Vehicle collisions can occur for a whole host of reasons, and can leave any number of injuries and other losses. The most common causes of car accidents in Memphis are speeding, distracted driving, fatigue, and drunk driving. Accidents also happen when drivers ignore traffic laws such as the rules regarding stoplights, stop signs, or driving the wrong way. If you were injured in any of these scenarios, call David E. Gordon for help. He has years of experience fighting for people like you and holding the negligent parties accountable for their actions.
When an accident is the result of drunk driving, an injured person can claim that they are entitled to what the law calls punitive damages. Punitive damages are a form of compensation to punish the wrongdoer for their reprehensible conduct that it is not tolerated in a civilized society. Drunk driving is one of those behaviors that society does not tolerate and the law allows a jury to consider awarding punitive damages to a person struck by an intoxicated driver.
As a practical matter, an insurance company will add some money to their evaluation of the case when their insured driver was drunk at the time of the accident. Thus, intoxicated driving does result in greater settlement value even before the case gets in front of a jury.
The impact that a defendant’s speed has on a case depends upon the size of the crash. Speeding is perhaps the most common cause of accidents in Memphis and can result in a low-impact collision if that person hits the brakes quickly enough. If a driver was going 50 miles per hour on a 35 miles per hour street, and a low-impact collision followed, the speed will not have a great impact the size of that settlement, even if it was the primary cause.
On the other hand, if a driver going 50 miles per hour strikes a vehicle in front of them at 50 miles per hour without applying the brakes, speed will have a major impact on the value of the case, even if the person was not severely injured. More important than the size of the crash are the injuries it produced. If two people have the same injury following two different car accidents, but one of them was in a minor rear-end accident in a parking lot, while the other one was struck at 35 miles per hour, then that second person will have a bigger claim.
Running a stop sign or a red light is another of the most common causes of car accidents in the area and can have a significant impact on settlement value. If there are witnesses to a driver running through a stop light at full speed then that conduct is going to have an effect on the settlement value. If the person ran a red light just as it changed from yellow to red, then they are at fault in the accident but their conduct likely will not upset a judge or a jury to the same extent.
If an accident was the result of someone driving in the wrong direction, the at-fault driver’s conduct might be an important factor. If the driver was familiar with the area and was knowingly driving in the wrong direction, then that conduct might outrage a jury or judge.
But if the driver was new to the area or was driving on a road that they had not traveled before, then their conduct probably does not aggravate the situation. There will probably not be much penalty for inattentiveness.
There are certain factors in a car crash claim that pin liability on the negligent party. From drunk driving to speeding, these are common causes of car accidents in Memphis that every driver should be on the lookout for. If you sustained losses in one of these types of crashes, call David E. Gordon for advice on how to handle your next move.