How Do I Know If I Have A Valid Case For My Car Accident?Last updated on: September 30, 2022
If you have been in a car accident, your first concerns probably revolve around your health. Injuries from car accidents can take time to heal, and you are right to address them first.
However, once you have your injuries under control, you can investigate your case to determine whether you have a case that deserves compensation or not. You can assess the strength of your case based on three requirements.
Three Basic Requirements For A Car Accident Claim
To have a car accident claim, the driver responsible for the accident must have acted carelessly, causing you to suffer a compensable injury. Based on these requirements, you should be able determine whether your case fulfills the fundamental elements of a negligence claim.
The Driver Who Caused The Accident Was Negligent
First, you must determine whether you are able to establish that the person who injured you failed to use ordinary care, and that as a result of that failure you suffered an injury. The level of care that drivers on the road must take is that of a reasonable person in a similar situation.
A non-negligent driver follows the law regarding speed limits, traffic lights, construction zones, and poor weather conditions. Taking these precautions allows the driver to prevent foreseeable harm.
When a driver neglects his or her duty to act as a reasonable person would, the driver violates the legal duty of care owed to the other drivers on the road. If the other driver in your case was going too fast, ran a red light, or violated this duty in some other way, you might be able to show that the driver was negligent.
The Driver’s Negligence Caused Your Injury
Next, you must show that your injury was caused by the other driver’s negligent act. Under this requirement, you ensure that you are suing the correct person for your injury and that the driver is responsible for your injury.
For example, if you are distracted by the driver’s flashy car and you crash into the car in front of you, the driver’s negligence probably did not cause your injury. However, if the other driver ran through a red light and crashed into you, the driver’s negligence is probably the cause of your injury.
The Accident Caused You to Suffer Compensable Damages
Finally, you must determine whether there are sufficient damages to warrant the time and hassle of dealing with filing a claim. Those include things like lost wages, medical expenses, and pain and suffering.
If you received a physical injury from the accident, you likely received an injury for which you can receive compensation under the law. However, the expense, pain, and suffering from the injury might be so miniscule that it will not be worth your time and effort to sue.
An attorney can help determine what a justifiable amount of damages might be when considering a compensation case.
Why Proving Fault Matters After a Car Accident
In order to successfully prove your negligence claim, you must show that the other driver was at fault for the accident. The person who was at fault for the accident in a car accident is typically financially responsible for the damages of those harmed in the accident. The driver who is at fault usually pays for the harm through their car insurance.
Another reason fault matters in personal injury cases is because of the way states assign financial responsibility based on the amount of fault each driver must accept for the accident. Some states are fault states and others are no-fault states.
In fault states, the driver who caused the crash must pay the damages of the victims of the crash. Damages include repairs to damaged property, medical bills, missed wages from time taken off work, medical expenses, and pain and suffering. The victims include all those who were harmed in the accident, such as passengers and pedestrians.
In no-fault states, drivers are required to carry personal injury protection insurance. This limits the victim’s ability to file a claim against the other driver, so speak with an experienced attorney if you are attempting to file a personal injury claim.
Additionally, you might have to share fault for the accident with the other driver if you live in a state with a comparative negligence law. That means you might not recover for all of your damages. If you were 30 percent at fault for the accident, the defendant might only owe you 70 percent of your damages.
Speak With an Experienced Car Accident Attorney Today
If you or someone you know has been injured in a car accident, call Zinda Law Group at (888) 435-1046 to schedule a free consultation and case evaluation. At the consultation, we will help you understand your legal rights and options, evaluate your case, and answer your questions about the process.
Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.