If you’ve been injured in an accident, you don’t want to be forced to sue someone to be compensated for the damages that you suffered. Unfortunately, that is what you have to do sometimes.
When you are faced with the possibility of having to sue the other driver, you’ll need to know the answers to a few questions. In this article, we’ve provided you with some information about the common questions that you should consider when considering whether or not to sue.
How do I prove that I suffered damages because of the accident that I was just in?
You can prove that you have damages in a number of ways. The medicals bills that you have incurred would be totaled and the bills would be submitted into evidence. Depending on the type of case you have and the complexity of the case, you would also have either medical narratives or medical deposition testimony from the treating doctors to talk about your injuries and to talk about the permanency of your injuries.
In addition, there are other witnesses that you would present such as the plaintiff himself, the plaintiff’s friends, coworkers, and family that can testimony about how this particular car work impacted the person’s life and the difference in the way he was before the accident and after the accident.
Finally, another important piece of the puzzle are photographs of the vehicle. For instance, the adjusters in insurance companies know now that if there is a car accident where the damages from the photographs show very little damage to the vehicle, that juries do not give very much in a way of awards. This is true even though the person may be really hurt bad. I mean it does happen where you can get a light tap and if you’re not expecting it and if you have your head turned a certain way, you can actually have a herniated disc, which is a very bad injury. They know that photographs that show a very slight impact are something that juries typically will not award much on. Conversely, when photographs show a very crumpled car and the person complains of injuries, juries tend to view that with a lot of credibility. Those are just the basic ways you prove damages.
How do I prove who was at fault in these cases?
Again, you go back to eye-witness testimony. Certainly the testimony of the parties is something that comes up in just about every case, but, of course, juries look at the parties and their testimony with an eye, as that they are bias witnesses, and they look and are paying close attention to really both parties to see whether or not that person is credible. They know there is some bias built into it. They look to see the credibility of the witnesses.
You can also have uninterested eye-witness testimony that will describe how an accident happened. Whether it’s a party or just an eye-witness witness, these witnesses are sometimes vary. Let’s just say the eye-witness testimony is not as always reliable as many people think they are. Juries do put a lot of weight into the eye-witness testimony.
In addition, the physical damage to the vehicles at the scene can also show the angle of impact, the place of impact on the vehicles. There can also be skid marks at the scene, in which an accident reconstructionist can show the speed of the vehicles. They can determine what the vehicle was actually doing.
Depending on whether the accident happened in the rain or at night, you can do things like a filament analysis to determine whether a vehicle had it’s lights on. In a lot of the modern vehicles nowadays, they have computers where you can go in and actually access a lot of data including sometimes the speed of the vehicle and those types of things.
In addition, if it happens at a busy intersection, sometimes there’s DOT cameras at these intersections. There’s a variety of places we can go depending on the facts of the case to prove who was at fault.
Once I can prove that injuries were sustained and I can prove who is at fault, what should I do?
In general, it is appropriate to go ahead and actually file a lawsuit. Typically what you’re going to want to do is give the insurance company the opportunity to try to settle the case first without filing the lawsuit. A lot of times the insurance companies aren’t reasonable. In general, it’s appropriate to sue when the insurance company is not treating you fairly. If they’re treating you fairly, then you wouldn’t want to go through the trouble and expense of a lawsuit because then you would net less money.
Consider the personal costs
I must also emphasize that it’s a personal decision depending on many factors. For example, let’s say that the insurance company offers you something that you thinks 75% of the value of the case. Maybe it’s a $20,000.00 case, and they offered you $15,000.00. Some people are painfully shy and would rather take less money than endure the war that a lawsuit can be sometimes. Some people may not want to sue because they make too much money. If Ted Turner were involved in a $20,000.00 car wreck case, he’s not going waste his time suing because it’s going to take up too much time and effort for him in court.
There’s also life events that come up. If a person’s involved in a big life event, they have to make up their mind as to whether or not they actually want to file a lawsuit. Now, claims can be filed and cases be settled and they usually are. Ninety percent of the cases are settled before they actually go to court. If you’re going to file the lawsuit and then actually take the case to trial, it can be a lot of effort. It can involve decisions outside of money that people come up with to make that decision.
Having said that, the general rule is that you would file the lawsuit against the party. You don’t actually sue the insurance company. You’re filing a lawsuit against the negligent party if the insurance company, who’s negotiating with you, does not give you what you think the case is worth.
Need help? Consult an attorney for advice.
If you’ve been in an accident and would like to consult an attorney to see what your options are, please contact the Hendon Law Firm for a consultation in the metro Atlanta area at (770) 284-3737.
Disclaimer: information purposes only. Zack is an attorney with over 30 years experience, and provides this information to help you, but this cannot be seen as legal advice. For legal advice, you need to have a consultation with an attorney in your area. If you’re in the metro Atlanta area, please give the Hendon Law Firm a call.