In some car accidents and areas, it can be difficult, if not impossible, to tell how the accident occurred and who was at fault. When it comes time to determine how a car crash happened, a personal injury lawyer may need to investigate the accident circumstances or retain an accident reconstructionist who can look into the matter.
Once an investigation is complete, a personal injury lawyer can determine if the accident in question resulted from another driver’s negligence. In that instance, an injured accident victim might be eligible to file a personal injury claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
If you sustained injuries in a recent accident, a personal injury lawyer in your area can help. In addition to investigating the circumstances of your car crash, your lawyer can negotiate with the insurance company adjuster on your behalf and litigate your case if the insurance company refuses to compensate you fairly. Your lawyer can assist you during every step of the proceedings and work to recover the full monetary damages you deserve for your injuries.
Investigating a Car Crash
Determining who caused a motor vehicle crash can sometimes be difficult. This is especially true if two or more vehicles were involved in the accident.
First, a personal injury lawyer can obtain a copy of the police report for your accident. Some police reports will contain an accident diagram or a narrative description of how the accident happened. The police officer who responded to the accident scene may also have recorded body cam footage depicting events before, during, and after the car crash. Your lawyer can obtain a copy of that footage as well.
In addition to obtaining a copy of the police report and reviewing body cam footage from a police officer, a personal injury lawyer can speak with eyewitnesses to the occurrence. These individuals can testify in court about the relative speeds of the vehicles, the directions of the vehicles, and the vehicle maneuvers just before and immediately after the car crash.
Next, a personal injury lawyer can visit the accident scene so that they can gain a complete understanding of how the crash likely happened. A lawyer can also retain an expert, such as an accident reconstructionist, who can review all of the necessary evidence, visit the accident scene themselves, and reach a conclusion about how the accident likely occurred and who caused it.
An accident reconstructionist can testify on the witness stand at a discovery deposition or at a civil jury trial.
Having the necessary experts in your case increases your chances of recovering the favorable monetary compensation that you deserve. A knowledgeable personal injury lawyer can advocate for you throughout your case, help you investigate the circumstances of your accident, and represent you in all legal proceedings.
Proving Negligence in a Car Accident Scenario
In any car accident claim or lawsuit, the accident victim must prove all of the necessary legal elements to recover monetary damages in their case. The at-fault driver, on the other hand, does not need to prove anything or testify in court. Rather, the sole legal burden of proof remains with the accident victim throughout the case.
A driver is negligent when they operate their vehicle in a careless, reckless, or unreasonable manner under the circumstances. This negligence can take various forms, such as violating the rules of the road, engaging in distracted driving, or operating their vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
To prove that another driver was negligent, the injured accident victim must show that the at-fault driver’s negligent actions caused the subject accident. They must also demonstrate that they suffered at least one physical injury in their accident and that their injury resulted directly from the accident. If the accident victim can prove these elements, they may be eligible to recover various monetary damages, depending upon their injuries and the accident circumstances.
A knowledgeable car accident lawyer can help you establish each of these legal elements so that you can prevail in your personal injury claim or lawsuit.
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Types of Car Accidents that May Result From Driver Negligence
When drivers operate their vehicles negligently, they can bring about serious accidents which leave others severely injured. Some of the most common types of accidents include head-on collisions, rear-end crashes, sideswipe accidents, and broadside accidents.
A head-on collision is a collision between two vehicles that are traveling in opposite directions. It occurs when the front of one vehicle hits the front of an oncoming vehicle, usually because of distracted or intoxicated driving. When a head-on collision occurs at a high rate of speed, the injuries that the accident victim suffers may be permanent or fatal.
In addition to head-on collisions, negligent drivers often cause rear-end crashes. These crashes happen when the front of a vehicle hits the back of another vehicle, sometimes causing a chain-reaction collision. The force of a rear-end collision may cause an accident victim’s body to jerk forwards and backward in their seat or cause a part of their body to strike something in the vehicle, like the headrest, window, door frame, dashboard, or steering wheel.
Sideswipe accidents, on the other hand, happen when two vehicles strike one another while traveling in opposite lanes but in the same forward direction. The force of a sideswipe accident might cause a vehicle to move into another travel lane and collide with an oncoming vehicle.
Finally, some car accidents are T-bone accidents or broadside collisions. These accidents happen when the front of one vehicle strikes the side of an adjacent vehicle, resembling the shape of the letter T. The force of a T-bone collision may cause the vehicle on the receiving end to overturn completely or spin in the middle of the intersection, causing the vehicle occupants serious injuries.
If you suffered injuries in a recent car crash, you should talk to a knowledgeable car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Your lawyer can help you evaluate all of your legal options and develop a plan for moving your personal injury case forward in the most efficient manner.
