To win a car accident injury case, you have to identify the party whose carelessness caused the wreck and then collect the evidence to prove your allegations of fault and damages.
How to Determine Who Was at Fault
Before we can hold someone accountable for your losses, we have to show that he was at fault in causing the accident and your injuries. Depending on the facts of the case, we can use evidence like these items to show what caused the crash:
- Police report
- Security camera footage
- Accident reconstruction experts
What Happens if More Than One Person Caused the Crash
In many situations, two or more people made mistakes and their actions combined to cause the accident. In these cases, you might be able to sue both negligent parties.
For example, one driver could not stop in time at a red light at an intersection because she was speeding. She hit a car that was traveling through the intersection on a green light, but that driver was not keeping a careful lookout because he was looking at the dashboard while changing the radio station. He could have avoided the wreck if he had been giving his full attention to the road.
Let’s say that you were riding your bicycle in the bike lane at the time of the collision. The impact of the cars sent one of them careening into you, causing you to sustain significant injuries. You can sue both drivers for your losses.
What We Have to Prove to Hold Someone Liable for Your Damages
Although the facts in each case are unique, we have to prove the same elements in every car accident negligence case. We must show all of these factors to hold a person responsible for your losses:
- Duty of care. We have to establish that the at-fault party owed you a duty of care under the law. It is a simple matter to do this in a car accident case, because everyone who operates a motor vehicle on the roads must do so carefully and obey the law.
- Breach of the duty of care. It is negligence when someone fails to live up to the requirements of a legal duty of care. Let's say that a driver was arguing with someone in the back seat of his vehicle. When he turned his head to look at the person with whom he was talking, he did not notice that the traffic signal had become red. Failure to keep a careful lookout and pay attention to the road is negligence.
- Causation. The negligent act must be the thing that caused the accident and injuries. Because the at-fault driver was not looking where he was driving, he ran the red light and crashed into the cross traffic. The careless driver will be liable for the damages he caused by his negligence.
Damages in Car Accident Cases
The damages you can collect for getting hurt in a car accident will depend on the unique facts of your case. Your losses might be different from someone sitting next to you in the same car. Here are some examples of the damages people can recover for a successful car accident injury claim:
- Medical expenses. Georgia law allows you to seek compensation for the reasonable cost of medical care you needed because of your injuries. This category can include such things as the ambulance, emergency room, hospital, surgery, x-rays and other imaging services, prescription drugs, physical therapy, diagnostic procedures, and doctors.
- Rehabilitation center, if you suffered a devastating trauma that caused you to need intensive treatment at a specialized facility.
- Long-term care, if you need daily assistance with medical treatments and personal care because of your injuries.
- Lost wages, if you missed out on income like wages, salary, self-employment, or other income because of the crash and your recuperation time.
- Decreased earning capacity, if you cannot make as much money as before the wreck, because of your injuries.
- Disability, if you are unable to support yourself through gainful employment because of the trauma you suffered.
- Pain and suffering, for the physical discomfort and psychological distress you endured.
- Other intangible losses, like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), loss of enjoyment of life, disfigurement, depression or anxiety, and a spousal claim of loss of consortium.
Getting Legal Help for Your Car Accident Case
The car accident team at S. Burke Law can help if someone else's negligence caused you to get hurt in a car accident. We can investigate the crash, gather the evidence, and deal with the insurance company or file a lawsuit.
Call us today at 404-842-7838 to get a free consultation. There is no obligation. We can provide free consultations because we handle car accident cases on a contingent fee basis, which means that our legal fees come out of the settlement or verdict. You do not have to pay upfront legal fees.