Accidents can happen no matter how careful you are. You can be the most vigilant driver in the world but still be rear-ended by someone who isn’t paying attention to the road in front of them. A resulting injury isn’t your fault in this case, and someone other than you should have to pay for your doctor bills and missed income that results from this type of accident. You never know how long even a minor injury may keep you out of work or how much money you might end up spending on prescriptions and doctor visits. While the first step to any accident is getting to the hospital if you are injured, the next should be securing a personal injury attorney who can help you weave through a complicated legal system. A car accident lawyer is extremely important to have on your side when you are in an accident that isn’t your fault, especially when you have suffered injuries because of it. Your vehicle isn’t the only thing that will need to be fixed!
Who is Liable?
If you are in an accident on the highway or you fall because of an icy sidewalk in front of a business, then someone else may be at fault. A personal injury lawyer will help prove to the insurance company or the courts that you are not responsible for the injury you sustained and they will fight for you to get the money you deserve. It is also easier in some cases to determine just whose fault an accident was depending on the order of events. Courts have created specific tests that can determine legal liability for a case and specifications on how far it will extend.
Any lawsuit handled by an accident attorney that attempts to prove liability is called a negligence claim. A negligence claim is filed by the plaintiff, or the injured party, against the person or company that is thought to be at fault for the accident, or the defendant. The plaintiff may have to prove the following five points in order to win a negligence claim:
•Duty: The defendant was responsible for a certain level of care. This could relate to a restaurant owner being responsible for salting and cleaning his sidewalks after an ice storm.
•Breach of Duty: The defendant did not take care of his responsibility. This could be the restaurant owner not taking care of his icy sidewalk in front of his building.
•Cause in Fact: The plaintiff was injured because the defendant failed his duty. This could relate to the plaintiff slipping on the ice in front of the restaurant.
•Proximate Cause: The defendant and nothing or nobody else caused the injury to the plaintiff.
•Damages: The plaintiff now has legitimate injuries and suffered some type of loss.
It can be difficult to prove each and every point during a lawsuit. A personal injury attorney can help the plaintiff by taking care of all the legalities of the claim and guiding them through the process.
Recovery for Damages
Monetary damages may be given to a plaintiff who is successful in his or her negligence claim. It can be very difficult to navigate the legal world after an accident so it is crucial to hire an accident lawyer to provide you with the defense necessary to win.