How to Win a Lawsuit from a Car Accident
If you want to know how to win a lawsuit from a car accident, it’s important to understand how personal injury law works. In Texas, the personal injury laws hold a driver financially accountable when their negligence causes a car wreck.
Moreover, the state requires that drivers hold a minimum amount of liability insurance in order to compensate victims. Generally speaking, the vast majority of car accident lawsuits boil down to a negligence claim.
In order to prove negligence in a collision, it’s important to show a few factors.
- The other driver owed you a duty of care.
- They breached that duty of care.
- That breach caused the car accident.
- You sustained injuries and damages in the collision.
When you cannot prove these basic elements, it is unlikely that you can win your lawsuit.
What Leads to a Car Accident Lawsuit?
If you want to know how to win a lawsuit from a car accident, you or a loved one probably experienced a collision recently. What you must prove to win an injury lawsuit depends on how the accident occurred.
Even within car accident claims, the process of proving negligence varies depending on the situation. Here are a few common scenarios that lead to liability for a car wreck.
- A driver violates traffic laws.
- Medical malpractice causes an emergency that leads to a car accident.
- Another driver operates their vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- A road hazard such as a pothole causes the accident.
- Malfunctioning traffic or train signals cause the collision.
- A rear-end collision results in property damage.
- Some defective vehicle or part leads to a collision.
Negligence in a Car Accident
When a person fails to exercise the level of care that a reasonable person provides, they act with negligence. However, “reasonable” is a subjective, flexible standard. In a car accident lawsuit, the jury decides what a reasonable person would have done in a similar situation.
If the defendant in your suit does not meet the standard of a “reasonable person,” the jury then decides whether they are financially liable for your damages. When it comes to how to win a lawsuit from a car accident, though, you have to prove a few additional elements.
The Defendant Owed You a Duty of Care
Out on the road, every driver owes a reasonable duty of care to others. This duty of care ensures that we keep the safety of ourselves and others in mind. As we operate massive metal structures on the street or highway, it’s important that we understand the impact of our actions.
Duty of care includes safe driving in order to prevent collisions, property damage, and injuries. Moreover, it includes following traffic laws.
Broadly speaking, anyone who designs or maintains roads, takes action that impacts the safety of drivers, or supplies driving equipment in some capacity shares this duty. It is important that they do not act in a manner that might result in an injury to those on the road.
The Defendant Breached Their Duty of Care
As with any type of civil litigation, proving negligence involves a breach. In this case, it requires that the defendant breached their duty of care.
For some accidents, this breach is readily apparent. In many cases, these involve a clear traffic violation, such as drunk driving, distracted driving, or speeding.
Additionally, if a county or city fails to properly maintain roads, they share responsibility for the breach. Similarly, a trucking company that fails to maintain their vehicles or a doctor who fails to warn someone about driving on a certain prescription medication could also constitute a breach.
The Defendant’s Negligence Caused the Accident
When you want to know how to win a lawsuit from a car accident, it’s important to know how to link negligence to the collision. Traveling 90 mph in a 40 mph zone does not equal causation. It is a factor that potentially contributes to the cause.
However, not every speeding driver causes a car wreck.
In order to win a car accident lawsuit, you need to have evidence that shows the other driver’s actions caused the collision. For example, perhaps the driver failed to yield the right of way to you as they ran a stop sign.
Alternatively, a driver texting while driving might rear-end another vehicle. Most importantly, the driver’s breach of duty needs to be a direct, proximate cause of the collision.
The Defendant’s Breach of Duty Caused an Injury to the Plaintiff (You)
In many lawsuits, it is the “causal” element of negligence that raises the most challenges. From that proximate cause of the collision, you have to extend the link to your injuries or whatever harm you suffered.
Essentially, this means that the harm you endured was a foreseeable outcome of the defendant’s breach of duty. Moreover, it cannot be so distant from the damage that the jury finds it unfair to hold someone responsible.
For instance, when a person drops a box of nails and spills them across the road, they should clean them up. If they don’t and it leads to a tire blowout and accident shortly after, you have the potential to sue them. However, if a nail embeds in your tire and you never remove it, leading to an accident a year later, there’s no legal recourse.
Still, spilling nails and the road and not cleaning them up is a breach of duty. However, one outcome is “proximate” while the other isn’t.
You Suffered Damages
An important aspect of figuring out how to win a lawsuit from a car accident is showing the harm you suffered. Oftentimes, car accidents result in apparent damage.
When you sustain a physical injury, it’s possible to add up your expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. These damages help the court determine your award if you win the lawsuit. Generally, it includes an array of bills and out-of-pocket expenses that relate to the accident.
Negligence Per Se in Car Accidents
When you meet with a lawyer to learn how to win a lawsuit from a car accident, it’s important to know that the burden of proof tends to lie with the plaintiff. However, when someone breaks a law, it makes the burden a bit lighter.
“Negligence per se” provides a rebuttable presumption that a driver was negligent when they cause an injury as they break a law. This requires that the law carry a criminal penalty, protect the general public, and forbid the conduct.
Drunk driving laws are a great example of this. DWI laws prohibit drunk drivers from operating vehicles in order to protect the general public.
In a negligence per se action, you must prove the following.
- You sustained an injury.
- The other driver violated a law.
- That law intends to prevent the type of accident you suffered.
When you prove these elements in a negligence per se action, it shifts the burden of proof more toward the defendant. In court, the defendant has the opportunity to present evidence and refute this claim.
From there, the jury decides whether the facts support the claim or the defense.
How to Win a Lawsuit From a Car Accident: Work with an Advocate
When you want to know how to win a lawsuit from a car accident, it’s important to find an advocate for your claim. Winning a personal injury lawsuit requires proof of negligence or the right argument to show negligence per se. Taking someone to court requires experience and expertise.
After you sustain injuries from a collision, it is essential for you to focus on your recovery and rehabilitation. When you work with a skilled car accident lawyer, you have someone to focus on your claim as you heal.
As a full-service law firm, our legal team investigates your accident, gathers evidence, and sets to work to build a strong case. Generally, we work with insurance companies to find a settlement that meets your needs. However, when they refuse to offer fair compensation, we are not afraid to take them to court.
If you sustained an injury in a car wreck, don’t try to work on your own. Schedule a free case evaluation with our law firm to ensure you have the best chance to recover from your losses.
At Universal Law Group, our legal team has the experience you need to maximize your settlement. Moreover, you pay nothing unless and until we win your case. When you want to know how to win a lawsuit from a car accident, schedule a free case evaluation.