After a car accident involving you or a loved one, you must protect your legal rights against those who would deny you fair injury compensation. Car accidents are a common occurrence and can be little more than a minor fender bender in a parking lot. But just as often, they can be destructive wrecks that cause devastating injuries and deep scars, physically and psychologically. The lives of the victims and their families are thrown into chaos after a serious auto accident in which they were reluctantly involved.
After a serious accident involving injuries, you are entitled to seek compensation for the financial, physical, and emotional damages you suffered from the car crash. But without intimate knowledge of your case, it is impossible to compute the amount you may be entitled to. Due to the damages, you have a right to seek compensation depending on the unique circumstances of your case. We’re here to help you understand the need to hire an attorney with successful experience in personal injury if you wish to receive the fairest legal damages. You’re welcome to try and handle this matter on your own if you want or hire your nephew who just passed the bar. What we hope to do is explain some of the basics of auto personal injury cases for you. If you’ve been involved in a little fender-bender with no complications or injuries other than a headache, you can probably handle things on your own, so long as you’re cautious. If you call your auto accident a “car wreck,” we strongly urge you to quickly retain an experienced local auto accident attorney who knows the ropes surrounding Texas car accident litigation.
How do we determine whether or not we have a successful personal injury case against a defendant who should reimburse us for our injuries? All actual accident victims have a legal right to collect damages by proving the four elements of a car accident claim. Since you will be the one asking for compensation, the burden to you, the injured plaintiff, is to prove you are owed these damages by the defendants who only have to deny and disprove your claim.
There are four elements to proving injuries against a defendant. You must demonstrate your charges are true. They are duty, breach, causation, and damages. A brief overview of each is below:
Duty - The defendant owed you a duty of care to exercise a certain level of caution to ensure that you would not get hurt. Texas Civil Codes and Procedures set the level of duty that a person or organization owes to another depending on the circumstances of the situation that are considered within the relationship of the parties involved at the time. Proving that the defendant owed you at least some duty of care will probably be reasonably uncomplicated since nearly all drivers owe each other the general duty to drive reasonably to keep others safe. Unless there are unusual circumstances, and there are a few, the chances are that a general “reasonable person standard” applies to the defendant (or defendants) in your case.
Breach - In a vast majority of personal injury cases, plaintiffs and their attorneys need to clearly show that the defendant drove in a way that a reasonable person would not have driven. If the defendant in your case drives unreasonably only for the moments immediately leading up to your car wreck, he can be held responsible for the consequences of his negligent actions that caused you harm. Successfully proving that the defendant breached his duty of care is done when you and your attorney present evidence to remove any doubt that what the defendant did (or failed to do reasonably) caused the car wreck. The jurors in your case will consider your charges of the breach along with additional evidence that clearly illustrates the defendant’s actions (and malicious intent if it was present). During their deliberations, they rule the defendant behaved either reasonably or unreasonably. Offenses such as speeding, recklessness, driving at night without headlights, running through red lights, driving while intoxicated, and more can constitute a breach of the defendant’s duty of care, even if they may not have been legally charged for these offenses in criminal court.
Causation - You must now demonstrate that the defendant breached his duty of care through negligence. But simply showing that this person might have been negligent isn’t always enough to win your charges that the defendant is responsible for your auto wreck. Because in his attempts to deny causation, a defendant will often argue “unforeseeable circumstances” such as other drivers, pedestrians, or even you, caused the wreck instead. This argument is the last resort for an accident defendant to wiggle out of liability for your injuries. So expect them to swing from the floor and claim anything from a homeless person stepping in their way and forcing them to hit your vehicle, to their toddler threw a bottle of apple juice at the driver. Maybe it happened, perhaps it didn’t. But how do you disprove the defense? It’s up to you and your accident injury lawyer to thwart their excuses, or the happy defendant skips out of the courtroom. So it’s essential to have sufficient evidence to prove any defense that is thrown at you and nail down the defendant’s conduct that seriously hurt you.
Damages - It’s now time to establish the amount of money you are entitled to collect from the defendant and hand him the bill in court. The term “damages” isn’t limited to just your injuries and the bills that must be paid. It refers to the entire monetary value of your injuries (the sum of money) you’ll recover from the defendant if you win your case. Damages often include pain and suffering arising from your injury, present lost wages as a result of it, and loss of future earning capacity if your injury leads to long-term disability. Included, of course, is repair or replacement bills for your auto and any items of worth that were destroyed in the wreck. All these and even more might be available to surviving family members if the victim dies in the wreck. So you’ll need to calculate what you’re owed and provide airtight evidence to support your calculations.
You have your figure and the defendants have theirs (often less than your price tag). Damage amounts are almost always the most contentious issue in a car accident case or insurance claim. Defendants typically argue that they owe you much less than you might claim (if anything at all). They’ll accuse you of asking for a handout and say your requested amount is far higher than traditional payouts. Often the accusation that you’re filing a frivolous lawsuit isn’t far away either. This argument is usually the last stand a negligent defendant makes. So you must clearly show the jury that your requested damage amount is realistic and proportional to the harm done to you and finish your case strongly with clear evidence that proves your losses are the actual total of your damages. More on this website
Accurate determination of damages is as essential as the other three burdens of proof since you have only got one shot to receive compensation from any single defendant. There are no do-overs. But computing every individual loss is a challenge without an experienced auto accident attorney who knows the value of personal injury losses and how to effectively calculate them. How do you accurately represent an intangible loss such as pain and suffering, or that of your child? When calculating the loss of earning capacity, if you are permanently disabled, how do you account for hypothetical raises and promotions you would have earned had you continued to work? Perhaps you would have gotten a promotion or were hired away by another company at double your current salary. How can you calculate how much all of your medical bills will amount to if your treatment is not yet complete, and your doctor can’t tell how long it will last? We at our Texas Law Firm know how to account for and calculate every one of your damages. We make doubly certain that you recover as much as possible from your injuries.
Call us today. One of our accident injury attorneys will patiently listen to you, analyze your case, and explain your options. Our goal is to make sure that you recover as much as possible for your injuries and make this sometimes complicated legal process as easy as possible for you to bear.
The period after a car accident is often stressful and confusing. Don’t add to it and the confusion it creates by letting an inexperienced attorney handle your case or represent yourself when you are unqualified. With decades of experience, we are uniquely qualified and fully prepared to get you the best results possible. If you or someone you know was injured in a car accident, contact an attorney at our Texas Law Firm today for a free consultation and find out how we can help you.