Car accidents are nearly always preventable, which means in many cases one party has fault in the accident. Individual states and the specific circumstances surrounding the accident will ultimately determine whether or not a lawsuit can be pursued. If you have been involved in an accident and believe you may be entitled to damages, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible to ensure your rights are protected.
Damages Awarded in Car Accident Lawsuits
Generally, there is a significant list of damages that can potentially arise as a result of any serious car accident. Obviously there will be property damage, but also injury, lost time from work, subsequent medical visits and scheduled rehabilitation if needed. These are all among the damages that may be in play following any type of collision. A single car accident can significantly affect your quality of life for an indefinite period of time and in some cases, affect multiple members of the family. Damages typically awarded in car accident lawsuits include compensation for pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of spousal companionship, medical expenses, the cost to repair or replace the damaged vehicle, and loss of wages.
If the other driver carried the required liability insurance and was deemed at fault in the accident, no legal action can be taken until you know which expenses the insurance company will cover and which expenses are outstanding. Expenses covered by the insurance company will not be awarded separately as damages. The best way to ensure that all applicable damages are recovered is to hire an attorney who understands the system and who knows how to walk you through it.
Proof Required in Car Accident Lawsuits
In order to win a car accident lawsuit, you must be able to prove that the driver of another vehicle had liability for the accident. Accident reports, statements from accident reconstruction specialists, eyewitness accounts of the accident, photos, and personal statements must be gathered and presented in order to prove that:
- the driver at fault had a duty to drive safely
- the driver at fault breached that duty
- their breach directly caused your injury
An attorney who specializes in car accident lawsuits understands the factors that need to be proven as well as the most successful methods of doing so. Hiring an experienced attorney significantly increases your chances of winning the case.
Because going to trial can be costly and burdensome, cases are often settled out of court. During an out-of-court settlement, the terms are agreed upon between the respective parties through their attorneys, and payment is generally settled without intervention from the court system. The injured still receives restitution as agreed upon, but in the end, saves on the cost of an ongoing court battle. Another advantage is that the settlement process is usually completed much sooner than a trial. Therefore finding an attorney who is keenly aware of the advantages of out-of-court settlements and subsequently has a record of substantial settlement cases is definitely a good idea.
Selecting the Right Attorney
Car accidents can have long-lasting effects on the victim’s life. Not only can one accident result in fatalities, but it can also cause ongoing medical problems that prevent the victim from returning to work in any capacity and result in lost income and benefits for the remainder of a victim’s working years. Some victims may even suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder characterized by recurring bouts of anxiety and fear. Many victims find themselves in financial ruin following an accident for any number of reasons.
If you have been the victim of a car accident that has significantly impacted your life, we may be able to help. You might be entitled to compensation. Call our office today to learn more about your rights and request a free, no-obligation case review. We understand how the law works in cases such as these, and we consequently know how to make it work for you.