Sudden Stop Accidents
If you’ve spent a reasonable amount of time on the road, you’ve probably witnessed a sudden stop by another driver.
Although there are many instances in which a sudden stop does not result in an accident, there are other occasions on which it will have devastating results for nearby motorists. If you are traveling at a high speed on the highway or driving through rush hour traffic, for example, another motorist’s sudden stop can cause you to collide with the vehicle in front of you or with nearby vehicles as you swerve in an attempt to prevent a rear-end collision.
Sudden stop accidents happen for a variety of reasons. In many situations, the person who stops suddenly was not paying attention due to certain distractions like texting or talking on the phone, eating, adjusting the radio, or talking to passengers in the vehicle. In other cases, the responsible driver was speeding or tailgating, which did not allow them enough time to stop their vehicle safely and responsibly.
Understanding Your Options Following a Sudden Stop Accident
When it comes to operating a motor vehicle, we each have a duty to drive with the same care and skill that a reasonable and prudent motorist would use.
We should be taking into account the weather conditions, roadway hazards, and any traffic in the surroundings. This standard also encompasses any traffic rules and regulations that may apply to a driver, such as refraining from speeding, yielding the right of way, not engaging in distracted driving activities like texting, and not operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
When a person fails to act according to this duty and an accident results, any victims can bring a negligence claim against the careless driver to seek compensation for their injuries and damages. If the careless action involved a violation of a statute, a plaintiff seeking compensation will be likely to show that the defendant was negligent. This is because of the negligence per se doctrine, which is based on the idea that a reasonable person would not be expected to break the law in most situations.
However, it is not enough to prove that the person who caused your injuries was driving negligently. You must also show that their careless conduct was the direct cause of the injuries that you sustained. For example, if the defendant can demonstrate that some other factor was the actual cause of your injuries, such as mechanical problems with your brakes, and you would have been injured regardless of their negligence, you will be barred from receiving compensation.
The final stage of a negligence action is called damages. This involves an evaluation of the compensation that the plaintiff should receive for their injuries. The plaintiff is able to offer any evidence substantiating expenses that they incurred because of the accident, such as medical bills, physical therapy expenses, medications, and estimated future medical care costs. The plaintiff can also obtain compensation for any missed wages and the loss of any earning capacity that resulted from their injuries.
Sudden stop accidents can lead to severe injuries that might prevent the victim from enjoying the same mobility and cognitive capacity. It may be useful to consult a life care planner and other experts to help ascertain the amount of financial compensation that you will need in future years to account for a devastating and permanent loss.
Consult a Motor Vehicle Collision Lawyer in Columbia or Surrounding Areas
Car accidents happen suddenly and often bring serious stress, burdens, and pain to the victim and their family. The last thing that you want to address during this situation is navigating the legal system and ensuring that you receive every dollar that you deserve.
At the Law Offices of Matt Uhrig, we have assisted many Missourians seeking compensation from a careless driver. We offer a free consultation to help you learn about how we can help handle claims arising from sudden stop accidents.