Because tort cases overwhelmingly involve car accidents, personal injury attorneys deal with these cases daily. If you suffered an injury or lost a loved one in a car accident, a car crash attorney can help you understand your right to compensation and how negligence applies to your case. Personal injury laws in Texas protect victims of car accidents caused by another party’s negligence, and your attorney will understand all the nuances of those laws.
In car crash cases, the defense often responds to fault allegations by deflecting some responsibility onto the plaintiff. Should you be partially at fault, you can still recover compensation for your damages. However, the court will reduce the amount based on the comparative negligence rule.
Cases involving shared fault require the court to evaluate the evidence and determine what percentage of fault belongs to each party. Texas is a modified comparative negligence state, limiting your compensation eligibility to less than 50% fault. This means you cannot be more at fault than the defendant. For example, suppose the court determines you bear 30% of the blame, and the award for damages amounts to $10,000. Then you could only receive $7,000. However, if the court determines you are more than 50% at fault, you will not recover any damages.
The purpose of tort law is to allow you to recover the losses you incurred due to the accident. The law refers to these losses as damages, and a common issue for individuals without legal representation is the undervaluing of their claims. Your attorney will help you understand the damages available in your cases to ensure you receive adequate compensation. The two types of damages potentially available in car crash cases are compensatory losses and punitive damages.
As the name implies, compensatory losses are the damages the defendant can compensate for to make the plaintiff whole again. These include economic and non-economic losses. Economic losses have tangible evidence, whereas non-economic losses refer to the psychological damage caused by the accident. Examples of both include:
Suppose you lost a loved one and want to file a wrongful death lawsuit. In that case, you could also claim the cost of funeral expenses, lost inheritance, loss of companionship, and loss of benefits the deceased person provided you and your family.
If the at-fault party in your case acted with gross negligence and no regard for the safety of others, the court might decide to punish their behavior with punitive damages. For example, if the defendant drove recklessly under the influence of drugs or alcohol and hit your vehicle while running a stoplight, they will face criminal charges. However, an order to pay punitive damages in civil court could prevent similar behavior in the future.
If you are looking for a car crash attorney in Kaufman County, Texas, you likely have questions about your case and your right to compensation. Car crash attorneys handle similar cases daily. They offer free case evaluations, allowing you to learn more about your legal options during your first conversation. Then, should they decide to take on your case, there are many ways they can help you.
The most frustrating part of a car crash case is often the back and forth with the insurance companies. Texas is an at-fault auto insurance state, which means you file a claim with the responsible party’s insurance company after the accident. However, an insurance agent will always act to protect the company’s best interests, sometimes using unfair tactics to divert responsibility for large claims. Some examples of these tactics include:
A car crash attorney will handle all communications with the insurance company. This includes the negotiation process, during which they will provide evidence to support your claim for damages.
The burden of proving negligence falls on the plaintiff. This means you must support your negligence claims and provide proof of the losses you suffered. To prove negligence, you must show the following:
Additionally, you need evidence to show your damages, such as medical bills, pay stubs showing lost income, estimates for property damage, and written statements and testimonies showing the emotional changes caused by your auto accident. Your attorney will investigate the accident independently of the police and the insurance company to gather the evidence you need. They can also access expert resources, such as mental health specialists or auto accident reconstruction experts, when necessary.
Once they gather all the evidence necessary to prove your case, the discovery phase of the legal process begins. This is when your attorney will compile a list of questions to ask the defendant and witnesses about the accident. They may conduct depositions to record these interviews. They will also represent you during any questioning you receive from the defendant’s attorney. This process can be long and tedious, but with the help of a car crash attorney, you will understand the purpose of each step and how it affects your case.
Negotiations can begin as soon as you file the claim and conclude at any point during the legal process. Only a small fraction of car crash cases fail to settle. However, if the insurance company does not offer a fair settlement, your attorney will know whether or not to take your case to trial. Additionally, they will prepare for the process, including filing all the necessary paperwork. Therefore, you can rest easy knowing they will take care of everything for you.
At Fielding Law, we understand the personal and financial struggles that car crash victims face in the wake of the accident. Our team of car crash attorneys will represent your interests and fight aggressively to ensure you get the compensation owed to you. If you have questions about negligence or want to know more about your rights, we can help you understand the next steps you should take. Not all car accident cases require legal representation, but at the very least, we can offer you peace of mind and ensure you know how to move forward. Contact Fielding Law today for your free case evaluation. You can fill out our online form or call (877) 880-4090.