Durham Traffic Accident Attorney Representing the Rights of Car Crash Victims
For nearly 40 years, Martin & Jones has been helping injured people get fair compensation for their injuries and other losses arising from car accidents. Our decades of experience gives us unique insight into our clients’ cases and helps us obtain the results they deserve. If you have been injured in a car accident, a Durham motor vehicle accident attorney from our office can provide you with the dedicated, hands-on legal representation you need.
Common Causes of Car Accidents in Durham
Every car accident is different, with unique facts and circumstances. That said, most car accidents are caused by the same common factors:
- Impaired driving. This includes driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, as well as driving while fatigued, and driving while distracted. Impaired drivers typically have slower reflexes and delayed reaction times. Impairments often affect their judgment, making them unable to make good decisions.
- Aggressive and/or reckless driving. Speeding, unsafe lane changes, tailgating, and running stop signs and stop lights can quickly lead to an accident. Even if the at-fault driver wasn’t charged with aggressive or reckless driving, such behavior still constitutes negligence, and they can be held liable for your injuries.
- Mechanical failures. Many accidents are caused when a vehicle has a mechanical failure such as a brake or steering failure. Even minor failures such as a tire blowout can result in a serious car accident. Some of these failures may be the result of faulty repair work or the vehicle or its parts may be defective.
- Road design, maintenance, or construction issues. Some accidents are the result of construction zone hazards or due to problems with the road surface due to poor or insufficient maintenance. In other cases, the actual design of the road itself may be the problem, with turns that are too sharp or insufficient drainage that allows water to pool unexpectedly.
- Road rage. Surprisingly, North Carolina ranks among the top states in terms of the number of road rage incidents. This includes incidents where one driver intentionally uses their vehicle to collide with another vehicle and cause an accident.
The cause of your car accident may not be as easy to identify as you may think. An experienced Durham traffic accident law firm can investigate your case and identify what factors likely caused your accident.
Potential Legal Issues You May Face in North Carolina After a Wreck in Durham
Even if you are certain about what happened in your case, it is important to remember that you must be able to prove what happened. This may be relatively straightforward in some cases, while others can be very complicated. It isn’t always easy to know at the outset whether your case will be easy to prove. Here are some of the potential legal issues that you may face in pursuing your claim:
- Allegations of contributory negligence. Under North Carolina law, you are completely barred from receiving any compensation if you were in any way partially at fault in causing the accident. As a result, it is a common defense for at-fault drivers to claim that your own negligence contributed to causing the accident.
- Third-party liability. In some cases, you may need to pursue some party other than the other driver. For example, if you are in an accident involving a commercial driver, you may need to pursue the driver’s employer. If your accident was caused by a defective vehicle, you may need to pursue the vehicle’s manufacturer.
- Multi-vehicle accidents. These cases can be challenging because there may be more than one party at fault, differing accounts of what happened, and overlapping responsibility for the accident.
- Underinsured and uninsured drivers. Cases where the at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance or does not have sufficient coverage to pay your entire claim present unique challenges. You may have coverage under your own policy, or you may have to pursue the other driver personally.
- Hit-and-run accidents. Hit-and-run accidents are unfortunately common for cyclists, pedestrians, and motorcyclists, but are common in motor vehicle accidents as well. Your options for recovery may be limited, but you may still be able to pursue a claim.
A Durham motor vehicle accident lawyer can help you overcome the complexities of these legal issues so that you can get the compensation you need.
What You Can Do to Protect Your Accident Claim
The days immediately following your accident are critical to the success of your claim. While the situation may seem chaotic, there are a few things that you can do to gain control:
- Understand what insurance coverage you have available. Knowing what insurance coverage you have and what losses it will and will not cover can help you understand your options.
- Understand the value of your claim. Your claim is worth more than your medical expenses. You are entitled to other economic losses such as your lost wages and damage to your vehicle. You are also entitled to non-economic damages such as compensation for your pain and suffering. A Durham car accident attorney can provide you with an estimate of what your claim may be worth.
- Follow your doctor’s orders. Many people undermine their claim by failing to follow their prescribed course of treatment. They refuse to remain on bed rest, return to work too soon, or don’t go to physical therapy or follow-up appointments.
- Do not give any recorded statements. The insurance company or the other party may ask you for a recorded statement about what happened or the extent of your injuries. This is almost always an attempt to undermine whatever claim you may have. Never provide a recorded statement without first speaking to an attorney.
Talk to a Durham Traffic Accident Attorney As Soon As Possible
If you have suffered an injury due to a car accident, the best thing you can do for yourself is talk to a lawyer. With decades of experience in handling all types of car accidents, the attorneys at Martin & Jones have the skills and experience that get results. The sooner you call us, the sooner we can help – call us today at 800-662-1234 to schedule a free consultation with a Durham car crash attorney who can help you get fair compensation.