provide evidence to the court to confirm that the other party was liable for your damages. These pieces of evidence are as follows:
If a police officer was involved after the intersection accident, he or she is bound to file a report about the accident. The court holds such reports in high regard and could be a substantial addition to your compensation claim. The police responsible for writing the report can also give testimony to support the report.
Expert Witness Testimonies
Expert witnesses are professionals appointed by the court to give a professional analysis of a particular incidence. The kind of testimonies provided by these professionals is highly acceptable in court since they are perceived to be independent and free from external influence.
Most highway intersections have traffic cameras. If you can confirm that the intersection where your car accident occurred has traffic cameras, you should collect the footage and use it as your evidence. The camera footage should show the exact occurrence of the accident, which can actively support your claim.
Beware of the Information that You Share
You should always be honest with your injuries, ability to work, and symptoms. That being said, you should avoid oversharing information to avoid harming your case. Sharing images on social media can seriously inflict the outcome of your case. For example, you can claim to be seriously injured but show that you are traveling on your social media account. This can be used against you and may seriously affect your compensation claim. This the case even when you have suffered severe injuries that require
Put Yourself in a Position Where You Can Reject Initial Offers
The liable insurance companies may make an initial offer to you. If you and your attorney can wait and build your case, you will be in a position of getting the fairest settlement. You do not have to worry about your finances until you get the compensation that you fully deserve.
Find a Car Accident Attorney Near Me
Pursuing fair compensation does not come easily. It involves complex legal procedures, which you cannot manage to handle all by yourself. Hiring a professional car accident attorney would be the best decision to ensure that you get the best outcomes. At Los Angeles Car Accident Attorney, we put all our effort into getting the best possible results for our clients. For more information about our services, call us at 424-237-3600 and speak to our team of experts.