Automobile accidents can be life changing. The Association of Safe International Road Travel notes that each year over 37,000 people die in road crashes and an additional 2.35 million are injured or disabled.It is important to contact an attorney who deals with traffic violations, personal injury and criminal defense.Choose Murray Law Offices and attorney Heather Moore Sarvis, to investigate your accident. She has significant experience in Horry and Georgetown counties and he will provide you with the peace of mind going forward with your case.
When to call Murray Law after your accident:
- An injury has occurred where there has been serious injury (broken bones / hospitalization) or where injuries are likely to be permanent (paralysis);
- A death has resulted from the accident;
- Fault is clearly an issue;
- Other parties were involved such as pedestrians or other autos;
- The accident occurred in a construction area;
- A police report does not accurately describe the accident and puts you at fault;
- Important technical, legal or medical issues are involved;
- The limits of your liability insurance are low;
- You have no insurance, or your insurance company suggests that you did not pay your premium;
- Your insurer starts “acting funny;”
- Your insurer involves its own attorney;
- Seeking advice on the settlement value of a claim;
- Unsure if other insurance (homeowners, travel, etc.) may be available;
- Fault may be an issue;
- Determining whether your insurer may be acting in bad faith or not in your interest;
- Seeking information on how to handle negotiations with an insurer;
- You don’t know your rights;
- Confused over the terms of your policy;
- Needing an expert to review confusing paperwork or forms.
Most car accident lawsuits will be based on negligence, or the other party’s failure to exercise a reasonable standard of care while operating a vehicle or using common roads. The initial investigation by your insurance company and attorney will help to prove that the other party acted carelessly and/or violated traffic laws. To prevail in a negligence lawsuit, the injured must show the defendant did not meet this standard of care; this negligence caused the accident; and the breach of this duty caused their injuries. Potential defendants may include negligent drivers, reckless drivers, intoxicated drivers, passengers, pedestrians, or bicyclists.
If a defect in the vehicle contributed to the accident, the injured party may have a claim against the manufacturer of the vehicle or one of the parts. In some cases, the manufacturer will be liable, regardless of negligence, for injuries sustained as a result of faulty design, manufacturing, or labeling. To prevail, the plaintiff must prove that the defect occurred during the manufacturing process and contributed to their injury. In most cases, expert testimony and analysis will be required to determine whether the defect manifested during the manufacturing process or after the vehicle was purchased. Successful lawsuits will require the plaintiff to show:
- The defective car or part was “unreasonably dangerous”;
- The vehicle was being operated as intended;
- The vehicle’s performance had not changed since its initial purchase.
Some claims against manufacturers have been based on defective tires, seatbelts, airbags, accelerators, brakes, and engines.
In some cases, faulty construction, design, or maintenance of roads can contribute to accidents. Some common causes include:
Embankments: When a road curves, the outer edge is set at an incline as a safety precaution. These raised areas serve the purpose of managing traffic so that vehicles can approach the outer edge of the road without driving off it. If the embankment is too steep or not elevated properly, motorists may be in danger.
Barriers and Guard Rail: Barriers, guard rails, speed bumps, medians, and curbs help to influence safe driving. If any of these structures are poorly designed or placed, driver safety may be compromised.
Surfaces: Various alterations in road surface alert drivers of approaching hazards or that they are leaving their lane unexpectedly.
Signage: Signs give drivers prior notice of approaching intersections, sharp turns, animal crossings, etc. They should be positioned in obvious locations and brightly illuminated for maximum visibility.
Traffic Control: Traffic lights, stop and yield signs, lights to warn drivers of intersections and crosswalks, and other devices are utilized to dictate traffic flow. Proper placement and operation of these devices is imperative.
What Compensation Can Be Recovered?
In negotiations or litigation against an insurance company or negligent party, Attorney Heather Moore Sarvis may be able to help you recover compensation for the following:
Past and Future Medical Expenses: This may include fees for emergency room visits, hospital care, surgery, assistive devices and appointments with approved medical professionals.
Lost Wages: Injured motorcycle accident victims may be able to recover compensation for wages they would have earned had the accident not occurred. If the injured victim was unemployed at the time of the accident, they may be awarded lost wages if their attorney can demonstrate earning potential during this time period.
Pain and Suffering: Since motorcyclists are not bound by PIP regulations, they are permitted to seek pain and suffering without proving their injury is permanent. This includes compensation for the physical pain suffered as a result of injuries sustained in the crash. Factors including the nature of the injury, the extent of the pain, and the length of time the victim is expected to suffer are considered when awarding damages for pain and suffering.
Mental Anguish: Victims and families may also be awarded for emotional suffering incurred as a result of the accident. This can compensate the victim for fright, embarrassment, nervousness, worry, grief and other forms of emotional distress.
Loss of Consortium: The uninjured spouse of a motorcyclist injured in an accident may be able to recover damages for loss of marital benefits, including companionship, sexual relations, affection and comfort.
Punitive Damages: Punitive damages are those monetary damages awarded to the injured party that are intended to punish the wrongdoer. Punitive damages are available in situations where it can be shown by clear and convincing evidence that the harm done to you or your loved one was the result of the at fault parties willful, wanton, or reckless conduct.
If you have questions regarding a motorcycle accident or injury, call Murray Law Offices or email us. Don't Worry, Call Murray!