After being involved in a car accident, it is important to seek legal help so you can recoup potential damages that were against caused you. This is where the assistance of a car accident attorney in Everett will be helpful. But, before anything else, you can start by learning more about car accident law.
Car accident law is a set of legal rules aimed at determining the person liable to the damages (personal or property) caused to another as a result of a traffic-related accident. This law is covered by the principles of negligence. To recover compensation, a victim must prove four basic elements: duty, breach, causation, and harm.
Burden of Proof
To meet the four basic elements discussed above, the victim is tasked to produce all necessary facts to warrant a decision affirmative of his claims. Therefore, the burden of proof lies on the victim. The victim must establish that the driver caused the accident and that he sustained injuries because of it.
To put value in this burden of proof, a piece of evidence must be presented. To substantiate all of the claims made, the victim must present evidence supporting his version of the events that transpired before, during, and after the accident. This can come from medical records, photographs, and statements from witnesses. Proof of the after-effects of the injury like lost wages must also be presented.
Types of Damages
Ordinarily, the types of damages a person can claim include medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and loss of affection or companionship. Medical claims are a major claim. The other three can be claimed as a result of the accident.
Injuries sustained can be minor like bruises or major like permanent disability. After an accident, it is important to have a full examination to identify the effects of the accident. Some injuries may not require long-term medical care, or symptoms may not arise readily.
Pain and suffering refer to physical and mental distress. They are usually based on the injury type, the severity of the injury, and the distress’ future prognosis. The emotional effects to you are part of this claim, like anxiety or depression.
An accident can hinder you from earning. The time spent to recover, from the time you were admitted to the hospital to periods of physical therapy, will prevent you to work. The victim must prove that the injuries did hamper the ability to earn.
An injury can also prevent your wife to provide affection (e.g. sexual activity). Compared to the claims above, this “loss of consortium” is claimed by the uninjured spouse. Loss of companionship is claimed by the family of a victim if the victim dies of his injuries.
A car accident case is a personal injury case categorized under negligence laws. But, like any tort case, proving liability and damage is a fundamental requirement. After an accident, it is best to save records of events, if any, to ensure a strong case.