In the city of New Orleans, we have no shortage of spectacle. From parades to costumes to street performers, there are many moments that captivate our attention. We crane our necks to get a better view of the fun and exciting sights that occur day-to-day in our city.
On a more serious note, New Orleans is experiencing a rise in traffic accidents. When these accidents occur on busy thoroughfares, it is common for other drivers to take a peek at what occurred. Curiosity and concern for safety makes it enticing to look at the accident.
However, these distractions have the risk of becoming dangerous, especially if we are driving past them. They are just as dangerous as looking at our phones, falling asleep at the wheel, and other similar disruptions. When other events on the road distract you, many people call these instances "rubbernecking."
At Huber Thomas Law, we help drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists all over New Orleans navigate their claims after a traffic accident. We protect their interests, ensuring they receive the maximum compensation they deserve. Here's some advice on rubbernecking cases and what to do if you're in this kind of accident.
Overview of Rubbernecking
What is rubbernecking?
Rubbernecking is the act of diverting your attention away from the road and towards something of interest. It is a common yet dangerous behavior on the road. It is most often done when people slowly pass by an accident, emergency, or some other unusual or captivating event.
What is the origin of the term “rubbernecking?”
After reading the definition, you can probably guess why it is called “rubbernecking.” When people engage in rubbernecking, they typically crane their necks to get a better view. They stretch and strain to catch the details in front of them. It may seem harmless, but this diversion of attention can then lead to traffic hazard or traffic disruption.
What are the hazards of rubbernecking?
Rubbernecking may seem benign, but it is very dangerous. Rubbernecking can be dangerous as it diverts attention and may cause accidents for those involved.
It can also lead to a ripple effect of accidents and traffic congestion. This is especially problematic on highways and busy roads.
What is the law enforcement stance on rubbernecking?
Law enforcement strongly advises people to keep their attention on the road. There are so many sights that could catch our eye when we’re on the road, but it takes us away from the task at hand.
In some cases, law enforcement may take action. They may issue fines for those who egregiously slow down and stare at accidents or events on the road.
While rubbernecking can sound benign, the consequences are far reaching. It is another reminder that safe and attentive driving is important for our own wellbeing –and the safety of others.
Is rubbernecking illegal?
In most jurisdictions, the simple act of rubbernecking is not typically illegal. Law enforcement strongly advises drivers to stay focused on the road to avoid the problems that result from rubbernecking.
In fact, rubbernecking can lead to serious illegal offenses or violations of traffic laws. Below are a few incidents than can occur from rubbernecking:
Rubbernecking is distracted activity. People divert their attention away from the road and towards something of interest. This distraction can lead to traffic accidents and violations.
Following Too Closely
Slowing down to view an accident on the side of the road may cause issues. Abrupt slowdowns can cause vehicles behind to crash or pile up.
Impeding Traffic Flow
If a driver unnecessarily slows down, it can cause a disruption to the flow of traffic. Disrupting the flow of traffic is a violation of traffic laws.
Obstructing Emergency Responders
Emergency responders will need to navigate through traffic to assist the collision of interest. Rubbernecking can cause them delays and disruptions in accessing the scene of the accident or emergency. Obstructing emergency responders can lead to legal consequences.
What should you do if you’ve been in a rubbernecking accident?
A rubbernecking accident may look like other types of vehicle accidents. Therefore, the procedures you should follow are the same. If rubbernecking caused your involvement in an accident, you must ensure your safety. You will want to comply with all necessary legal and insurance procedures.
Here's what you should do:
1. Check for Injuries: Your top priority is to check yourself and any passengers for injuries. If anyone is hurt, call emergency services immediately. If it's safe to do so, remove your vehicle out of the flow of traffic. This will help you mitigate additional accidents and injuries.
2. Share Information with Others Involved: No matter who is at fault, you will want to exchange information with all others involved. This involves exchanging names, contact information, insurance details, and vehicle registration information.
3. Document the Accident: If it safe for you to take photos, document the accident scene. You will want to use your smartphone or camera to capture vehicle damage, license plates, road conditions, and any visible injuries. This documentation can be helpful for insurance claims and legal purposes.
4. Contact Authorities: Report the accident to the police. Even if the accident is minor, you will want an official police report. This will come in handy later when conducting insurance claims and legal proceedings.
5. Collect Witness Information: If there were any witnesses to the accident, ask for their contact information in case their statements are needed later.
6. Call Your Insurance: Get in touch with your insurance company ASAP. When you report the accident to them, be sure to provide accurate and detailed information about what happened. Follow their instructions for filing a claim.
7. Seek Medical Attention: Even if you don't believe you're seriously injured, it's a good idea to seek medical attention after an accident. Not all injuries are obvious right away. Getting a medical check-up can make sure you get the right treatment and have a record of your injuries.
8. Cooperate with Authorities: Follow any instructions given by law enforcement officers at the scene. Be truthful and provide accurate information.
