How Do You Win a Car Accident Lawsuit?
As with any case, there is no guarantee to win. To give yourself the best case possible, it is imperative that you have evidence to prove your claim. Negligence is the basis of car accident lawsuits, and you must show that the collision occurred because of the driver’s negligent or reckless behavior.
In California, a comparative negligence jurisdiction, the court assigns a fault percentage to each car accident lawsuit. You may still win your lawsuit, but any damages you receive are reduced by the percentage of fault. For example, if you receive $100,000 in damages but are considered 10 percent at fault, the amount is reduced by $10,000.
Increase your odds of winning a car accident lawsuit by hiring experienced car accident lawyers. The Los Angeles car accident attorneys at Ellis Injury Law will work hard to help you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Our dedicated lawyers have recovered more than $350 million in settlements and verdicts for clients.
In order to establish negligence, you must prove that the defendant owed you a “duty of care.” This means a driver must obey traffic laws and not engage in dangerous practices, such as driving under the influence or while distracted.
You must show the driver breached that duty of care. Perhaps they were speeding, driving while intoxicated or otherwise not following traffic regulations, and that lack of duty of care resulted in the accident
You must prove that your injuries were caused by the driver’s breach of duty of care. In a lawsuit, this is usually the most difficult item to prove. Insurers will try to minimize such injuries or even deny that they were accident-related. Car accident lawyers know that insurance companies want to pay as little as possible, and this minimization and denial is part of their business strategy.
Your injury must have resulted in damages, for which you are seeking compensation. Damages may go beyond the physical and include financial harm such as lost wages or earning capacity. They may also include pain and suffering and other non-economic damages.
What you should do
After a car accident, it is imperative that you receive a medical examination as soon as possible. Failure to seek medical attention right away will seriously harm your claim. If you wait a few days before going to the doctor, the insurance company will allege that either your injuries were not that serious, or that they were pre-existing or due to some other cause.
Following doctor’s orders is imperative. Go to every doctor’s, physical therapy or rehabilitation appointment, even if you are feeling better. Do not return to work until cleared by your healthcare provider. Again, if you do not follow the recommendations of your physician, the insurance company will argue that you were not badly hurt.
Obey any physical restrictions placed on you by the doctor. If you are told not to lift more than 10 pounds, that includes your weekly grocery shopping, small children, and pets. Insurance companies send out their own investigators to catch plaintiffs in the act of disobeying medical advice to invalidate their claims. Always assume someone may be watching.
Keep a medical diary
Keeping a detailed daily diary regarding your physical and mental condition can help win your case. State the degree of pain, how long it lasts, type of pain – such as throbbing or shooting –and how it impacts your life. The more specificity, the better.
Statute of limitations
In California, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit is two years from the date of the accident. If the lawsuit is not filed within that timeframe, it cannot go forward.
Contact a Los Angeles car accident lawyer
When you or a loved one are seriously injured in a car accident because of another party’s negligence or recklessness, it’s important to feel confident in your legal representation. An experienced car accident attorney at Ellis Injury Law investigates your case thoroughly.
Arrange a complimentary consultation and case evaluation by submitting our online form or calling or texting us 24/7. After reviewing your claim, we will advise you of your options. Car accident cases are taken on a contingency basis, which means you pay no fee unless we win.