Three Things Every Auto Accident Victim Must Know
More than two million people are injured in auto accidents each year in the United States, and more than 38,000 are killed. An attorney car accident victims consult when they are injured understands the importance of helping the victims receive the compensation they deserve, but the laws that apply to auto accident fault and liability can seem complex and confusing to individuals who are trying to put their lives back together.
If you have been injured in an auto accident, it helps to have a basic understanding of the law that applies to them. Here are three things you should know in case you are ever a victim of an auto accident.
Someone has to be at fault in order for accident victims to recover damages
The law of negligence is the basis for the lawsuit an auto accident lawyer might file your behalf if you are injured. Drivers are responsible for exercising reasonable care in the operation of their vehicles. If they fail to do so and it causes an accident, you could sue based upon that driver’s negligence.
Conduct that could prove negligence on the part of a driver might include:
. Failing to yield the right of way to a pedestrian or to another vehicle
. Changing lanes or turning without using proper directional signals
. Changing lanes without observing the location of other vehicles
. Distracted driving, including texting or talking on a cellphone
. Driving while intoxicated
The facts of each case must be carefully reviewed by an auto accident lawyer to determine if they establish that a driver acted negligently. For example, a motorist who does not get enough sleep and dozes off while at the wheel could lose control and crash into another vehicle or a pedestrian.
Damages recoverable in an auto accident
As the victim of a negligent driver, you have the right to sue that person for compensation. Among the damages that you could recover are the following:
. Medical treatment and medication expenses
. Rehabilitation costs
. Lost earnings
. Pain and suffering
If you are killed as the result of an accident caused by another driver’s negligence, your family members might have the right to file a wrongful death action to recover damages for loss of their loved one. Which members of a family may file a wrongful death claim and the damages they can recover depend upon the laws of the state in which the accident happened.
A victim’s negligence could be costly
Most states follow a comparative negligence rule when situations arise in which an accident is caused by one person’s negligence, but the injured victim is also negligent. For example, if another driver is clearly negligent and injures you in an accident, the fact that you were not wearing your seatbelt would be negligent behavior on your part. Under comparative negligence, a jury can reduce the damages it awards you by the percentage of negligence it attributes to you.
Car accident lawyers are an excellent source of answers to your questions and concerns following an auto accident.
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Please contact us if you have been in an auto accident. Simply fill out the form here or call us at (864) 388-9100.