People who have been injured in a car accident may not understand what their rights are under the law. If the accident was not their fault, they may be eligible to collect compensation from the responsible party. However, when unrepresented plaintiffs attempt to file a claim, they may fall prey to aggressive insurance companies who want the claimant to settle their claim for a fraction of its value.
Individuals who have been severely injured due to the negligence of another driver should not settle and instead, should demand compensation for all their losses. If you are in this situation, a Clearwater car accident lawyer could help you pursue claims for your damages. This can include payments for medical bills, lost wages, and mental suffering. A qualified personal injury lawyer could study the facts of your case and determine a legal strategy to help you obtain a favorable outcome.
When a Defendant is At-Fault for an Accident
Proving that the defendant is at fault in a car accident case can be difficult. Typically, a plaintiff will need to provide evidence that the defendant driver was negligent. To prove a negligence case in court, a plaintiff must prove:
- The defendant had a duty to protect the wellbeing of the plaintiff
- Actions taken by the defendant violated this duty of care
- This breach of duty resulted in injury to the plaintiff
Defendants in car accident cases always have a duty to protect the injured person. This is determined by the legal obligation of all drivers to protect anyone they meet in the road, whether another driver, passenger, pedestrian, or bicyclist.
The most difficult part of winning a car collision case may be proving that the defendant failed in their duty of care. In some claims, negligence may be obvious if the defendant broke a traffic law by, for example, speeding, failing to stop at a red light, or failing to yield to the injured driver. However, many other cases may require the help of a Clearwater car accident lawyer to gather the necessary evidence to demonstrate that defendant was negligent in another way.
How a Defendant May Refute Allegations of Negligence
In a car crash case, the defendant will often try to refute allegations of their negligence by placing partial or full blame on the claimant. For example, in cases where police do not issue a citation for poor driving to either party, the issue of fault is less clear. Defendant insurance companies may attempt to say that the claimant did not give the defendant enough time to react. They may also claim the claimant was driving carelessly in some way.
Another common defense is to argue that the claimant’s injuries were caused by an event other than the collision. Injured plaintiffs can only claim compensation if a physical injury resulted directly from a car crash with the defendant. