When there are auto injuries, we can really appreciate auto insurance, because the costs associated with an auto accident are often very high. Vehicle repair alone can cost sometimes tens of thousands of dollars and injuries from an accident can take the bills much higher.
When there are significant injuries, someone injured invariably seeks out an attorney to determine fault by someone else and if that person is liable for the injuries, pain and suffering, and loss of income from an inability to work. These personal injury attorneys operate within a state where they are licensed and know that state’s personal injury laws. So if you were in Charlotte, North Carolina, and were injured in an accident, you would contact Charlotte auto accident lawyers to handle your case.
If you are seeking to pursue an auto injury claim you need to be aware of the factors that determine whether you actually have a case and how good that case will be in court.
There are four basic factors that need to be resent in an auto injury case that give it merit. Each must be proven.
Person at fault owed a duty to the injured party
In life we each have a personal responsibility to maintain normal behavior. This includes when we go into a public place, fly on an airplane, or operate a motor vehicle. A driver must assume the responsibility of having a valid driver’s license, not being impaired while driving, driving within the speed limit and obeying traffic signals and signs, and exhibiting normal driving behavior. In an auto accident case, it must be established that a driver does in fact have an obligation or duty while driving.
If a person goes outside of these guidelines and causes an accident that results in someone’s injuries he can be guilty of being negligent or breach of duty.
Breach of Duty must be established
There must be established that the driver did in fact breach his obligations as a driver in causing car accident. This may mean that the driver was speeding, he fell asleep behind the wheel of the vehicle, he was impaired, was texting, or some other factor that demonstrated a breach of his duty that causes the accident.
Causation must be proven
It must be established that the driver’s breach of duty was what did in fact cause the injuries of the person bringing the suit. In a car accident case fault is sometimes difficult to establish, but when it is established it usually follows that the person at fault caused the injuries to the person bringing the case, however it must be established beyond a doubt that this is fact what occurred. In a case with multiple vehicles involved it can get more difficult to show clear cause.
Damages can be determined
The successful goal of a car accident case is the payment of damages to the injured party. So damages must be able to be calculated for physical and sometimes emotional injuries sustained. There are two types of damages that can be awarded:
Compensatory damages: These are calculated for loss of income, medical expenses, pain and suffering, property damage and loss of enjoyment of life suffered by the victim in a car accident. The amounts the victim receives will be partially straight forward in terms of medical expenses, property damage and to some extent loss of income, but subjective regarding pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life. If the victim is successful in his case, he will always receive punitive damages.
Punitive damages: Are damages that may get awarded if the person who caused the accident is found to acted maliciously or purposely committed the accident. In this case, the judge or jury can add additional monetary damages to a settlement. Punitive damages in some cases dwarf the damages from compensatory damages especially if the court or a jury wants to send a strong message to the perpetrator or to others who may be thinking about engaging in the same type of behavior. Drunk driving cases can often get high compensatory damages settlements if it is found that the diver was particularly reckless in his actions. Many states however have reined in what can be awarded to victims in punitive damages.