Car Accident FAQs
How do I know if I have a case?
In general, personal injury cases as a result of an auto accident need to prove four things:
1. That a legal duty existed.
2. That the defendant(s) failed to exercise that legal duty.
3. That the plaintiff(s) were injured directly or indirectly because of that breach of duty.
4. That there were damages (money lost) that can be recovered from the defendant.
If you can prove all four of these, then you may have a valid injury claim. However, you should always consult an experienced personal injury lawyer before deciding whether or not to take any legal action.
What is liability?
Liability is when someone is held legally responsible for another’s losses caused either by the first person’s actions or a failure to act. In an auto injury case, several people may have a certain degree of liability or responsibility for the car accident.
What is negligence?
Negligence means one person was careless in fulfilling a duty to someone else. For example: If someone runs a red light, hits your car and the collision injures you, that driver is negligent. Since that driver failed to obey traffic laws, you were injured and suffered damages as a result. Negligence is often involved in personal injury claims.
What does the word “damages” mean?
Damages is a legal term for all money that an injured person lost due to an accident. Those damages can include medical bills, prescriptions, any unpaid time off from work, time and costs involved with a lengthy recovery as well as the injured person’s pain and suffering. According to the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), insurance policies only cover about 52% of car accident costs. You may get insurance to pay your hospital bills, for example, but not rehabilitation specialist visits. Personal injury lawyers work to recover the maximum amount in damages from all responsible parties. Filing a claim is the only way to recover 100% of costs associated with things like emotional distress, lost wages and other non-medical expenses.
What’s the Statute of Limitations?
The law limits the amount of time you can file a claim and collect damages for your auto accident. That law is called the Statute of Limitations. No matter how great your loss, you will not be able to collect if you miss this deadline. Your lawyer will know all the deadlines for your state. Putting a claim together can take time, so it's important to consult with a lawyer near you as soon as possible.