9. Avoid Blame and Apologies: Do not admit fault or apologize for the accident, as this could be used against you in insurance claims or legal proceedings.
10. Consult an Attorney: If the accident resulted in significant injuries, property damage, or disputes with insurance companies, consider consulting with a personal injury attorney. A team like Huber Thomas Law can help protect your rights and navigate the legal process.
Every accident is different, so the actions you should take can vary based on the situation and laws in your area. Always prioritize safety and follow the guidance of law enforcement and your insurance company.
Who is liable in a rubbernecking accident?
Liability in a rubbernecking accident is determined similar to other types of accidents. It depends on the unique circumstances of the incident. Liability will not be determined until all actions and behaviors of those involved are reviewed.
Common situations may include:
The Rubbernecker is At Fault
If the rubbernecker was distracted and driving without caution, they may be found at fault. They will have to work with their liability insurance to cover vehicle damage and passenger or driver injuries.
The Other Driver is At Fault
There may be cases where the rubbernecker shares responsibility with another driver. If another driver follows too closely, speeds, or makes an unsafe maneuver, it may contribute to an accident with the rubbernecker.
A Third Party is Involved
Liability is complex, and situations may involve other parties. Pedestrians or cyclists may also find themselves in these rubbernecking accidents. Liability will be determined based on the specific actions of all who were involved.
There may be some instances where multiple drivers share liability. A rubbernecker and another driver or third party may be at fault. If this is determined, damages will be apportioned according to their degree of fault.
Determining liability is always a complex matter. Your insurance company and legal team will weigh all evidence in order to determine who was at fault in the accident. Sometimes, this isn’t enough. Battles may ensue as a result of disputes or disagreements of liability.
If you find yourself involved in a rubbernecking accident, you need to protect your interests. This begins by following all proper procedures: contacting the police, exchanging information with other drivers, and documenting the scene.
Even further, you will want a legal team on your side. Huber Thomas Law team will guide you, reduce stress, and make sure you get the compensation you deserve.
Why is it important to seek legal help after a rubbernecking incident?
No matter the type of vehicle accident, legal representation is paramount. In a rubbernecking case, finding a reputable attorney to handle your case is important for several reasons:
1. Determining Liability: Determining fault in a rubbernecking-related accident is not easy. Facts of the case must be reviewed in order to determine liability. Our legal team at Huber Thomas Law investigates circumstances thoroughly, gathers evidence, and interviews witnesses to determine liability. It is how we begin relentlessly pursuing compensation for injuries and damages.
2. Navigating Insurance Claims: Insurance companies notoriously undercut compensation. Attorneys, like those at Huber Thomas Law, can negotiate with insurance adjusters to ensure you receive fair compensation. We can also help you understand your insurance policy and any potential limitations.
3. Understanding Your Rights: When you are involved in a legal matter, you need to be aware of your rights and options. Our legal professionals can provide guidance on the best course of action. We'll give you advice on whether to make a personal injury claim, settle, or go to court.
4. Maximizing Compensation: An attorney can help you seek maximum compensation for medical bills, property damage, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages resulting from the accident. They can calculate the true value of your claim and ensure you don't settle for less than you deserve.
5. Dealing with Legal Complexities: Legal processes can be complex, with various deadlines, paperwork, and legal procedures to follow. Huber Thomas Law can handle complex tasks for you, ensuring correct document filing and meeting important deadlines.
6. Fighting for Justice: If your case goes to court, our attorneys can represent your interests. We’ll present a strong legal argument on your behalf. We will tirelessly advocate for your rights and ensure that we hold the responsible parties accountable for their actions.
7. Reducing Stress: Dealing with the aftermath of an accident, including injuries and property damage, can be incredibly stressful. We will shoulder the legal burden, allowing you to focus on your recovery and well-being.
8. Access to Resources: You don’t need to handle this on your own. We have access to resources, such as accident reconstruction experts and medical experts. This access allows us to provide you with valuable insights and testimony to strengthen your case.
In short, seeking legal help after a rubbernecking incident is essential. A legal team can assist you with your rights. They can also increase your chances of fair compensation. Additionally, they can help reduce the stress of legal processes.
Our lawyers at Huber Thomas Law are skilled and will guide you through the entire process. They will work diligently to ensure that you receive the justice and compensation you deserve.
Choose Huber Thomas Law to Protect Your Interests
With Huber Thomas Law, you have a formidable ally in your corner. We understand that dealing with the aftermath of rubbernecking accident can be a challenging and overwhelming experience. Having a seasoned car accident lawyer in New Orleans by your side can truly make all the difference.
At Huber Thomas Law, we believe in putting our clients first. That's why we offer free consultations to discuss the specifics of your case. It's an opportunity for you to get to know us, and for us to understand your unique situation. We'll provide you with insights, answer your questions, and help you chart the path forward. Don't carry the burden alone – let us stand by your side. Schedule your free consultation today, and let's take the first step toward achieving the resolution you seek.