Car accident lawsuits are a type of personal injury claim often filed following a car crash caused by the negligence of another driver or a defective vehicle part. However, some legal claims may involve a motorcycle or a pedestrian. A vehicle accident lawsuit can help victims recover damages like the cost of medical treatments for injuries sustained in the crash as well as other related expenses.Injured in a vehicle accident? You may be eligible for compensation
Do I Need a Car Accident Lawyer?
Car accidents are responsible for more than 34,000 fatalities and nearly 2 million injuries every year in the United States. While drivers can take certain precautions and safety measures to avoid accidents, it's impossible to predict the actions and behaviors of others on the road.
If you or a loved one was involved in a motor vehicle crash, it's useful to know your legal options. Even if you believe yourself to be at fault, a legal investigation at the start of a lawsuit may find a third-party, like a parts manufacturer or an additional driver, liable for the incident.
Should I Talk to a Car Accident Attorney?
- Were you or a family member involved in a recent motor vehicle accident?
- Was another driver or a part malfunction to blame for the accident?
- Did you or your loved one suffer serious injuries from the crash?
If you answered yes to these questions, you should consider submitting a free case evaluation to determine if legal action is the right step forward.
Investigating the Accident and Determining Fault
In many cases, it can be difficult to determine who is at fault in an auto accident, especially crashes involving more than one vehicle. Even in situations where the at-fault party may seem obvious, there could be additional circumstances to consider or multiple at-fault parties involved.
If your injuries do not prevent you from doing so, take pictures of the damages and accident scene. Photograph anything nearby that could be relevant to a case like skid marks or other signs of the collision and road signs or traffic signals. Photographs of any injuries you sustain from the crash could also be used as evidence.
It's also a good idea to collect contact information from any bystanders that witnessed the crash. Their witness statements could support your case later on.
If you are considering legal action, it's best to start the legal process right away. The sooner that an investigation can start, the better. Too much time between the incident and investigation can lead to lost or tainted evidence or inconsistent witness testimony as people begin to forget the details of the experience.
Car Accident Lawsuit Liability
Drivers: Drivers have a responsibility to watch out for other motorists. If they are distracted, inebriated or fail to comply with traffic regulations, they should be held accountable for their negligence. Laws pertaining to driver negligence do vary from state to state so it's important to research your state's particular laws.
Owners: If the driver is not the owner of the vehicle, the owner could be implicated in the accident. For example, if a teen driver gets into an accident in a vehicle belonging to his or her parents, the parents may be found liable in a suit. This is especially likely if the driver is underage, improperly licensed, or has a poor driving history.
Employers: If the driver was involved in an accident while working, they may be eligible for worker's compensation. The driver's employer may also be liable for the accident and subsequent damages.
Automakers/Auto Parts Makers: An automaker or parts manufacturer can be held liable when a defective part causes a vehicle accident.
Government Departments: A claim may be filed against the government agency responsible for maintaining roadways if a crash is caused because the agency failed to provide and maintain safe road conditions.
Filing a Car Accident Lawsuit
Apart from the initial investigation, our experienced accident injury lawyers will help you build a solid case in an effort to help you win compensation either through a settlement or a favorable verdict. Our legal experts will help you:
- Gather and analyze evidence from the scene of the accident
- Procure police reports and relevant medical records
- Interview witnesses and take depositions
- Review pertinent legislation and case law
- Hire experts to testify on your behalf
- Handle court filings and administrative details
Starting the legal process promptly after a car accident may also help ensure that your claim is filed within your state's statute of limitations. If not, you may lose your right to certain compensations.
Accidents Caused by Vehicle Defects and Recalls
Some car accidents occur when a critical part in the vehicle breaks or malfunctions. If the accident results in injuries or fatalities, blame can sometimes be placed with the vehicle parts manufacturer. Victims, in this instance, may be able to file a third-party claim against the manufacturer because of the defective part.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issues Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) and Regulations. Manufacturers must comply with these regulations to ensure that parts and vehicles meet the required safety standards. Unfortunately, sometimes an error can occur in engineering or the manufacturing of a part, which results in a defective product.
In these situations where a part is found to be defective, the manufacturer will generally issue a voluntary recall. Manufacturers are also required to notify those vehicle owners who have vehicles impacted by the recall. For this reason, it is important to keep your registration information up to date so that you can be notified if a problem is found with your vehicle or any of its parts.
If the situation warrants it, the NHTSA may also launch an investigation or work with the manufacturer to rectify the situation. Consumers can find recall data published on the NHTSA's website.
Should You File a Car Accident Lawsuit?
If you are the victim of a car accident caused by circumstances outside of your control like the negligence of another driver or a defective part in your vehicle or the vehicle of another driver, you have a right to seek legal compensation. Oftentimes, victims of car crashes file a lawsuit to receive greater compensation than what the insurance company is willing to pay to cover medical bills and other related expenses that resulted from the accident.
In the event that a vehicle accident led to a fatality, the victim's family has the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit on their loved ones' behalf.
Most Common Car Accident Injuries
- Head injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Brain injuries
- Chest injuries
- Broken bones/fractures
- Psychological trauma
Admitting Fault in a Car Accident
Regardless of whether you feel that you are to blame for a car accident, avoid admitting any sort of fault following the accident. While you might feel responsible, you can't be sure that the other driver didn't contribute to the accident as well. Directly following an accident, it's best to focus on ensuring that all parties are safe while you wait for the police or an ambulance if the situation requires it. Be sure to get the driver's insurance and contact information as well.
Not admitting fault directly after an accident can also be a smart move if you've suffered a crash-related head injury. Oftentimes following a head injury, victims can be disoriented or suffer a state of amnesia, compromising the reliability of their memory. In these situations, it's best to hold off on admitting or assigning guilt and prioritize gathering evidence soon after the crash.Unsure whether you qualify for a vehicle accident lawsuit? We can help
Car Accident Lawsuit FAQs
What Compensation Can Car Accident Victims Get?
Victims of car accidents may be left with extensive medical bills and debt as well as a limited ability to work while recovering from an injury. In the event that an injury leads to permanent damage, a victim's future earning potential may be limited for the rest of their lives. Some damages to consider recouping in a vehicle-related injury claim:
- Property damage
- Medical Expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages or income
- Loss of future potential income
- Loss of consortium
You may also be awarded punitive damages depending on the details of the car accident claim.
How Do I Pick a Good Auto Accident Lawyer?
Our auto accident attorneys will have:
- Years of experience with vehicle injury cases
- A verifiable record of winning cases for victims
- Testimonials from former clients
- Recognition from top legal industry publications and organizations
- A dedicated team of experts who will assist with your case
How Much Does a Car Wreck Lawyer Cost?
Like most personal injury claims, car accident cases are typically taken on contingency. That means you will only pay legal fees when you receive compensation from a settlement or verdict.Were You the Victim of a Vehicle Accident?
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