Rapid City Car Accident Lawyers
Serving Auto Accident Victims in South Dakota & the Surrounding Areas
In the aftermath of a motor vehicle accident, everything can seem overwhelming—especially if you were seriously injured or a loved one lost their life. Seeking the assistance of a skilled Rapid City car accident lawyer cannot change what has happened, but we may be able to help you obtain the compensation you deserve. At Thomas Braun Bernard & Burke, LLP, we routinely handle cases involving clients who were injured or killed as a result of negligent or reckless drivers. Our goal is to hold motorists accountable legally and financially for their actions, which often involves bringing a personal injury claim against them. With our assistance, you may be able to recover damages for medical care, lost income, pain and suffering, and/or physical injuries or disabilities. Our team of experienced trial lawyers has what it takes to help you fight for the maximum compensation you and your family deserve.
Car Accident Statistics
When you get into your vehicle and begin traveling, you expect to arrive safely at your destination. No one anticipates being in a car crash, yet in 2020, more than 38,000 people died and millions more were injured in motor vehicle accidents nationwide, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
In fact, even though Americans drove less in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, NHTSA’s estimates show that approximately 38,680 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes that year alone—the largest projected number of motor vehicle fatalities since 2007. Most people involved in fatal auto crashes in 2020 were passenger vehicle occupants, although the number of pedestrian, motorcycle, and cyclist fatalities were significant as well.
Demographics and other factors related to fatal car crashes that showed the largest increases in 2020 as compared to the previous year include those involving:
- Speeding-related crashes (11% increase)
- Crashes during nighttime (11% increase)
- Crashes during the weekend (9% increase)
- Single-vehicle crashes (9% increase)
- Police-reported crashes involving alcohol use (9% increase)
- Occupant ejection (20% increase)
Common Causes of Car Accidents
Some of the most common causes of car accidents include:
- Inattention and distracted driving
- Texting or using a cellphone while driving
- Failure to follow traffic laws
- Failure to yield the right of way
- Following too closely (tailgating)
- Merging or changing lanes too closely
- Dangerous turns
- Failure to obey traffic signals, stop signs, and other traffic control devices
- Driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs
- Unsafe or unlawful passing
Often, there are additional underlying elements involved in these collisions, such as inclement weather resulting in poor road conditions and/or limited visibility, difficulty seeing during nighttime driving, and/or auto defects.
At Thomas Braun Bernard & Burke, LLP, our Rapid City car accident attorneys work with accident reconstructionists and other types of expert witnesses or specialists to fully investigate how the accident occurred, and, most importantly, who is liable. We pride ourselves in relentless representation; we will leave no stone unturned when it comes to seeking all possible avenues of compensation for our clients.
What to Do After a Car Crash
If you find yourself in a car accident, do the following as soon as possible to protect yourself and your claim:
- Seek medical attention if you or another person is injured. After a car crash, the most important thing is to focus on your health. Even when a collision does not seem significant, if you do not feel normal, you should consider scheduling an appointment with your doctor because sometimes individuals can sustain internal injuries.
- Call the police so they can respond to the scene and prepare an accident report.
- Collect contact information from the other motorist(s) involved in the crash as well as from any witnesses.
- Take pictures of the accident scene and all vehicles involved in the crash right away. It is important to photograph the damaged vehicle(s) from as many angles as possible. Pay attention to photographing things that will show the scene, such as nearby traffic signals, road conditions, weather, tire skid marks, property damage, and bodily injuries.
- When photographing the vehicles, don’t forget that sometimes vehicle damage is often not limited to just to the exterior of the vehicle. For example, the frame may be bent, seat backs may be broken, or body components may have been pushed up against the engine.
- Reach out to a local car accident attorney in your area to discuss your legal options and whether you have a viable car accident claim worth pursuing.
Contact Our Experienced Rapid City Auto Accident Attorneys
The car accident lawyers at Thomas Braun Bernard & Burke, LLP possess the skills, experience, and commitment to obtain a fair recovery for you. We are standing by to discuss your legal rights and options during a complementary, no obligation case evaluation.