How To Determine If You Should File A Lawsuit After A Car Accident
If you are wondering whether or not you should file a lawsuit after a car accident, then you have obviously suffered damages or injury from an unfortunate situation. There are questions you may consider as an accident victim that can help you decide whether to move forward with filing a lawsuit.
It is important to remember that you do not have to make this decision alone. You may always consult with an Orlando auto accident attorney before making your decision to move forward.
Some general questions to initially consider when deciding whether or not to sue following an accident are:
- Do I have a good case?
- Would I be satisfied with a settlement or going to mediation if I end up filing a lawsuit? Am I comfortable taking the lawsuit to trial?
- Will I will be able to collect any form of judgment? Is the lawsuit worth my time?
It isn’t necessary to file a lawsuit after every auto accident, but it may be beneficial in that is shows that you mean business and that you are going to exercise your rights and fight for compensation for what is rightfully yours. Filing a lawsuit brings you a fair amount of leverage in that an insurance adjuster will not want a jury deciding on the fate of the case and they may be more willing to settle out of court. Although this is often the case, a proof of negligence must be made for you to have a successful lawsuit.
In order for you to feel confident in filing a lawsuit after an auto accident, you should feel that you are able to prove that the at-fault party was negligent and liable for your injuries. You must have suffered damages (injuries, loss, etc.) for the at-fault party to be held liable. If this is the case, try to imagine the scenario of your case in the eyes of a jury.
Your Case in the Eyes of a Jury
One way to measure the potential success of your case is to consider the scenario if your case were to go to court. Juries are instructed to compare the facts, testimony, and evidence using five elements before reaching a verdict. Imagine your case as you move step by step through each element to help decide how your case would stand in the eyes of a jury.
Duty arises in many forms that are recognized by the law. For example, when you drive a car, you have a duty to the other vehicles on the road to drive safely and follow all traffic laws.
Breach of Duty
Once a duty is defined, a defendant is liable for negligence when he or she breaches the duty that they owe to the plaintiff. For example, if a driver acted recklessly by excessively speeding or driving under the influence, they breached their duty to safely share the road.
Cause in Fact
Under the traditional rules in negligence cases, a plaintiff must prove that the defendant’s actions actually caused the plaintiff’s injury. This is often referred to as “but-for causation.” In other words, you wouldn’t be injured if the other vehicle did not crash into you.
Proximate relates to the proximity of the defendant’s actions to the harms that were caused. A defendant in a negligence case is only responsible for those harms that the defendant could have foreseen through his or her actions. For example, since drivers are aware that driving recklessly is a risky behavior, they are aware that driving that way can cause accidents and serious injuries.
A plaintiff in a negligence case must prove that the defendant’s negligence caused damages such as personal injury or property damages. You will need to provide evidence that your injuries were a direct result of the accident that was caused by the other party.
The Lawsuit Decision
Once you have put thought in to your potential legal case and imagined your case scenario through the eyes of a jury and you still have questions, now is the time to consult with an auto accident attorney. A skilled Injury lawyer such as those at David & Philpot, P.L. will discuss your case in depth with you and help you to decide next steps. If you have been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, you should exercise your rights to claim what is rightfully yours. Contact us today for a free, no obligation consultation at 800 360-7015