How to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer
Regardless of how straightforward you believe the details of your case may be, in order to collect compensation, you’ll have to prove negligence. This comes down to what you can actually prove, and how you prove it. With the right car accident lawyer on your side, you can feel confident in knowing vital evidence will be sought for in order to build a defense that is undeniable.
How Negligence Should Be Proven in a Car Accident Claim
In general all states have a legal framework of what must be proven in order to file a claim and recover damages in a car accident case.
The driver of the other car owed you a duty of care. It must be shown the defendant named in the case, most likely the driver of another car, owed you a duty a care. All drivers on the rode have a duty to adhere to traffic laws and be mindful of other vehicles on the road. If, by chance, there is another party involved, perhaps one that was no in a vehicle, the same principle applies.
The defendant breached that duty of care. As soon as you can show the defendant owed you a duty of care, you must then show that they breached this duty. In general, a car accident lawyer will attempt to show that a reasonable person, in a similar situation, would not have acted as the defendant did. Examples of a breach in duty include driving while under the influence, driving while distracted, or speeding.
The breach caused you injury or harm. Showing the defendant breached their duty of care, or that this breach was the cause of your accident is not enough. You must also demonstrate their actions, or lack of, was the direct cause of your injuries and any property losses. In some cases, this can be a problem when you have had previous injuries that were aggravated in the car accident.
The breach led to financial losses. To recover monetary damages for your car accident, it must be proven that all of the losses you are claiming are in relation to the car accident and nothing else. Examples of loss include medical bills, rehabilitation, income loss, property damage, and so forth. A lawyer may also determine whether or not there are other related losses that can be included in your claim.
You were less than 50% at fault. Most states rely on comparative negligence. This means that you can recover compensation even if you are partially to blame. In states that do not have this rule, also known as contributory negligence, you may not recover any damages if you were even 1% at fault (i.e. Alabama, the District of Columbia,Maryland, North Carolina, and Virginia). With the 45 states that do allow partial fault, the damages are reduced by the percentage of blame. Typically, your fault must be less than 50% otherwise you won’t be able to receive compensation.
If you’re unsure about whether or not you are at fault, or need help in proving negligence, please call a personal injury lawyer Melbourne, FL trusts today.
Thank you to our friends and contributors at The Law Offices of Arcadier, Biggie & Wood for their insight into car accidents and personal injury cases.