Can I Sue After a Car Accident?

September 21, 2023
Can I Sue After a Car Accident?

Car accidents often lead to painful injuries, significant property damage, medical bills, loss of income, and possibly even death. That said, after a car accident, a victim may feel overwhelmed by the piles of bills they cannot pay. If this is the case for you, you may recover compensation for your losses.

First and foremost, seek immediate medical attention for your injuries after a car accident. Even if the accident seemed minor and you do not think that you have any significant injuries, get an exam by a licensed medical provider to ensure you do not have any injuries you didn’t notice.

After a doctor has assessed you and started your treatment plan, you will want to find a car accident lawyer with experience and knowledge of the laws surrounding your accident.

A car accident lawyer will listen to your experience and file a lawsuit against the defendant when appropriate.

You can often file a lawsuit after a car accident

Whether you can file a lawsuit depends on your circumstances.

First, someone else must have caused your accident and injuries. Next, you must live in a tort state for auto accidents or meet the threshold for third-party claims in a no-fault state. The best way to know your options is to consult a lawyer.

Your attorney will listen to your side of the story, take notes, and make legal recommendations based on the details of your case. If you decide to take legal action against the responsible party for your car accident, you may pursue a lawsuit. By filing this lawsuit, you can recover maximum compensation for the damages that the accident caused you.

Can't I pursue a car accident claim on my own?

You should not pursue a car accident claim independently because car accident claims are much more complicated and challenging than people typically imagine. The defendant's insurance company has extensive training and is ready to find any way to put some blame for the accident on you.

Even though you may think you can handle it, the truth is insurance companies often use tricky tactics to get people to admit fault. They will also search for ways to prove that your injuries are not severe and can manipulate people into making statements that damage their chances of receiving maximum compensation.

Additionally, you cannot simply file a car accident claim and expect to win automatically. Instead, you must collect significant and compelling evidence and establish that the responsible parties were at fault, causing your accident.

Some of the most common negligent behaviors that lead to car accidents and lawsuits include:

As you can see, there are many different negligent behaviors that other drivers and parties may be involved in, which resulted in your car accident and injuries. When you file a lawsuit, you must prove that these behaviors or actions took place, and a professional car accident attorney will gladly build a strong case for you.

When you have suffered an injury in a car accident, you can file a lawsuit against all the parties involved who contributed. You must contact an experienced car accident lawyer to discuss your case and begin the legal process immediately.

Will my car accident case go to trial?

When attorneys sit down to discuss a potential client's car accident case, one of the first questions they receive is regarding the path of the case. Many people wonder if their car accident case will automatically go to a trial in court. Some people are simply curious, while others need to know if they must take time off work to attend potential hearings.

Either way, this is a valid question, and it depends on your case's specific facts and circumstances. Everyone's car accident case is unique, meaning that the legal route that someone else's case may take will likely differ from the one you need to take.

Most car accident cases go through a settlement process with the insurance companies first. This part of the process is where your attorney discusses terms with the insurance company until they reach a fair and just settlement offer.

Most of the time, the outcome of this settlement process is favorable, and insurance companies will provide a fair compensation amount for the injured individual to pay their bills and get their life back on track. However, insurance companies can claim you do not deserve your total settlement because of insufficient evidence. When this happens, your lawyer will most likely talk with you and decide to go to trial to fight for the compensation you deserve.

When your car accident case goes to trial, your attorney will prepare a solid and aggressive argument to the judge and jury regarding why you are owed maximum compensation for your losses. The right attorneys will not back down from insurance companies as they believe in holding those who severely injure their clients accountable for their actions.

How will my attorney prove negligence?

Most car accident cases occur because of negligence and careless drivers. That said, your attorney will work with you to determine how negligence was a factor in the accident and find ways to demonstrate how the defendant's careless behavior caused the accident and your losses.

You must establish these four factors when proving negligence:

  1. Duty of care: A duty is a specific legal obligation one person has to another. For example, the defendant in a car accident case had a duty to keep the plaintiff safe and harm-free while they were driving.
  2. Breach of duty: A breach happens when the individual does not follow through with their duty. For a car accident claim, the plaintiff must show that the defendant breached their duty by doing something negligent, such as driving while intoxicated, talking on the phone, running a red light, going over the posted speed limit, etc.
  3. Causation: The breach of duty must directly cause the car accident.
  4. Damages: As a result of the accident, the victim suffered injuries, property damage, medical bills, loss of income, and other damages.

