Common Causes of Auto Accidents
Car accidents are caused by a wide range of circumstances and factors. While many are the result of one or more drivers’ carelessness behind the wheel, other accidents happen because of external factors such as the weather, road conditions, or the mechanical condition of a car. Many are the result of a combination of these and other factors. If you’ve recently been injured in a car accident and another’s actions or inactions are to blame for the harm you’ve suffered, a San Antonio car accident attorney at the Law Offices of Troy A. Brookover can investigate the cause(s) of your crash and help you demand the compensation you deserve.
For more than 30 years, attorney Troy A. Brookover has been dedicated to fighting for injured Texans in San Antonio, Central, and South Texas. He has secured compensation for thousands of clients to date, partially due to the fact that he approaches the task of investigating motor vehicle crashes with great focus and attention to detail.
You deserve financial compensation for the expenses and losses you have suffered because of someone else’s negligence, recklessness, or intentionally harmful conduct. The Law Offices of Troy A. Brookover can help you demand it. Contact the firm today for a free case review with our San Antonio car accident lawyer. Troy is Board-Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, which is a distinction granted to just over 1 percent of personal injury attorneys in Texas.
Causes of Car Accidents in San Antonio
Our firm handles all kinds of car accident cases. Some of the most common causes of car accidents in San Antonio include:
- Distracted driving or inattention – A driver who is visually, manually, and/or cognitively distracted from driving places themselves and everyone around them at risk of injury or death. Common distracted driving behaviors include texting or surfing the web on a cell phone, eating or drinking, reaching around the passenger cabin for an object, interacting with passengers or pets in the vehicle, grooming or applying makeup, changing clothes, adjusting the radio/climate control/navigation systems, and reading a map, book, magazine, or newspaper.
- Drunk driving – In Texas, a driver is typically presumed impaired when they have a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent (although some drivers have lower limits). However, a driver may still be charged with drunk driving even if they have a lower BAC if other evidence shows that they cannot safely operate a motor vehicle. Alcohol intoxication adversely impacts driving skills, including reaction times, perception, and judgment. Note that because civil and criminal cases are distinct, you can potentially sue a drunk or otherwise impaired driver for harming you regardless of whether they’ve been charged and/or convicted in criminal court.
- Drug impairment – As with alcohol, many illicit and legal prescription drugs can impair a driver’s ability to safely control their vehicle.
- Driver fatigue – Driver fatigue can cause many of the same effects as alcohol or drug intoxication. Drivers often become dangerously fatigued when they spend hours on the road without a break or when they drive during hours they typically sleep.
- Aggressive driving – Aggressive driving involves driving in a manner meant to intimidate other motorists or otherwise disregarding the “rules of the road,” including failing to yield the right of way to other motor vehicles, bicycles, or pedestrians.
- Reckless driving – Reckless driving, which can constitute a criminal offense under Texas law, is broadly defined as operating a motor vehicle in a manner that knowingly disregards the substantial risk of causing an accident and injury. Common reckless driving behaviors include excessive speeding, street racing, or swerving between lanes to weave through heavy traffic.
- Speeding – Speeding is one of the most common causes of car accidents. Driving faster than the speed limit or driving too fast for conditions gives a driver less time to slow down or swerve to avoid a collision.
- Disregarding traffic controls – Disregarding traffic controls, such as running a red light or failing to obey yield signs, can cause an accident because other drivers expect all vehicles to follow the rules of the road.
- Unsafe turns and lane changes – Behaviors that lead to unsafe turns or lane changes include failing to signal, not checking mirrors, not checking blind spots, disregarding blind spot warnings, and cutting in front of other vehicles. It’s also unsafe to make a left turn without yielding the right of way to oncoming traffic and to make an illegal U-turn.
- Teen drivers – Young drivers lack the experience to know how to react to many potentially dangerous driving situations. They may also be more susceptible to distractions, including cell phones or having friends as passengers.
- Tailgating – Tailgating, or following too closely behind another vehicle, greatly increases the risk of a rear-end collision. A tailgating driver has less room to safely slow down and stop if the vehicle in front brakes. Drivers who don’t increase their following distance in adverse conditions, such as heavy rain, fog, or ice, can also cause collisions.
- Inadequate vehicle maintenance – Deferred or improperly performed vehicle maintenance can cause a catastrophic mechanical failure and subsequent accident.
- Auto defects – A defective car design or auto part can cause a mechanical failure that triggers an accident.
- Dangerous roadways – The condition or design of a roadway can cause or contribute to a car accident.
- Adverse weather conditions – Poor weather conditions – such as heavy rain, high winds, thick fog, hail, sleet, and ice – can make traveling on the road more hazardous, as vehicles become harder to control and visibility is reduced.
Determining the Cause of Your Car Crash
Determining the cause of a car accident and who bears fault often requires a thorough investigation and an examination of various kinds of evidence. At the Law Offices of Troy A. Brookover, our San Antonio car accident lawyer will build your case by using evidence such as:
- Police accident reports, which generally provide an objective account of the accident scene and may contain the responding officer’s subjective opinion as to who or what caused the crash
- Photos and videos of the accident scene
- Surveillance and traffic camera footage
- Dashcam/bodycam footage from the vehicles involved in the accident or from nearby vehicles
- Driver, passenger, and eyewitness statements
- Logs from the vehicles’ electronic data recorders, which record vehicle operation information
- Drivers’ cell phone logs and metadata, which might show if a driver was distracted in the moments before the accident
- Post-accident vehicle inspections, which might reveal that the accident was caused by inadequate vehicle maintenance or by a vehicle or parts defect
Our firm has working relationships with a wide range of expert witnesses who can provide opinion testimony to bolster the strength of your claim. Relevant experts include:
- Accident reconstruction experts, who have backgrounds in physics and engineering and can analyze evidence to explain what occurred in the accident and identify the party or parties responsible for causing the crash
- Automotive engineering experts, who can testify as to how inadequate car maintenance or defective parts may have caused the accident
- Medical experts, including your treating physicians, who can testify about your injuries, your prognosis, your future anticipated medical needs, and any permanent disabilities you may have suffered and how they will impact your life
- Vocational experts, who can testify as to how your injuries and disabilities adversely affect your ability to work
- Financial experts, who may be used to calculate your future anticipated losses, including future medical costs and loss of future earning capacity
Troy can then combine the testimony of these experts and call upon his own extensive experience to calculate the total losses you have suffered as a result of the accident, how much you deserve in compensation, and from whom you can demand that compensation. Depending on the circumstances of the crash and the extent of your injuries and losses, you could recover money for:
- Your past and future medical bills
- The wages and other income you’ve lost if you’ve been unable to work
- Your past and future pain and suffering due to your injuries
- Loss of earning capacity
- Mental anguish/emotional distress
- Diminished quality of life
- The repair or replacement of your damaged vehicle
In certain exceptional cases, you could also be entitled to exemplary damages. Also known as punitive damages, they are meant to punish the defendant for particularly egregious or shocking behavior and to deter them and others from committing that behavior in the future. Punitive damages can only be won at trial and are rarely awarded because of a particularly high burden of proof.