Car Accident Legal Claims
While tech innovators like Google are predicting an enormous decrease in car accidents over time through the introduction of autonomous, or “driverless,” cars, that uncertain future is still a ways off. We are still in a time where human error in the form of negligent and/or reckless driving causes literally millions of injuries each year in the US, and car manufacturer defects continue to present a threat to drivers and their passengers.
In 2014, nearly 33,000 people died in car accidents in the US (almost 10,000 of those from drunk driving accidents alone), and around 2.3 million people were injured in car crashes. Because there are so many injuries occurring from car accidents each year, there are countless attorneys advertising their services to victims of car accidents. However, not all attorneys are created equal in terms of the experience and qualifications they bring to litigating claims on behalf of car accident victims. Below are a few general topics you’ll want to keep in mind as you find the attorney who is right for you.What You Can Expect to Recover in a Car Accident Case
The primary costs that a plaintiff will recover in a successful car accident case are the property damage to your car and the costs of the medical care for your injuries. Laws regarding damages will vary state-to-state, but in most cases, these costs should be recoverable even where your auto and health insurers have paid for your property damage and medical bills upfront.
Additionally, car accident victims often have to miss work for some period, and may even suffer a long-term or permanent disability from their injuries. In such cases, you and your family should recover the lost wages you would have received or other compensation to account for your inability work. Victims may also experience pain and suffering as a result of their injuries, which the courts can consider as being additional costs of the injury beyond just the cost of medical bills, and will reward the victims accordingly.
If a victim died as a result of the car accident (either in the accident or later from their injuries), the victim’s family can pursue a wrongful death claim to recover the loss of the victim’s earning power and the emotional damages the family endures from losing the family member. (Of course, there’s no real way to compensate a person for the loss of a loved one.)Legal Issues You Can Expect to Face in a Car Accident Case
Proving whose fault the car accident was is often the most challenging aspect of a motor vehicle collision case. With car accidents, the party who was at fault will generally be required to pay damages to the victim as described above. In many car accidents, both drivers (or in multi-car accidents, any number of drivers) may be at fault, and the court will determine whether a victim’s fault should reduce his or her recovery. However, it is important to remember that even where the victim is partially at fault, there is often a chance for recovery.
The at-fault driver’s insurance company will pay any judgment or settlement up to the limits on the policy, but the driver is ultimately responsible for damages above that amount. Therefore, a victim may face legal challenges in recovering from the driver even after a judgment has been awarded.
Many states have a no-fault insurance scheme, which reduces the court’s focus on fault among the drivers and may affect a victim’s recovery. Proving damages and reconstructing the accident remain important legal challenges even in so-called “no-fault” states.Qualities to Look For in a Car Accident Attorney
When you’ve been injured in a car accident, working your way through dubious legal advertisements may seem like the last thing you want to do. But it is important to find an attorney who is experienced with litigating car accident claims, has suitable resources to pursue a car accident claim, is knowledgeable about the relevant car accident law in the applicable jurisdiction, and who will recognize the true value of your claim and work with you to pursue the maximum compensation you are owed. Contact Attorney Client Match to help you find the attorney who is in the best position to handle your case.