Being injured in a car crash can be devastating for anyone. You will need to take some time off at work so that you can focus on your recovery. However, this can be quite damaging for your family, as the household expenses will still need to be paid and the lack of income can leave your family in dire financial straits.
One great option that you have when your accident was caused by the negligence of another, is to pursue a personal injury claim in civil court against the at-fault party. Your attorney will be able to investigate the cause of your crash to determine who should be named as the defendant in your case, and ensure that every single loss is accounted for when calculating what your claim is worth.
Moving forward with a civil lawsuit can be a great option for anyone whose injuries and suffering could have been prevented if it weren’t for the irresponsible decisions of the liable entity.
Who’s Responsible for Causing Your Car Crash
The most important component to your auto wreck claim is to establish fault. Without determining who is responsible for causing your injuries, you won’t be able to proceed with your claim. Often, the driver of the other involved vehicle may be found liable, in part, for your damages. This is due to unsafe driving such as drunk, drowsy, distracted or aggressive driving.
There are cases where the other driver is not to blame for the cause of the accident. During your attorney’s investigation, they may find that the Department of Transportation is at-fault due to a roadway hazard such as missing or misplaced street signs or lamps, unsecured road construction zones, or dangerous potholes. Also, vehicle parts manufacturers or technicians who performed maintenance on either vehicle could be liable if a faulty or malfunctioning part caused the collision.
You’ll also need to talk with your lawyer about your state’s negligence laws if you are in part to blame for the accident. Some states allow you to pursue compensation if you contributed to the cause of the accident but your award will be reduced by your percentage of liability, known as comparative negligence law. Other states find that if you are even 1% liable you will be unable to obtain compensation for your losses. This is known as pure contributory negligence law.
In any event, your lawyer will be able to tell you who should be named as the defendant in your case, and where you stand if you are in any way responsible for the cause of the crash.
Damages That Should Be Included in Your Claim
The purpose in pursuing a personal injury claim is to recover compensation for your losses. The amount you’ll be awarded will vary on a case by case basis. For the most part, the more impactful your injuries are on your life, the greater your award will be. Some of the different types of damages that should be included when calculating the value of your claim are:
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Medical expenses
- Loss of companionship and love
- Damage to earning potential
- Mental anguish
- Property damages
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- The effects of disfigurement
- Loss of household services
In addition to these often-sought damages, the Judge has the option of awarding you a sum of punitive damages. This just happens when the defendant’s actions were found to cause intentional harm or are malicious in nature. The purpose of punitive damages is to punish the at-fault party and prevent similar accidents from occurring in the future.
Work with an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer
Before you decide to move forward with an auto crash claim, speak with a skilled attorney. Top car accident lawyers will offer their potential clients a free case review where you can discuss how likely success is in your case. This will help you prepare for what’s to come and enable you to begin to pick up the pieces of your life after being involved in an auto wreck.