Frequently Asked Questions about Dangerous Highways
Q: What should I do after a highway accident?
A: First, you should move your vehicle to a safe location near the scene, if possible. Determine any injuries that you or other car occupants have. Get critical information from the other driver like his or her name, phone number, address and insurance information. Call police and, if necessary, an ambulance. If you have a camera, take pictures of the scene. Contact your insurance agent to notify them of the accident. You may want to contact an attorney.
Q: When should I file a lawsuit after a highway accident?
A: Every state has statutes of limitations — these statutes create mandatory deadlines for personal injury lawsuits and other types of suits. Additionally, other deadlines may apply if your case involves claims against state or federal government units or agencies. You should talk with a lawyer as soon as possible after your accident to determine the deadlines that apply.
Q: Where should I file my lawsuit if I was in an accident on a trip?
A: If you do not reside in the state where the accident occurred and you want to file a lawsuit for injury or property damages, you may want to consult an attorney in your home state or the state where the accident occurred for advice on where the lawsuit should be filed. Unfortunately, if you do not reside in the same state where the collision occurred, your case may be more complicated than other personal injury lawsuits.
Q: Can I sue if my family member died in a highway accident?
A: A person injured in an accident may make a claim for injuries and property damages. In the unfortunate event that the injured person dies in the accident or from the injuries before he or she can make a claim, then the deceased's heirs may sue the responsible party through a wrongful death action. Even if a person with a personal injury claim dies from unrelated causes, the personal injury claim survives.
Q: What if I do not have the money to pay an attorney to handle my highway accident claim?
A: In many states, attorneys can charge a contingent fee on certain types of cases, including personal injury lawsuits. A contingent fee (or contingency) means that the attorney will not charge you for representation, but will instead take a part of any money award that you receive. The fee is typically around one third of the award, but attorneys may differ on the contingent fee they charge. You may still be responsible for certain court costs and expenses.
Q: What steps can I take to reduce my risk of injury or death while driving?
A: Simple steps can greatly lower your risk of death and severe injury. First, you and your car's occupants should wear seat belts, and smaller children should sit in safety seats. Do not drink and drive. Drive at the speed limit or lower; most vehicle compartments cannot adequately protect occupants during high-speed crashes. Pay complete attention to the road and other drivers while driving.
Q: Are hands-free devices a safer alternative to cell phones when driving?
A: Hands-free cell phones are not necessarily safer than cell phones with handsets. A study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety compared Australian and Canadian phone records with police reports and found that cell phone use near the time of an accident increased the likelihood of an accident. Furthermore, no real difference in risk was found between handless and handset cell phones. It is probably best not to use a cell phone while driving.
Q: Do rumble strips damage my vehicle's tires?
A: Rumble strips do not damage vehicle tires. Rumble strips, which vary in width and construction depending on the state, are placed on the edge of a travel lane. Rumble strips create a humming noise caused when tires run over small repeated depressions. They provide a safe and effective method to alert inattentive or drowsy drivers that their vehicles have veered out of the lane. Rumble strips can also assist drivers in bad weather.
Q: What are the no-zones for semi trucks?
A: Semi trucks have no-zones, which could include space behind the trailer to allow adequate time for stopping, space on the sides of the trailer in case the trailer changes lanes, and space in the front of the semi to allow for safe passing. Semis also need space to make right-hand turns, so drivers should allow space on the right side of trucks.
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