November 20, 2017

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Auto Accident Law

If you are in an automobile accident that was not your fault, you may be able to sue the person who caused the incident. Such claims usually must be brought within a certain period of time, so it is important to contact an Auto Accident or Personal Injury Attorney to ensure you meet the deadline. View qualified Vehicular Accident Attorneys in your area to find Automobile Accident Lawyers.

Negligence Claim

Auto accidents are almost never intentional, but result from the negligence of the driver. To prevail, you typically must demonstrate the following:

The at-fault driver owed you a duty of care, often shown by reference to the rules of the road.
He failed to meet the duty, typically by violating traffic or speeding laws.
Your injuries and property damage were the direct result of his failure (proximate cause).
The amount of your damages.

Damages

Damage from an auto accident can be extensive, and often includes intangible as well as economic injuries, such as:

  • Loss of earnings during your recovery, as well as any future loss of earnings resulting from long-term or permanent injuries.
  • Property damage to your vehicle and any items in it.
  • Pain and suffering
  • Medical expenses of the immediate injuries and any future care you will require as a result of them.
  • Loss of enjoyment of life for that period of time when you were prevented from doing the things you love.
  • Loss of consortium which reimburses your spouse for the loss of your care, comfort and companionship while you are rehabilitating or permanently disabled.
  • Punitive damages may be available, but only in the most egregious circumstances of willful and wanton behavior

Common Defenses

Typically, the at-fault driver will seek to limit his damages with a vigorous defense, which may include one or more of the following claims:

  • An emergency happened where the driver who hit you was not negligent and could not possibly have prevented the accident. For example, if you skidded on unexpected black ice into his/her lane, and neither of you could be deemed negligent, and you would not recover from him/her.
  • Contributory or comparative negligence where if you were partially at fault for the accident, you would recover only a portion, or none, of your damages.

Common Mistakes

Accident victims often make common mistakes that you should avoid, such as:

  • Not getting an accident report completed by the police
  • Moving the vehicle before the report is complete
  • Leaving the scene before the police arrive
  • Failing to get license plate and driver’s license numbers, insurance policies and contact information from each driver
  • Failing to obtain contact information for each witness
  • Forgetting to contact an attorney
  • Ignoring seemingly minor injuries and not seeking medical attention.
  • Not taking photographs of the damage and the accident scene
  • Tossing out damaged objects
  • Apologizing or admitting fault

Related areas:

Personal Injury, Litigation, Wrongful Death, Automobile Lawyers, Vehicular Accident Attorneys, Automobile Accident Claims