Car accidents are becoming a global epidemic, and unfortunately, many of these car accidents happening around the world are preventable.
Each year, an estimated 2.35 million people are injured or disabled in car accidents, and over 37,000 are fatal.
Injuries in motor vehicle accidents, even at low speeds, are common. The human body was not built to withstand the impact of two vehicles, and as a result, the body reacts with various injuries. Those injured in car accidents that they did not cause do have options for not only covering medical costs stemming from that incident but for lost wages and property replacement too.
When a car accident occurs because of someone’s action or inaction, negligence has occurred. The negligent party, known as the defendant, can then be held liable in civil court by the victim, referred to as the plaintiff.
Car accident lawsuits fall under personal injury law. The injured has the right to hire an attorney who negotiates with the defendant’s automobile insurer to get a settlement that pays for their client’s damages.
Car accident damages are designed to make a victim financially whole again. While sometimes there is no monetary amount that can make up for the physical and emotional trauma a victim experiences, the law does its best to fill in the void and ensure a victim does not pay for medical expenses, lost wages, and suffering that they did not cause.
Damages, which are forms of compensation, may include:
• Medical expenses
• Lost wages
• Loss of earning capacity
• Pain and suffering
• Loss of consortium
• Wrongful death
The amount of damages varies by case, and there is no way to calculate damages in an accident case without assessing all of the unique variables (i.e., costs, the severity of the injury, actions taken by both parties in the crash, etc.).
After an automobile accident, the victim will file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company for compensation. Once the claim initiates, a claim’s adjuster is assigned to the case. The party at-fault for the accident does not always pay out-of-pocket for accidents. Instead, they can rely on their insurance to pay for most of the damages – up to their policy maximum. Afterward, a defendant may have to pay out-of-pocket depending on the damages awarded in a case.
Fault is not a clear-cut line. Instead, it depends on the parties involved, police investigations, and evidence collected by the plaintiff’s side and the defendant’s side.
Sometimes, the fault falls on the victim too. When the victim is at-fault, the amount of compensation they receive depends on their state’s laws. Occasionally, a victim cannot accept any compensation if they are at-fault, while other states allow victims to seek compensation even if they are 50% at fault.
Car accident claims and lawsuits depend on state laws. Therefore, you should always consult with an injury attorney. While you can initiate a request with the at-fault party’s insurance company, your next call should be to a local attorney. Most accident attorneys work on a contingency fee, which means you do not pay them unless they succeed at getting you compensation for your injuries.