Car Accident Injuries & Deaths

Virginia Attorney John P. Harris III: helping car accident injury victims win restitution in Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania, Caroline County, Stafford, King George and throughout Virginia.

Of the moving violations cited in the approximately 155,000 car accidents in Virginia in 2003, inattention at the wheel was the leading problem, with nearly one in nine accidents related to driver distraction. More accidents were caused by driver distraction than any other cause, including speeding, failing to yield, and following too close. In addition, a study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration showed that in nearly 25 percent of accidents nationwide, inattention and driver distraction was a contributing cause to the accident.

Statistics support the fact that Virginia drivers pose more of a threat to each other than ever before. 2003 data on car accidents in Virginia show that 942 people were killed on Virginia roads and highways. This is the highest number of car accident-related deaths in Virginia since the advent of air safety bags, and nearly three times the amount of homicides committed in Virginia that year (385). Beyond the deaths are the thousands of catastrophic injuries Virginians suffer every year in car accidents. 78,842 injuries were reported in 2003, making car accidents the leading cause of brain injury, spinal cord injury and other debilitating injuries.

Driving is a responsibility, not a right, but until every driver approaches driving with the gravity it is due, car accidents will continue to rob our communities of thousands of innocent people every year. More than half of all car accidents are attributed to some form of negligence on the part of the driver. In addition to inattention and driver distraction, speeding, failing to yield, and following too close, examples of negligence also include aggressive driving, running red lights, improper passing, improper turns, improper lane changes, and of course, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

When another driver’s negligence causes injury or death, the law affords the injured parties the right to sue for restitution against the negligent party. These damages can include loss of income, cost of medical care, pain and suffering and other damages incurred by the injured party. In Virginia, many whose lives have been forever changed by the negligence of another driver have turned to Jack Harris for conscientious legal help.

While no one wants to get involved in an extended court battle, especially following the trauma of a car accident in which injuries or death have resulted, this is often the only way to affect positive change in the system. While tougher laws can help, insurance companies are also in a position to screen drivers and ensure that those they insure understand the responsibility they are accepting each and every time they start their vehicles. When an accident occurs, insurance companies are accountable for the mistakes of those they’ve insured. Forcing them to recognize the damage they’ve caused, and providing fair and adequate financial settlements to the injured is often the only way to obtain justice, for yourself and for others facing the same personal trials.

Teens and car accidents: more at play than a lack of driving experience

Today, teens are three times more likely to die in car accidents than adults. While it has always been suspected that this higher rate was related to a lack of maturity more than anything else, a recent study by the National Institutes of Health provides scientific proof that risk taking behavior is as much biological as it is psychological. The study showed that the part of the brain that controls and monitors risk behavior doesn’t reach full development until the age of 25. Previous analysis assumed that the brain reached full maturity by the age of 18. The study cited that teens are particularly prone to taking risks when friends and peers are observing them drive.

How this will effect the laws that govern teenage driving has yet to be determined, but if the capability of teenagers on the whole to act responsibly puts themselves and others at an inordinate risk, then eventually the law will reflect that reality. In the meantime, it’s important that parents maintain strict control over their fledgling drivers, making sure that they understand the extra risks involved in driving as teenagers, and that they understand the consequences involved in reckless and foolish driving behavior – for themselves and for others.


Library for Car Accident Injuries & Deaths:

  • Why You Need Uninsured Motorist Insurance Coverage   
    A hit and run accident is a good example of why you need unisured motorist coverage. This example occured in Caroline County when a tow truck driver save the life of a young woman. He was injured and the young woman suffered a shattered left elbow and a compound fracture of her radius, a bone of the forearm.
  • Do you really need a lawyer?   
    Do I really need a lawyer?
  • What is the most important automobile insurance coverage?   
    The most important automobile insurance coverage is uninsured motorist coverage. This article explains things you should know about the uninsured motorist coverage in your policy. It is most important when you are injured in automobile accident. Or when the driver of the car that hit you, hits and runs.
  • 3 Things To Do BEFORE Talking to an Insurance Adjuster [PDF]   
    When you have been injured in an accident, your life changes immediately. Instead of going to work, school or spending time with your family, now you are forced to deal with the police, doctors and insurance companies. As time progresses, you are going to face many questions that
    you may not have the answers for, such as: "Who will pay my medical bills?" "What happens if I cannot work?" "How will I get my car fixed?" "What will my claim against the other driver be worth?" "Should I talk to the other driver’s insurance company?" "Should I hire a lawyer?"
  • 10 Things you must do after an auto accident [PDF]   
    Learn what ten things to do and NOT to do after an automobile accident. The article makes suggestions regarding what to do at the scene of the accident, medical treatment, dealing with insurance, damage to your care, documenting your treatment, and establishing your wage loss. I would like to help you with your claim. Email me at John@JohnHarrisLaw.com or call 540-371-4941.
  • Several Minivans Fare Poorly in Safety Tests   
    The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety released crash test ratings for seven different minivans. A rear impact test showed that several models have inadequate head restraints, which can cause neck injuries during a crash. The institute's chief operating officer is concerned about the results because "mothers frequently drive minivans, and women tend to be more vulnerable to whiplash injuries, which account for about 2 million in insurance claims annually."
  • HOW TO FIND THE "RIGHT LAWYER" [PDF]   
    How to find the right lawyer when you have a personal injury case regardless of whether it is, medical malpractice, boating accident, automobile accident, truck accident, motorcycle accident, construction site accident, nursing home abuse and neglect, unsafe product, property damage, wrongful death, surgeons liability, tourists injury, dental malpractice, podiatric malpractice, obstetric, gynecology, orthopedic malpractice, legal malpractice or even a wrongful death case

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Web Resources for Car Accident Injuries & Deaths:

Description: People think whiplash is an injury. Whiplash is not an injury. Whiplash is the mechanism which causes an injury. Usually injury is a strain or a sprain of the neck, but whiplash could cause disc injury or a fracture. Whiplash can also cause a back injury, usually to the lower back.

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