Negligence That Leads to Car Crashes
Drivers who violate traffic laws and otherwise operate their vehicles recklessly are prone to causing serious accidents and injuries. Negligent driving actions, like violating traffic laws, engaging in distracted driving, exhibiting road rage, and operating a vehicle while intoxicated, all increase drivers’ chances of causing a crash.
Vehicle drivers are responsible for following all traffic laws and regulations while behind the wheel. These regulations help keep other drivers and passengers safe. However, when drivers deviate from this standard of care, they increase their likelihood of causing an accident. Common road rule violations that lead to car crashes include failing to yield the right-of-way to other vehicles at the appropriate times, speeding, tailgating, and failing to use turn signals.
Other car accidents happen when drivers operate their vehicles while distracted. A distracted driver is one who does not pay attention to the road sufficiently. Rather than watching the road, the driver might be focusing on a cellular device or GPS navigation system, roughhousing with other vehicle occupants, or listening to loud music in their vehicle.
These distractions can divert a driver’s attention away from the road and onto something else. When a driver looks away from the road, even for one or two seconds, they may not see an approaching pedestrian or vehicle, causing a serious crash.
Road rage is another common cause of vehicle accidents. When a driver exhibits road rage, they usually weave in and out of traffic, fail to use their turn signals, or tailgate other drivers in an attempt to get ahead of them. These aggressive driving maneuvers sometimes backfire and cause an enraged driver to inadvertently strike a nearby vehicle and cause the occupants serious injuries.
Finally, some accidents happen when drivers operate their vehicles while intoxicated by drugs or alcohol. Alcohol is particularly dangerous because it slows down the driver’s central nervous system’s functioning. As a result, the driver may exhibit physical symptoms, including nausea or blurred vision, preventing them from seeing another vehicle. Alternatively, the driver may lose their ability to concentrate or may experience delayed reaction time. As a result, they might be unable to stop their vehicle before causing a crash.
If you or someone you care about has suffered injuries in a car accident resulting from these types of negligence, you are not alone. A personal injury lawyer will be by your side every step of the way advocating for you and safeguarding your legal rights. Your lawyer can help you negotiate a fair settlement offer with the at-fault driver’s insurance company or, if necessary, litigate your case to a prompt conclusion in court.
Recovering Damages for Car Accident Injuries
When a car accident victim can show that their accident resulted from another driver’s negligence, they may be eligible to recover various monetary damages for their injuries.
Accident victims may suffer serious injuries in car crashes, including traumatic head and brain damage, internal organ injuries, soft tissue contusions, broken bones, cuts, bruises, spinal cord damage, and full and partial paralysis injuries.
Every car accident case is different, and not all accident victims are eligible for the same types and amounts of monetary damages. The damages an accident victim recovers will depend upon the type of car accident that occurred, the injuries they suffered, the medical treatment they underwent, and the likelihood they will experience pain and suffering in the future.
First, accident victims can recover lost wages for the time they missed from work. Moreover, if they had to switch jobs and take a pay cut due to their injuries, they can pursue compensation for loss of earning capacity.
Car accident victims may also be eligible to recover damages for past and future pain and suffering. Past pain and suffering compensate accident victims for the symptoms they experienced from the date of the accident until the present. Accident victims can also recover damages for future pain and suffering if they will likely experience symptoms going forward. When a medical provider determines that an accident victim has suffered a permanent injury that is unlikely to improve, the accident victim can receive damages for future pain and suffering.
In addition, car crash victims can recover compensation for loss of the ability to use a body part, loss of life enjoyment, emotional distress, permanent disfigurement, and loss of spousal companionship.
A skilled car accident lawyer can determine which of these damages you can pursue in your case and will fight for your right to recover the compensation you deserve.
Contact a Skilled Car Accident Lawyer Today
Victims of serious car accidents should take prompt action right away. This is because car crash victims have only two years from their accident date in which to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit that seeks monetary compensation. The statute of limitations establishes this two-year deadline, and it is a hard-and-fast rule that all accident victims must follow strictly.
If an accident victim fails to file their lawsuit within two years after their accident date, they forever waive the right to recover monetary damages for their injuries. Since this statute is so unforgiving, you should retain an experienced personal injury lawyer to represent you as soon as possible.
Most people understand that accident victims who have representation from a lawyer tend to receive more compensation. Simply put, the insurance company prefers you to try and represent yourself. Since most lawyers who handle personal injury cases offer a free consultation to potential clients, there is no good reason not to seek representation.
Having a lawyer on board significantly increases your chances of recovering favorable monetary compensation in your claim or a lawsuit. Your lawyer can help you pursue the damages you need to become whole again by highlighting the strengths of your car accident claim, downplaying any case weaknesses, and fighting for your legal rights at all times.