Caldwell Car Accident Lawyer
Auto Accident Attorney Serving Clients in Caldwell, ID and Throughout Canyon County
When you get behind the wheel in Caldwell to drive to work or to take a weekend trip out of town, you should not have to be concerned about another driver’s negligence resulting in a serious or fatal car accident. However, severe traffic collisions happen much too often in Idaho, and residents of Caldwell can get hurt because another driver failed to take proper precautions on the road. To be sure, a fact sheet from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reports that the annual rate of deadly motor vehicle accidents in Idaho is markedly higher than the national average, at 13.1 fatalities per 100,000 population.
Car accident lawsuits fall under the larger category of the law known as personal injury law, which provides that injury victims can seek financial compensation by filing a claim against the negligent party. If you or someone you love recently got hurt in a traffic collision in Caldwell, ID, you should learn more about filing a lawsuit by discussing your case with an experienced Caldwell car accident attorney.
Common Causes of Traffic Collisions in Caldwell
What causes car accidents to happen? There are many different causes for car accidents in Idaho and across the country. Many involve the negligence or careless behavior of another driver on the road, although motor vehicle crashes can also happen as a result of auto defects or inclement weather and poor driving conditions, for example. According to a report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the following are among the most common causes for traffic collisions throughout the country:
- Aggressive driving: there are many different types of aggressive driving behaviors, but in general they can include speeding, following too closely, changing lanes without signaling, attempting to prevent other drivers from changing lanes, running red lights or sop signs, and weaving in between other vehicles on the highway.
- Distracted driving: as with aggressive driving, there are many causes of distracted driving, which can include texting while driving, talking on a cell phone while driving, conversing with other passengers in the vehicle, eating grooming, reading a map or a GPS device, or even reaching to change the radio station.
- Drowsy driving: if you do not get enough sleep or drive at times of the day in which you are accustomed to sleeping, you could be at risk of getting into a drowsy driving accident. Drowsy driving, or fatigued driving, often is associated with large truck drivers, but anyone can be too tired to properly pay attention behind the wheel and thus can be involved in a serious car crash.
- Impaired driving: when a person decides to drive after drinking alcohol or consuming drugs, that driver can cause a serious accident with irreparable harms. As a fact sheet from the Idaho State Police explains, Idaho has a blood alcohol content (BAC) law of 0.08 percent, which means that if you drive with a BAC of 0.08 percent or higher, you can be charged with a DUI.
As we mentioned, other factors can also play a role in car accidents in Caldwell. For example, defective brakes or defective air bags a person’s vehicle can also lead to serious auto accident injuries, and the victim may be able to file a claim for compensation.
Types of Damages in Idaho Auto Accident Claims
When you file a car accident lawsuit, what types of damages will you be eligible to receive? Most plaintiffs in Caldwell who file car accident claims will seek compensatory damages. These damages are intended to compensate you for the losses you incurred. Compensatory damages fall into two different categories:
- Economic damages: these are damages that come with an objective dollar figure. For example, plaintiffs can recover damages to cover hospital bills, medical treatments, and lost wages. As you can see, economic damages are those that have a precise economic cost (you might think of these damages as those for which you could have a receipt or a pay stub to prove the specific dollar loss).
- Non-economic damages: these are damages that do not have an objective dollar figure. Non-economic damages can vary from plaintiff to plaintiff depending upon the type of injury as well as the severity of the injury. These damages compensate plaintiffs for such losses as pain and suffering or the loss of enjoyment of life.
In some situations, punitive damages also may be awarded. Such damages are not designed to compensate a person for his or her losses, but rather target the defendant’s negligent behavior and are designed to deter similar behavior in the future.
What Happens If I Am Partially At Fault for the Accident? Am I Prevented from Recovering Damages?
Many plaintiffs worry that they will not be able to recover damages if they are partially to blame for the accident. It is important to understand that a plaintiff who bears some responsibility for a traffic collision in Idaho absolutely may be able to receive compensation from the defendant as long as the plaintiff is not considered to be 50 percent or more at fault for the crash. How does this work?
Under Idaho law (Idaho Code Section 6-801), the state follows a theory known as comparative negligence. The law actually works in practice as a form of modified comparative negligence with a 50 percent bar on recovery. This simply means that a plaintiff can receive compensation from a defendant even if the plaintiff’s negligent played a role in causing the accident or her injuries, just as long as the plaintiff is not 50 percent or more to blame. Then, once a damage amount has been awarded, the plaintiff’s recovery will be reduced by the percentage for which she was deemed to have been responsible for the accident or injuries.
Contact a Caldwell Car Accident Lawyer As Soon As Possible
Under Idaho law (Idaho Code Section 5-219(4)), a plaintiff must file a car accident lawsuit within two years from the date of the occurrence in order to be eligible for compensation. As such, it is important to discuss your case with an aggressive Caldwell car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Contact Hansen Injury Law to learn more about our services.