Car Accidents in Carroll County
There are well over ten million car accidents in the United States every year. This number continues to grow, perhaps in part due to American’s increasing dependence on smart phones, meaning there are more distracted drivers on our nation’s roads. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), driver error is the largest cause of car accidents in the United States. Examples of driver error include distracted driving, drowsy driving, speeding, and drunk driving.
Drivers have a legal responsibility to operate their vehicles with care. If a driver fails in that duty and causes an accident, he or she may be held liable for whatever injuries the crash victim sustains because of the driver’s negligence. When suing for negligence, the plaintiff must prove the following:
- The driver had a duty of care.
Drivers are required to use reasonable care to avoid harming others. This means that drivers have a duty to drive at a reasonable speed for the given conditions; remain vigilant; maintain control of their vehicle; and maintain the vehicle’s equipment. For example, if a judge determines that the cause of an accident could be attributed to broken headlights, insufficient windshield wipers, or worn out breaks, the driver of that vehicle may be held liable if an injury occurs as a result of their oversight.
- The driver was not careful.
Next, the plaintiff must prove that the driver breached his or her duty of care. In other words, a plaintiff must prove that the defendant did not act as a reasonable person would have acted in similar circumstances. Providing evidence that the driver violated a traffic law is one of the simplest ways to prove a breach in duty of care. For example, if the driver was issued a citation for running a red light, driving at an excessive rate of speed, or for texting while driving, he or she would likely be deemed negligent.
- The driver’s conduct caused plaintiff’s injuries.
The plaintiff must prove that his or her injuries were a direct result of the other driver’s unreasonable actions. In most cases, the injured party must also demonstrate that the other driver’s actions created a foreseeable risk of injury.
- The plaintiff suffered damages.
Even if a plaintiff can satisfy the first three elements of a negligence claim, he or she is not entitled compensation unless there were actual damages suffered. Compensable damages in a Maryland personal injury case include injury-related medical expenses, lost wages, loss of future earning capacity, pain and suffering, and property damage.
Common Causes of Accidents – Distracted, Drunk, and Drowsy Drivers
The most common cause of distracted driving is use of a cell phone while behind the wheel. The National Safety Council (NSC) indicates that a quarter of all car accidents are related to cell phone use. A recent NSC study shows that people are incapable of multitasking, despite the popularity of this concept. Rather, the brain can only perform one task at a time, and then switches rapidly back and forth between competing tasks.
The dangers of multitasking while driving have been compared to drunk driving in terms of risk. Drunk driving continues to be a safety issue in America. According to the NHTSA, close to half of all car accidents are alcohol related.
Another common cause of accidents is speeding. While most drivers admit to it from time to time, speeding can be deadly. Studies show that teen drivers, inexperienced drivers, and male drivers (particularly male teen drivers) are most likely to speed.
Finally, research indicates the problem of drowsy driving is much more prevalent and dangerous that most people know. Drowsy drivers have slowed reaction times, comparable to those of a person who is impaired by alcohol. They are also more likely to fall asleep behind the wheel.
Carroll County Car Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Obtain Compensation for Victims of Car Accidents Caused by Negligence
If you or someone you love has been injured or killed in a car accident, call the experienced Carroll County car accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. We understand the challenges faced by those who have been victimized by a negligent or reckless driver. Let us help you take back control. Call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online for a free consultation.
With offices located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, we represent victims of car accidents throughout Maryland, including Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Eldersburg, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Parkville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.