Recovering from a car accident is a process that requires all of your effort and attention. It’s a common occurrence and one that can cause significant damage.
The United States has nearly 40,000 fatal car wrecks each year. Once you have suffered an accident, your main question is likely can I sue?
These tips will not only let you know whether you can sue someone for a car accident but will also show you how to work with the best car accidents lawyer in Houston, Texas.
Can You Sue Someone After a Car Accident?
So is it possible to recover legal damages by suing after a car accident? Not only can you sue in many situations, but this is also one of the biggest areas of personal injury and civil litigation.
The main thing to prove is that the other driver or party caused the accident and is at fault. This typically happens due to negligence, disregard for safety, illegal traffic maneuvers, and other such issues. A big part of car accident law is proving that the other driver caused your damages, was in the wrong, and the dollar amount that your damages are worth.
Make sure that you know what to do after an accident so that you can begin your case in earnest. Some of the main steps that you need to take include:
- Getting the other driver’s name, license plate number, insurance, and other information
- Notifying your car insurance provider and the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) about the crash
- Obtaining a car accident report from the wreck
- Visiting the urgent care or emergency room (ER) to tend to your medical needs
- Take photo and video evidence of the wreck and vehicle damage
Understanding all of the details of your case will help you make progress. Start here as you explore what kind of damages you’ll be able to claim.
What Can You Sue For?
A big part of handling a car accident case is knowing the types of damages you’ll be able to claim in a court of law or in an out-of-court settlement. There are some specific types of legal damages that you can claim as long as you understand how to document and prove them.
Here are some of the main damages that people claim in car accident cases:
Medical Injuries and Damages
Medical injuries are often the main types of damages that people claim in car accident cases. These are often the most apparent and most costly.
Many drivers suffer whiplash in even minor car accidents. Suffering this sort of neck injury can cause pain in all of your waking life and can make you lose time from work. Once you get your medical evaluation following the car wreck, you’ll have a better account of what injuries you’ve suffered.
This may involve medical imaging and physical evaluations from physicians and specialists. Some other medical damages that are commonplace in car accident cases include:
- Back and neck pain and injuries
- Broken bones, dislocations, and fractures
- Trauma to the cranium or spinal cord
- Cuts or loss of blood
- Concussion or other forms of head trauma
These injuries include damage in the immediate future and long-term recovery. Make sure to keep all documentation of bills and doctor’s recommendations.
Long-Term Rehabilitation and Physical Therapy
After you have gotten evaluations for your initial medical injuries, you may need to also get some physical therapy, chiropractic care, and other types of rehab so that you can get your body back to normal.
This rehabilitative care will help you recover your full range of motion and eliminate pain and discomfort. These sessions will typically take place at least once per week for the foreseeable future. Keep copies of all your bills and diagnoses so that you can prove all of your damages.
Since these cases can take months or even more than a year to resolve, this documentation is especially important.
Pain and Suffering
Car accident cases might also involve some mental and emotional trauma. It’s common for people to experience Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after a car wreck. You might experience anxiety, stress, and even depression.
Aside from the physical and mental trauma from the accident, having to heal from significant injury and miss time from work can take a heavy emotional toll. You might be entitled to pain and suffering damages in these cases especially if you’re seeing a professional for therapy and other forms of mental health and trauma counseling.
Money for Lost Past and Future Income
If you miss time from work, this can also put your financial life in flux. You’ll need to account for lost money from wages now and for any work you’re going to miss long-term.
This will involve pulling documentation of your pay stubs or other proof of income. Being compensated for lost income will allow you to keep taking care of your bills and all of your living expenses while you heal.
Compensation for Your Vehicle and Other Property Damages
Of course, car accidents also bring about significant property damage. You might need money for repairs or to replace your vehicle. This process starts by having an adjuster compare your vehicle’s value and condition prior to the accident with its current market value.
They will gauge the amount of damage that the vehicle sustained and how much it would cost to fix it. If the vehicle is beyond repair or if the repairs would cost more than the current value of the vehicle, you would instead seek to replace it.
Punitive Damages in Certain Cases
There are certain situations where you can seek punitive damages against a driver. This is on the table if the driver’s behavior was particularly dangerous, careless, or erratic.
The courts might award you punitive damages for your troubles. Punitive damages are more likely when the driver was also charged with an infraction, such as reckless driving, running a red light, or driving under the influence (DUI).
Funeral Arrangements for Wrongful Death Lawsuits
Unfortunately, there are many situations that a wronged driver doesn’t make it out of the accident alive. Car accident deaths are common, and the toll that the loss of a loved one takes on a family can’t be measured.
However, the estate of drivers who die in car wrecks can seek legal damages. When this happens, the car accident becomes a wrongful death lawsuit, and the estate might seek damages for funeral arrangements, lost income, and pain and suffering.
Choose a Car Accident Lawyer to Represent You
The only way that you can reasonably expect to recover damages in your car accident case is by hiring the help of a professional. Car accident lawyers specialize in these cases and can help you with a settlement or court judgment.
When you’re looking to hire an attorney, make sure that they are professional and credible. Research them in the State Bar of Texas, and research the law firm’s Better Business Bureau (BBB) reviews.
Ask about their case results and browse through press releases of any they have settled. The best law firms will openly share their recent outcomes so that you have a better idea of how they can help you.
Check for the usual settlement amount range to get an idea of the level of cases they’re used to trying. Many firms handle multi-million dollar car accident settlements, but can still assist you with your five-figure case.
Learn how much they charge for their legal services. This will be a percentage of your final winnings, typically between 20% and 40%.
Sit down with a firm for a free consultation to hash out all of these details and to find out what damages you’re entitled to. During the consultation, you’ll also find out whether they’re the best firm to handle your interests. Find out if they try specific types of accident cases, such as semi-truck accidents and ride-share wrecks.
Sign a contract with a lawyer and work with them step by step to resolve your case.
Hire the Best Car Accidents Lawyer in Houston, Texas
The points above are useful when you have a car accident lawsuit on your hands. When you handle your case in an organized and consistent manner, you’re more likely to get a timely resolution and enough money to pay for your damages.
Your next step is to hire the best car accidents lawyer Houston, Texas has to offer.
At O’Hara Law Firm, you can count on impeccable service to win your case or judgment. Our team of attorneys would be happy to explain how we can help. Reach out now using our contact form, or give us a call at (281)919-2073.