You must prove all four factors to show that another driver was negligent. With solid proof, your car insurance claim will succeed, and an experienced attorney will collect all the essential evidence.

What types of losses can I claim in my car accident case?

When you meet with your car accident lawyer, one of the initial parts of the case you will review together is the losses. Your losses are anything and everything that has significantly affected your life since the car accident.

Some of the most common losses that injured clients usually claim in a car accident case are:

  • Medical bills and expenses (surgeries, doctor appointments, emergency room visits, prescriptions, medical devices, etc.)
  • Loss of income and benefits
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of quality of life
  • Loss of enjoyment of activities
  • Property damage
  • Home modifications
  • Physical therapy costs
  • Occupational therapy bills
  • Caregiving expenses
  • Counseling fees
  • Loss of companionship
  • Disability
  • Mental and emotional trauma

If you have suffered a hardship but are unsure whether it is technically a loss, bring it to your lawyer's attention. The last thing you want is to miss out on your total compensation because you did not claim every loss you experienced since the accident.

Who can I sue for my car accident?

Although individuals involved in car accidents typically file a lawsuit against another driver for their negligent actions, you may also sue other parties for the accident, which largely depends on your accident.

Here are a few of the most common parties that you can sue for damages from your car accident:

  • The other driver
  • The manufacturer of your vehicle or their vehicle
  • The owner of your vehicle or their vehicle
  • Your employer or their employer
  • Your own insurance company or their insurance company
  • The owner of the road/ government agencies
  • Mechanics or repair shops
  • Maintenance crews that are responsible for maintaining the road

An experienced attorney can identify all parties responsible for the accident and proceed accordingly with your case.

How long do I have to sue for a car accident?

Each state has its own deadline for injury lawsuits, called the statute of limitations. For instance, in Florida, you have two years from your car accident to sue the responsible parties.

Even though this may seem like a long time to file a claim, time can quickly pass while you undergo a challenging and rigorous recovery. The sooner you reach out to an attorney and file a lawsuit, the sooner you can recover compensation for your losses. Never wait until the last minute to decide to pursue legal action for your car accident.

How will a car accident lawyer benefit my case?

An experienced car accident lawyer will handle every aspect of your claim, including:

  • Listening to your experience: Car accident attorneys will schedule your case evaluation to learn more about the details of your case. During this part of the process, they will take the time to give you full attention and ensure they know and understand your claim's facts.
  • Investigating your car accident: They will thoroughly investigate it, figure out why it occurred, and determine who was at fault. They will also examine scenarios to show how drivers or circumstances might have prevented the accident. Additionally, your lawyer might go to the scene of the accident and analyze the vehicles involved to see if anyone missed recording important information in accident reports.
  • Determining a fair compensation amount: Lawyers can work with professionals, such as accountants and physicians, to determine a fair and accurate compensation amount for you. This amount should pay your bills, replace your lost income, and help you and your family recover after the accident.
  • Handling all communication and negotiations with insurance companies: They will take care of all communication with insurance companies to ensure you never have to worry about saying the wrong things. By handling these interactions, your lawyer will ensure that the insurance companies cannot use your statements against you, and they will negotiate on your behalf for a fair and just compensation amount.
  • Collecting proper evidence: A legal team will gather all necessary evidence to support your story, including police reports, medical records, witness statements, photographs, surveillance footage, etc. They will powerfully present this evidence to strengthen your case to receive your maximum compensation.
  • Preparing to go to court if necessary: If the settlement process does not go as you wish and you do not receive the fair offer you deserve, your lawyer will build a strong argument and get ready to go to court.

Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney Today

If you suffer injuries in a car accident and need legal guidance, please do not hesitate to contact a car accident attorney. They know and understand that you are going through a tough time right now and that no amount of compensation will bring back the quality of life you had before the accident occurred. However, it may ease the burden of paying for your medical expenses, property damage, rehabilitation costs, and other losses you are experiencing from the accident.

Talk to an experienced personal injury attorney at your earliest convenience.

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