Traffic accidents are currently on the rise in the United States today. High volume traffic and the use of electronic devices while behind the wheel are two common causes of car accidents. According to the Center For Disease Control or CDC, approximately 1,161 people are injured daily in accidents that involve distracted driving. The following is an overview of necessary steps to take after being part of a car crash. If you or someone you care about has been injured in an accident, you may benefit from speaking with a personal injury attorney to discuss your rights.
What Do I Have To Prove?
If you want to obtain compensation for injuries you sustain in a car accident, there are certain facts you must be able to demonstrate:
- The Other Driver Was At Fault For The Accident;
- The At-Fault Driver Acted In A Negligent Or Careless Way And Caused Damage or Harm;
- You Were Injured In The Accident;
- Your Injuries Were Indeed Caused By The Accident And The At-Fault Driver.
In some cases, both drivers may have a certain percentage of responsibility for the crash. When this happens, you may receive a reduced amount of compensation due to your negligence. However, the law governing this area varies from state-to-state, this being one reason you may want to speak with an attorney.
What Is Considered Negligent?
Proving a driver acted negligently is not always easy. However, some common causes of negligence include:
- Speeding while adverse weather conditions or in areas where it is forbidden;
- Impaired driving after consuming toxic substances;
- Operating below the speed limit;
- Failure to yield the right of way;
- Not signaling properly when turning or changing lanes;
- Inability to obey traffic signals;
- Disregarding inclement weather while driving;
Aggressive driving on the road can also be considered negligent if it causes an accident and harms other drivers or participants in traffic. Some examples of aggressive driving include:
- Excessive quick lane changes;
- Driving over the speed limit of the area;
- Improper passing in areas it is forbidden;
- Using the emergency lane to pass ahead of other vehicles;
What If My Car Was Defective?
Car manufacturers have a responsibility to make sure the vehicles they produce are safe both for the driver and for other people in traffic. If you are injured due to a vehicle defect, you may be entitled to compensation under the product liability law. This law allows consumers to sue the manufacturer for selling a product that was unsafe and resulted in the injury of the user and his family if this is the case.
Statute Of Limitations
Every state has a time limit on how long you have to file a lawsuit after an accident. In most cases, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a claim in court. There is an exception in cases where your injuries were caused by a government employee or official. In these cases, you only have six months to file your claim. Since personal injury law can be complex, you may consider consulting an attorney to avoid losing the ability to present your case if the statute of limitations has passed.
What Am I Entitled To Recover?
You may be eligible to recover certain expenses after an accident. Some of these expenditures include:
- Ambulance Fees;
- Doctor Bills;
- Unpaid Hospital Costs;
- Therapy Bills;
- Cost Of Medical Devices;
- Transportation Costs.
In addition to expenses you incur as a result of the accident, you may be able to collect money for other damages like:
- Emotional Pain And Suffering;
- Loss Of Companionship;
- Lost Wages;
- Permanent Disability.
What If I Cannot Return To Work?
If you are unable to go back to your previous job and are permanently disabled, a lawyer may be able to help you. Your attorney can accurately calculate the amount of money you would have made if you had continued working in your field. This is known as future lost wages, and you may be entitled to recover money because you cannot return to work in your natural capacity. You may also be able to receive compensation if you cannot return to your line of work because of your injuries and will suffer a loss in wages over the course of your entire career.
Can A Lawyer Help Me?
Personal injury cases are often confusing and stressful. It is not always easy to understand how the law works, especially when you are dealing with injuries you sustained during the accident. A lawyer can help you navigate the legal maze in a car crash case by:
- Hiring Investigators To Check All The Details Of The Accident;
- Speaking With The Insurance Company;
- Gathering Information From Medical Experts;
- Calculating Your Expenses To See How You Can Be Compensated;
- Adding Up Your Future Lost Income;
- Negotiating With The Insurance Company For A Settlement;
- Filing Your Case In Court;
- Representing Your Interests In A Trial;
If you have been hurt in a car accident, you don’t have to face it alone. Consult an experienced personal injury attorney for help. During a consultation, the attorney will evaluate the facts surrounding your case and give you the best possible advice. This way, you are aware of all the options available to you under the law. Being hurt in an accident can lead to anxiety and depression as time goes on. Having someone to look out for your best interests will ease your mind so you can put your energy into your recovery.