Car Accidents

Every day in the United States, people are injured and killed in car accidents that are not their fault. Many accidents involve negligent car or truck drivers who are careless, distracted, or under the influence.

You can recover compensation if you can prove that a driver’s negligence caused your injuries. An insurance claim settlement or court award can help you get money to cover medical bills and property damage.

To prove the other person was at fault for the accident, you need to file a personal injury lawsuit. Though it sounds like this is against the other driver, it is actually a case against that driver’s insurance company.

A personal injury lawyer can explain your legal options after a car accident. Talk to a car accident lawyer for legal advice about your case.

Who Can File a Car Accident Lawsuit?

When someone is injured in a car accident, the injury victim can file a lawsuit for personal injury losses. Anyone involved in the car crash can also file a personal injury case.

An injured car accident victim can file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver responsible for the accident. In an accident caused by a defective car part, the driver can file a personal injury claim against the manufacturer or distributor.

If a car accident victim dies, the victim’s family members can file a wrongful death lawsuit on their behalf. Family members may also file a lawsuit on behalf of a minor or incapacitated loved one.

How Long Do You Have to File an Automobile Accident Lawsuit?

Car accident cases have a statute of limitations. This is the deadline to file a claim in court. Car accident laws vary by state. In most bodily injury accident cases, the statute of limitations is from one to three years. Contact a car accident attorney as soon as possible to make sure you file your claim in time.

Proving Fault in an Auto Accident Lawsuit

To prove fault in a motor vehicle accident, you generally show the other driver was negligent. Negligence means failing to drive like a reasonable person under the circumstances. Running a stop sign, texting and driving, or failing to yield the right of way are examples of negligence.

Your personal injury case is a civil case. The burden of proof in a civil lawsuit is by a preponderance of the evidence. You need to show that it is more likely than not that the driver was negligent in causing the accident. To support your case, you use evidence to show the driver was violating traffic laws or driving negligently.

In some accidents, both drivers may partly be at fault. Contributory negligence can limit how much you can recover in accident damages. Under some state comparative negligence laws, your level of fault can reduce the amount of damages available. In a few states, you cannot recover any damages if you have any share of fault.

Talk to your personal injury attorney about your state’s fault and negligence laws.

Evidence Used in a Car Accident Lawsuit

An auto accident attorney can help injured motorists prove the driver was at fault for their injuries with evidence. Evidence in a car accident injury case might include:

  • The police report or accident report from the scene of the accident
  • Any records of criminal charges filed against the driver
  • Results from breath, blood, and urine tests
  • Footage from dash or security cameras
  • Testimony from eyewitnesses
  • Photographic evidence
  • Medical treatment records
  • Auto repair records

If a car accident involves a commercial driver, the company that hired the driver is liable. For example, a commercial driving company may be liable for a victim’s injuries.

Can You File an Accident Claim Against an Uninsured Driver?

If the other driver does not have insurance, they are still liable for any damages caused in the accident. However, it can be hard to recover compensation if they don’t have any money or assets.

If you have uninsured motorist coverage, your insurance can cover your injuries and losses. Uninsured driver coverage can also cover injuries after a hit-and-run accident. In some states with personal injury protection laws, your insurance policy may also cover your injuries.

Car Accident Compensation Awards

The damages available in a car accident claim depend on the type of accident and the extent of injuries.

Car accident victims can claim compensation for medical expenses, property damage, and lost income. Some victims are also awarded compensation for pain and suffering. If a car accident resulted in severe injuries, a victim might claim compensation for future medical expenses and loss of earning potential.

For more information about your legal rights, talk to an experienced car accident lawyer.

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