A serious car accident can cause a wide range of injuries, some of them bad enough to end a life or alter it forever. These injuries often include traumatic brain injuries, neck or spine damage, paralysis or injuries that cause chronic pain. People that are trapped in their vehicles after a wreck may be pinned or badly burned, resulting in disfiguring scars.

If the injuries are bad enough, the victim may be completely unable to return to work or perform simple day to day activities.

HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE AFFECTED BY A SERIOUS CAR ACCIDENT EVERY YEAR?

The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that roughly 3,400 people in Texas were killed in traffic crashes in 2012. Alcohol was implicated in many fatal crashes, and wrecks involving alcohol cause more fatalities among children than any other age group. Overall, alcohol was responsible for nearly 32,500 traffic-related deaths in the U.S. during 2012, and about 1,300 in Texas.

The number of crashes involving nonfatal injuries was much higher in 2012. Across the country, there were 1.63 million vehicle crashes that ended in injury. While most of these injuries were minor, a large number resulted in severe and long-term injuries.

WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON CAUSES OF A SERIOUS CAR ACCIDENT?

Alcohol use is a major contributor to traffic incidents, and Texas is among the worst states in terms of people drinking and driving. In fact, 38 percent of all traffic deaths in Texas were caused by an impaired driver, which is a staggering percentage. This has forced law enforcement in Texas to enforce DUI laws more aggressively and set up sobriety checkpoints around major cities.

Distracted driving is an emerging concern among traffic safety officials, especially with the rise of more advanced mobile devices
. Younger drivers are easily distracted, and combining mobile devices with their inexperience greatly increases their chances of being involved in a deadly crash. To reduce distracted driving, many states and cities have implemented cell phone laws that prevent people from talking or texting while driving.

Violating traffic laws and vehicle malfunctions are also common causes of traffic wrecks, and these are both important factors in determining liability. Any driver who is in violation of traffic laws at the time of a crash will typically be considered responsible for any injuries or damages. If a vehicle part fails and the failure results in a crash, the part or vehicle manufacturer may be held liable for the wreck.

WHAT SHOULD A VICTIM DO IF THEY ARE HURT IN A SERIOUS CAR ACCIDENT?

As soon as the immediate danger has passed, the victim should consider speaking to a personal injury attorney about their options for compensation. These cases are some of the fastest moving claims, and most don’t even make it to trial. Because most of these cases end in the settlement phase, it is important to have an attorney who will fight for a better settlement on the victim’s behalf.