The state of North Carolina is laced with various major interstate highways – 95, 40, 74, 540, and 85, just to name a few. They serve a vital purpose in our state’s economic and social networks, helping businesses thrive and communities grow. They do pose unique hazards for drivers that require consideration when it comes to dealing with motor vehicle accident cases. If you have been injured in an interstate accident, you need a car accident lawyer who understands how this could impact your case.
What Makes Interstate Accident Cases Unique
There are several factors that make interstate car accident claims unique. These factors can be present in other cases, but they are more prevalent in interstate accidents. Some of the factors that are present in interstate accidents include the following:
- Higher speeds – Interstate speed limits are higher than other highway speed limits. Vehicles traveling at higher speeds exert greater force in the event of an accident.
- Severe injuries – Because of the higher speeds and greater forces involved, drivers and passengers are more likely to suffer more serious injuries in an accident on the interstate.
- Catastrophic rear-end accidents – Severe rear-end accidents are common on interstates that experience sudden congestion during rush hour that results in stop-and-go traffic. Inattentive drivers can slam into slow-moving or stopped vehicles at a high rate of speed.
- Accidents involving multiple vehicles – Interstate accidents can involve three or more vehicles. Multi-vehicle accidents can be considerably more complex than two-vehicle accidents for several reasons. It can be more difficult to identify what caused the accident and who should be held liable. Another reason is that there may be multiple competing claims against a single party.
- Commercial vehicle accidents – Interstate highways are heavily traveled by semi-trucks and other commercial vehicles. Car accidents involving commercial vehicles involve complex questions concerning who should be held liable, such as the trucking company or some other party, and often involve pursuing a claim against a corporate entity.
- Out-of-state drivers – Many of the people involved in interstate car accidents may be from out of state. If your accident was caused by an out-of-state driver, this can add additional challenges to pursuing your claim.
These factors can have a significant impact on the outcome of your case and require a thorough investigation. A car accident lawyer with extensive experience in handling interstate accident claims can make sure these factors are accounted for.
Common Causes of Interstate Car Accidents
Interstate accidents can happen for almost any reason, but most accidents occur for one or more of the following reasons:
- Distracted driving, such as driving while texting or being distracted by passengers
- Driving while fatigued, particularly for truck drivers and others who are traveling the interstate for long-distance trips
- Driving in excess of the speed limit – due to the high speed limits on the interstate, driving just 10 mph over the speed limit can push a vehicle beyond its capabilities for safe handling or stopping
- Unsafe lane changes or merges
- Driving too fast for weather conditions such as rain, fog, and ice
- Following too closely (“tailgating”)
- Aggressive driving
The other driver may want you to believe that the accident “just happened” and that no one is really to blame. Almost all accidents are the result of one or more driver’s negligence. If you have been injured in an interstate accident, a car accident lawyer can determine the cause of the accident and who should be held accountable for your injuries.
Interstate Accidents Often Result in Severe Injuries
Because of the speeds and forces involved, interstate accidents often result in more serious injuries than accidents on surface streets. These injuries can require extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation, resulting in exorbitant medical expenses. Victims are often unable to work for a prolonged period of time and may be facing permanent partial or total disabilities. Some of the most common injuries that interstate accident victims experience include the following:
- Concussions and other traumatic brain injuries
- Compound bone fractures
- Organ damage
- Nerve damage
- Spinal cord injuries
- Disfiguring injuries
- Severed limbs
If you have suffered any of these injuries, ensure you get the compensation you need to cover your medical expenses and other losses. The best way to do that is to work with an experienced car accident lawyer.
What to Do if You Have Been Involved in an Interstate Accident
If you have been in a car accident on the interstate, the first priority is to stay safe. Turn on your hazards and call 911. If your car is driveable, carefully move your car to the shoulder and wait for the police to arrive. To the extent that you are able, you should also take the following steps:
- Exchange identification and insurance information with the other driver
- Get the name and contact information of any witnesses
- Take pictures of the damage to the vehicles and of the scene of the accident
If you have been diagnosed with an injury after the accident, we recommend contacting a car accident lawyer to discuss your options and determine what compensation you may be entitled to.
Contact Martin & Jones if You Have Been Injured in a Car Accident on the Interstate
At Martin & Jones, we have more than four decades of experience helping car accident victims rebuild their lives. If you have been injured in a car accident, we can help you get compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. To discuss your case and how we can help, call us today at 800-662-1234 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.Share This
The law firm you choose makes a difference. If you are the victim of an accident or an illness that someone else caused, the North Carolina personal injury law firm of Martin & Jones has the depth of experience, skills and sensitivity to make your road to recovery as smooth as possible. Whether you have experience with the legal system or have never hired a medical malpractice or personal injury lawyer before, our attorneys and staff will do our best to answer your questions, provide clear advice and prepare you and your family for what to expect. If you would like more information or to meet with one of our attorneys, please fill out the form below or call us at 800.662.1234.