According to some reports, backup accidents injure nearly 15,000 people each year and kill more than 200. This may be the reason most new cars are now equipped with cameras, sensors, and audio warning systems in an effort to make backing up safer and easier. But the reality is, too many drivers have started relying solely on this new technology and continue to strike people and vehicles behind them. If you are involved in a back-up or back-over injury, your automobile accident lawyer can help.
Who is at the most risk for “back-over” injuries?
According to kidsandcars.org at least 50 children are backed over each week by vehicles, typically trucks or SUV’s. The average age of victims is between one and two years old. It is important to remember that young children are impulsive and unpredictable. Especially in driveways, you should make sure you know where your children are and move them away from your vehicle to somewhere in full view before you move your car. If another adult is present, ask them to directly supervise any children in the vicinity. Roll down your driver’s side window when backing up so you can hear if someone is warning you to stop.
Cameras do not significantly lower the risk of back-over incidents
Whether you realize it or not, safety technology has been around for a long time. First, these safety features made their appearance in luxury vehicles. Then, as their effectiveness became evident, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration began requiring auto manufacturers to include the technology in even the affordable vehicles. However, analysis of the backup incident data showed that while backup cameras became more prevalent, the number of backup injuries only decreased by about 8 percent.
The National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration, NHTSA, is directing that all passenger vehicles have backup cameras as of this year. The hope is that this requirement will help increase safety, but only as long as drivers are taught to continue using their rearview and side mirrors and to turn their heads to look all around before reversing.
How much can your automobile accident lawyer help you recover?
The amount of compensation you may recover from a car accident depends on the type of damages you suffered. Each claim is different, both factually and with regard to which laws apply to your claim. The most important element used in determining the value of an automobile accident claim is the nature and seriousness of your injuries.
What is the real purpose of a damages award?
As an automobile accident lawyer will tell you, the purpose of a damages award in a personal injury case is to make the victim “whole.” This basically means compensating the victim for everything was lost as a result of the accident or injury. The only way to accomplish that is through a monetary award.
In most car accident cases, the primary component of damages is medical expenses incurred as a result of the accident. Reimbursement for medical treatment basically includes compensation for treatment already received, as well as the estimated costs of any medical care that may be required in the future. Additionally, the injuries suffered can have a substantial impact on the victim’s ability to return to work, either temporarily or permanently. In that case, damages may include future income.
Emotional Distress and Pain and Suffering
Another important component of damages in nearly every car accident case is compensation for pain and suffering. If you suffer pain and severe discomfort at the time of the injury, as well as ongoing pain, that is a separate type of damages for which compensation may be available. Another thing to consider is the effect of more severe injuries, which often lead to emotional distress damages for the psychological impact of the injuries.
What will my car insurance pay?
Basically, the purpose of car insurance is to cover you if you become liable for the injuries or damages of someone else, following a car accident. However, in a hit and run, you don’t know who the responsible party is, much less their automobile insurance information. In that case, your own insurance will typically be your only source of compensation.
If you have questions regarding automobile accidents or any other personal injury matters in Arkansas or Missouri, please contact the Cottrell Law Office for a free consultation. You can contact us either online or by calling us toll-free at (800) 364-8305.
He is licensed to practice law in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas, eastern Arkansas, western Arkansas, and western Missouri. He was Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Crawford County, Kansas from 1987-1989.
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