Some people assume that, just because they were in a car accident, they can sue somebody for damages. Most of the time, car accidents are resolved through the drivers’ insurance companies. It’s rare that a car accident case ends up in court. However, it’s still a good idea to consult with one of our auto accident lawyers in Douglasville before you do anything. They can help you file your insurance claim. And, if your claim is denied, they can file suit on your behalf.
Here, we’ll discuss what factors can impact whether you have a valid car accident case. We will also discuss what things you can do to increase the chances of being able to pursue the other driver.
Not All Accident Victims Are Entitled to Damages
One of the major misconceptions about motor vehicle accidents is that the victims are automatically entitled to damages. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Unless you can prove that you were hurt, you won’t be entitled to a dime and your car accident case will be rejected. Your personal injury attorney in Douglasville will also have to prove that the other driver was negligent.
In order to prove negligence in your car accident case, your lawyer will have to show the following 4 things:
Duty of Care
You must show that the defendant owed you a duty of care. This isn’t all that difficult with a car accident case. All drivers owe a certain duty of care to other motorists. For example, you’re legally required to obey all traffic laws.
Breach of Duty of Care
Your auto accident lawyer in Douglasville must also show that the defendant breached their duty of care – It isn’t enough to show that the accident happened. You need to demonstrate that the defendant breached their duty of care. One way to do this is to submit a copy of a traffic ticket issued at the crash scene. Or you can submit a statement by an eyewitness who saw the defendant speeding.
Your attorney must show that you suffered an injury. If you’re involved in an accident, you may walk away without a scratch. If this is the case, you won’t have a claim for damages. You need to demonstrate that you were hurt. This includes physical, mental, and even emotional injuries.
Your injuries must have been caused by the defendant’s breach – Your lawyer must show that your injuries were directly caused by the defendant’s breach. For example, if the defendant was speeding but you’re the one that crashed into them, it could be hard to prove this element of negligence. The same is true if the other driver had an expired registration but was parked at the time of the crash.
If you’re able to prove all four elements of negligence, there’s a good chance you’ll be entitled to damages. There’s also a good chance that your personal injury attorney in Douglasville will be willing to handle your car accident case.
Your Auto Accident Lawyer in Douglasville Will Need to Know if You Were Partially at Fault
In addition to proving negligence, your auto accident lawyer in Douglasville will want to know if you were partially at fault. If you are partly to blame for the crash, the value of your car accident case will be lower. For example, if you were involved in a rear-end collision but your brake lights were out, you’ll be held partially responsible.
In car accident cases like this, your damages will be reduced by your percentage of fault. This is because Georgia follows the comparative negligence rule. If they feel that your damages will be significantly reduced under this rule, they may not think you have a valid car accident case.
Of course, there are times when you could be partially responsible, but only by a small margin. If your damages are high and you’re only 10% at fault, your car accident case would still be worth filing. Even if your damages are reduced by 10%, it would still be worth a good amount.
How Serious Were Your Injuries?
One obvious factor that can impact your car accident case is your injuries. If your injuries were only minor, it may not be worth filing a personal injury lawsuit. For example, if all you suffered was whiplash, your car accident case won’t be worth more than a few thousand dollars. Many auto accident lawyers in Douglassville wouldn’t bother taking on a case worth that little.
If, on the other hand, you had very serious injuries, there’s a good chance your car accident case will have value. For example, if you needed surgery and physical therapy, or were out of work for several months, your car accident case is valuable. You would likely qualify for several types of damages. These include:
- Medical bills
- Future medical bills
- Property damage
- Lost wages
- Lost future income
- Pain and suffering
These add up. As long as your attorney feels your case has value, they’ll more than likely be willing to represent you.
Meet With an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney to See if You Have a Car Accident Case
If you aren’t sure if you have a claim, it’s a good idea to meet with a seasoned personal injury attorney in Douglasville. They can review your car accident case to see if you have a legitimate claim for damages. Just because you were involved in an accident doesn’t necessarily mean you have a case. Your attorney must be able to prove that the other driver was at fault. They’ll also have to demonstrate that you suffered damages. If they can do these two things, there’s a good chance you’ll be entitled to damages.
All you have to do is call our office and schedule your free, initial consultation. Sit down with someone who’s handled car accident cases like yours before. Our staff has decades of combined experience working with car accident victims. If they believe you’re entitled to damages, they’ll do whatever they can to get you the compensation you deserve.
Since your initial consultation is absolutely free, you have nothing to lose. The other driver will have a team of lawyers working for them. You should have one in your corner as well.