Millions of motor vehicle accidents occur in the United States each year. These crashes lead to about 4.4 million injuries and over 38,000 deaths—both of which can have serious financial consequences.
After seeking medical treatment following a car accident, one of your first questions might be how you’re going to cover the costs of repairing your vehicle and paying for medical bills after getting injured.
If your accident has happened due to the fault of another motorist, you may have the grounds to sue them to recover compensation for your financial losses.
If you’re considering whether to file a lawsuit after getting into a car accident instead of solely relying on your insurance coverage, there are several factors to consider. At Florin|Roebig law firm, our car accident lawyers can determine your eligibility to sue an at-fault driver and recover compensation for damages.
How To Know If You Have A Car Accident Lawsuit
Millions of car crashes happen in the U.S. each year, but not every crash is eligible for a lawsuit. The main factor that can determine whether you have the grounds to sue someone for a car accident is fault.
If the crash happened as a result of another driver’s negligence—e.g. texting while driving or speeding—and caused injury or vehicle damage, that driver may be held liable for covering resulting expenses.
Therefore, there are two things that are needed to file a car accident lawsuit: proof of driver negligence and evidence of crash-related consequences, such as personal injury or property damage.
The basic elements of a car accident lawsuit include:
- duty of care: Drivers owe a duty of care to all other drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians on the road. This means drivers owe it to those they’re sharing the road with to follow traffic safety laws.
- breached duty of care: The person suing the at-fault driver must have proof that the at-fault breached this duty of care,
- consequences: There must be proof that the crash resulted in certain consequence(s), such as car accident injury, property damage, car damage, and other financial costs.
- proof of cause: You must be able to prove that your injury (physical or financial) was directly caused by the other driver’s negligence. You cannot sue for injuries or property damage that is unrelated to the crash.
Types Of Car Accident Lawsuits
Not every car accident is the same. The type of lawsuit you may be able to file after an accident will depend on the nature of your case.
Three types of car accident lawsuits include:
- personal injury lawsuit
- wrongful death lawsuit
- product liability lawsuit
Depending on your situation, an experienced lawyer can figure out if, how, and who you may be able to sue after an auto accident.
Personal Injury Lawsuit
If you’ve been injured in a car accident due to another person’s negligence, you may have the grounds to file a personal injury claim for compensation.
Examples of negligence include:
- texting while driving
- running a red light or stop sign
- failing to yield
- driving while intoxicated
- allowing road rage to affect driving
- driving without a valid license
- negligence caused by a passenger
You can seek compensation for car accident injury costs by filing a claim with the at-fault driver’s auto insurance company. You may also file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver directly.
On the other hand, if your accident has been caused by factors unrelated to other drivers, such as poorly-maintained roads, worn traffic signs, or malfunctioning traffic signals—you may be eligible to sue the government. Suing the government can be a challenging case to win, but it’s an option you can discuss with a lawyer if your situation qualifies.
Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Car accident deaths cause a great deal of suffering for surviving loved ones of those who are killed. An unexpected death can cause financial hardship, emotional pain, and other consequences for those who are left to grieve their loss.
If you’ve lost a loved one in a car accident caused by another driver’s negligence, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit to get compensated for your losses.
Wrongful death lawsuits can be filed by immediate family members, spouses, and dependents. Some states also allow for distant family members, domestic partners, business partners, and others with a financial stake in the person’s death to file wrongful death suits.
Product Liability Lawsuit
Product liability is an area of personal injury law that covers personal injuries that have been caused by the use of a defective or dangerous product.
In car accident cases, someone may decide to file a product liability lawsuit if the cause of the accident was a defective car part.
For instance, if a person is injured after their brakes malfunction, a lawyer may be able to investigate whether the malfunction can be linked to negligence on behalf of the car part manufacturer or dealer.
Defective car parts may malfunction as a result of a manufacturing error, faulty design, or marketing error.
What Can you Recover From A Car Accident Lawsuit?
Another question many people have when considering whether to sue after a car accident is what they’ll be able to get out of it.
Taking legal action for personal injury, vehicle damage, or wrongful death can be a time-consuming and pain-staking process. It’s reasonable to want to know what you can expect to get from a car accident settlement or suit.
Filing a car accident lawsuit is a way for people who are facing major expenses from an accident to get money to compensate for these costs. The types of losses experienced from an auto accident are awarded as damages.
Awarded damages in car accident lawsuits may include:
- current and future medical expenses
- ambulance costs
- vehicle damage
- property damage
- physical therapy/rehabilitation
- pain and suffering
- mental anguish
- lost wages
- loss of earning capacity
- loss of consortium (for those suing for wrongful death)
- funeral and burial costs
The types of damages you can seek compensation for will depend on the details of your case. A lawyer can go over these details with you and provide you with an estimated value for how much your settlement may be worth.
When To Settle Vs. When To Sue
People who have been injured or suffered car damage after an accident can file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurer to get a settlement offer. The value of a settlement offer is calculated according to a wide range of factors.
Take note that some insurance companies may try to lowball your offer to avoid paying you the full amount you’re owed. While you may not be able to tell on your own whether the settlement offer is lower than what you deserve, a lawyer can.
Hiring a car accident attorney to represent you can offer several advantages. First, a lawyer can give you their estimate for how much your settlement offer should be based on the details of your case. This amount will be in addition to what’s covered by your insurance policy.
If your lawyer believes the insurer’s settlement offer is too low, they can help you by negotiating for a better offer or helping you prepare a lawsuit to seek fair compensation.
Get An Experienced Car Accident Lawyer
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, it’s not enough to hire a lawyer who practices personal injury law. When it comes to these cases, experience matters.
At Florin|Roebig law firm, our personal injury lawyers have a strong record of winning settlements and suits for people who have been injured in car accidents. Voted one of America’s top law firms, our lawyers have the skills to protect your rights and get you the compensation you deserve.
We Are Nationally Awarded Lawyers
Contact Us For A Free Consultation
The car accident lawyers of Florin|Roebig have helped clients win personal injury lawsuits for decades. If you’re wondering whether you should sue after a car accident, we can help by offering sound legal advice.
Don’t wait to learn what your car accident lawsuit may be worth. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with a personal injury attorney to discuss your legal options.