Car accidents can happen at any time, in any place, and for any reason. Many of these collisions occur due to negligent driving behaviors, such as speeding, running a red light, or driving under the influence. Other accidents occur due to bad weather, poorly maintained roads, and sudden unintended acceleration. If you are injured in an accident due to sudden unintended acceleration, you could hold the at-fault party accountable for your losses through an insurance claim or lawsuit.
Understanding Sudden Unintended Acceleration
Sudden unintended acceleration refers to the unexpected or uncontrolled acceleration of a motor vehicle. Some drivers may be unable to brake or control the vehicle once it starts to accelerate. This dangerous occurrence can cause you to lose control of your vehicle, resulting in a motor vehicle accident. If another vehicle in your vicinity experiences sudden unintended acceleration, the driver can crash into without warning—leading to severe injuries and vehicle damage.
Many factors may contribute to sudden unintended acceleration. These accidents may occur due to defective vehicle parts, such as defective brakes or a mechanical or electrical issue inside of the vehicle. However, some of these accidents occur due to driver error. For example, a driver may accidentally step on the gas pedal instead of the brake, causing him or her to collide into another vehicle.
Legal Options for Sudden Unintended Acceleration Victims
Victims of sudden unintended acceleration have multiple options for compensation after their accident. Since California is a fault accident state, the at-fault party is responsible for the collision must pay for his or her victims’ damages. If you are injured after a driver accidentally hit the gas instead of the brakes and collides into you, you could file an insurance claim or lawsuit against him or her.
Many cases of sudden unintended acceleration occur due to a defective vehicle part, however. In this situation, you could file a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer, distributor, or retailer of that defective part. You may need help from a Bakersfield car accident attorney to identify the nature of the defect.
What to Do If You Experience Sudden Unintended Acceleration
If your vehicle starts accelerating uncontrollably while you are on the road, it is important to remain calm and take careful steps to regain control of the vehicle. The following tips can help you reduce the risk of a serious collision in the event of sudden unintended acceleration.
- Try hitting your brakes and apply as much force as possible. Keep the pressure on the brakes steady. Do not pump the brakes.
- Avoid jerking your steering wheel—this could cause you to lose control of your vehicle.
- Do not turn off your engine. This will not stop the vehicle; it will only cause you to lose control of the brakes and your steering wheel, which you need to safely bring your car to a stop.
- Put your vehicle in neutral or depress the clutch. This will hopefully stop the engine from moving your vehicle forward.
- Once your vehicle starts to slow down, pull over in a safe location on the side of the road.
- When the vehicle comes to a stop, turn off the engine, set the parking brake, and exit the vehicle.
While these tips can help protect yourself in case of sudden acceleration, accidents may still occur. As soon as possible after your collision, seek medical attention, call 911, and contact a Bakersfield car accident lawyer. Your attorney will be able to evaluate your case and help craft a compelling case for your right to compensation.