5 Things a Car Accident Lawyer Needs to Know About Your Case
If you are injured in a car accident, consulting with an attorney who handles car accident injury lawsuits may be the best way to ensure that you are compensated for your injuries and other financial losses caused by the crash.
In order to help you, however, an attorney will first need you to help him understand the facts surrounding your accident and your injuries. An attorney may know the law, but can only apply the law once he knows the key details of your particular case.
What will an attorney need to know in order to proceed with your injury claim? Here are five things:
- When the accident occurred. One of the most essential facts in any accident case is when the accident occurred. The time within which a person may file a lawsuit for injuries sustained in an accident is determined by each state's statute of limitations. Failure to file a claim within your state's statute of limitations may bar a lawsuit from being filed in your case.
- What happened after the accident. The events that follow in the aftermath of an accident may have an effect on a potential lawsuit as well. For example, apologizing to another driver after being involved in an accident may be used as an admission of fault if your case goes to trial.
- The extent of your injuries, financial losses. Whether pursuing a lawsuit would be the best option in your case may be determined at least in part by the types of injuries and other financial losses you suffered as a result of the accident. In addition to medical bills, vehicle damage and lost wages, damage awards may also factor pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and emotional injuries -- although these may be more difficult to prove.
- Whether any commercial vehicles involved. Accidents involving semi-trucks, buses, or other commercial vehicles may be subject to different rules, including the legal doctrine of vicarious liability which makes an employer is liable for an employee's acts when the employee is acting within the scope of his or her employment.
- Any laws being broken at the time of the accident. If you were driving under the influence, speeding, or violating other traffic laws at the time of the accident, it may affect the apportionment of fault in an accident, but may not necessarily prevent you from being able to recover for your injuries.
Learn more about the first steps to take after a car accident, hiring an accident attorney, and protecting your legal rights at FindLaw's Learn About the Law section on Car Accident Liability.