Numerous interstate highways cut through Arizona. They include I-8, I-10, I-17, and I-19 as well as others. Arizona is home to many state expressways as well, including Arizona State Routes 24, 51, and 143. Interstates and expressways are characterized by their high travel speeds, barriers dividing traffic by direction, multiple lanes on each side of these barriers, and designated entrance and exit ramps. All types of vehicles travel on these highways, including passenger vehicles, large commercial trucks, and public buses.
Accidents can happen on any type of roadway. Certain hazards are more prevalent on these types of roads than on local routes. In contrast, other hazards are more prevalent on smaller roadways. As you drive from one type of roadway to another, take note of your surroundings and adjust your driving style accordingly. Driving in a manner appropriate for the type of road on which you are traveling can reduce your chance of being involved in a car accident. Our Phoenix auto accident attorneys break down what you can do to stay safe on the highway below.
Risks of Traveling on Interstate Highways and Expressways
The latest statistics from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) show that while car accidents and injuries are just as likely minor roads, those that do occur on highways and interstates and more likely to involve life-threatening and potentially fatal injuries. This is due in large part to the higher rates of speed drivers are usually traveling at, as well as increases in the number and types of vehicles.
Tractor trailers and other commercial vehicles use interstate highways and expressways to transport their goods. These trucks are considerably larger, heavier, and more powerful than passenger vehicles, which makes them slower to respond to unexpected changes in traffic patterns. Their sheer size and bulk puts automobile drivers at a distinct disadvantage when crashes and collisions occur, while the velocity of impact is more severe.When you are sharing the road with these vehicles, it is important to do the following:
- Observe a safe following distance;
- Allow plenty of space when changing lanes or attempting to pass;
- Be aware of their blind spots, which are much larger than yours;
- Give plenty of notice before making stops and turns.
On high-speed interstates and roadways in Phoenix where drivers may be traveling in excess of 75 miles per hour, making snap decisions to avoid accidents can be difficult or impossible. The IIHS reports that speed is a major contributing factor in over half of all motor vehicle accidents, and when drivers exceed the posted speed limit, their risk of being involved in collisions increases.
Injuries Victims of Interstate and Expressway Accidents Can Sustain
On an interstate or an expressway, accidents of all types can occur. Your speed, the surrounding conditions, and where your vehicle impacts the other all play a role in determining the severity of your accident and resulting injuries. Examples of the types of injuries that you can suffer in an interstate or expressway collision include:
- Muscle and tendon sprains, strains, and tears;
- Broken bones and multiple, complex fractures;
- Severe cuts and lacerations;
- Burns due to contact with gasoline and engine fluids;
- Damage to body organs and internal bleedings;
- Severe head trauma, including skull fractures and traumatic brain injury;
- Back and neck injuries, including fractured vertebrae and damage to the spinal cord.
These injuries could result in lasting impairments and have the potential to be life-threatening and fatal.
What to Do After an Interstate or Expressway Accident
On a divided highway, drivers are often prohibited from stopping on the shoulder. If this is the case on the road where your accident occurs, remain with your vehicle at the site of the accident if safe to do so. If anybody involved in the accident needs emergency medical care, call 911 to have an ambulance sent to the scene.
If possible, take photographs of the site of impact on both vehicles as well as the surrounding scene. Call the local law enforcement to have an officer sent to fill out an official police report.
Do not leave the scene of the accident unless you have a copy of the other driver’s insurance information and the official police report. After leaving the scene, if necessary, seek medical attention for your injuries.
Seeking Compensation for your Damages Through a Personal Injury Claim
Through a personal injury claim, you can seek compensation for the following damages:
- Your medical expenses;
- Your lost wages; and
- Your pain and suffering damages. These are the damages that do not fit into either of the above categories, such as your injuries and trauma following an accident.
You can seek compensation for your damages even if you were partially at fault for the accident. It does not matter if you were 5 percent or 95 percent responsible for the accident; under Arizona’s pure comparative fault rule, any injured party may recover compensation for his or her damages. However, the total amount of compensation you can receive is reduced according to your level of fault in the accident.
How Our Team can Help you Seek the Compensation you Deserve
Our team at Abels & Annes, P.C. can help you seek the compensation you need to cover your damages after an accident by guiding you through each step of the claims process. We can begin the process by helping you make use of the evidence you have to submit a claim that effectively demonstrates your injury and how the at-fault driver was negligent. This evidence can include:
- The official police report for your accident;
- Your medical records and bills;
- Your record of your lost wages;
- Photographs of the accident;
- Expert testimony such as those from your doctor or an accident reconstruction specialist; and
- Testimony from individuals who witnessed the accident.
Once your claim is submitted, we can negotiate with the other party’s insurance provider on your behalf. After submitting your claim, the insurance provider may offer a settlement. This is usually the lowest amount the provider thinks you will realistically accept. Our team can help you obtain a more appropriate settlement through effective negotiation and use of your evidence.
Work with Our Team of Phoenix Car Accident Lawyers
Although you can drive safely to reduce your chance of being involved in a car accident, you cannot completely eliminate this risk. If you are injured in a collision on an interstate or expressway, consider seeking compensation for your damages through a personal injury claim.
Our team of Phoenix personal injury attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C. can help you seek an appropriate settlement for the expenses you are facing. A few examples of previous settlements our firm has reached for injured clients include:
- $825,000 for a victim who suffered low back injuries after being rear-ended by a commercial truck; and
- $100,000 for a pedestrian victim who was struck by a driver who failed to yield to the pedestrian’s right-of-way.
Contact our firm today for your free case evaluation with us.