Reading this article, you will learn about the different legal issues involved in car accident injury cases. Many factors influence on the case, therefore, hiring a car accident lawyer gives you most chances of succeeding in your case.
In the majority of the states, the at-fault driver will suffer the financial consequences for having caused a car accident, including damages and injuries medical costs resulting from it. However, practically speaking, it will be that driver’s car insurance company the one paying for most injury claims, and the at-fault driver will have to pay a raised insurance premium.
Nevertheless, we cannot generalize since rules and laws vary from state to state and that is why it is important to count on the assistance of a local car accident lawyer.
Determining Fault For An Accident
For people living in one of the so called “fault” states, demonstrating both fault and liability for the resulting damage and injuries is going to be the heart of the matter of your car accident case. So, in a “fault” state, determining who was at fault is the primary factor.
Sometimes, the fault is very obvious, and everyone realizes which driver did not follow the rules and shall be held responsible. Some other times, the at fault party is not so clear. Your car accident lawyer will have to prove liability, establishing three factors:
- Owed Legal Duty – The duty is what all drivers owe to the other drivers; if you are a driver you owe everyone around on the road ( such as other drivers, pedestrians, passengers, bicyclists, etc.) the duty to operate the car or vehicle with a reasonable standard of care.
- A Breached Duty – The plaintiff needs to prove that the other driver was negligent addressing the duty of reasonable care. Considering that the “duty” is to drive as any reasonable, responsible, and prudent driver would, in car accidents “the reasonable person standard” is utilized to determine if there is a breach or not in the particular car accident.
If it is determined that a reasonable driver would have had more care while driving, the questioned driver can be considered negligent and, at least, partially at fault.
- The Breach Caused Injuries – Having been negligent would not necessarily make the driver responsible for the accident and resulting injuries. His negligence must have been the direct or most proximate cause of the car crash. In layman words, the accident would not have occurred if the driver had been more careful.
If the injured also shares some blame for having caused the accident, this will affect the monetary compensation he/she will recover, in some cases up to anything at all if the claimant is deemed at fault too. How shared fault will impact on the results of the case will depend on the rules of the state where the accident took place.
“No Fault States” and Car Accidents.
There are about a dozen of “no fault” states where the injured driver first turns into his/her own insurance regardless of who really originated the car accident. There is only a way to sue negligent drivers at “no fault” states, and it is possible only if the given case falls under “serious injury” or “monetary threshold” in place in the state where the accident happened.
It seems pretty clear that it is crucial not to seek the advice of any lawyer, on the contrary, given the complexity of car accident cases and how law varies from state to state, the best thing to do is hiring the services of an experienced local car accident lawyer.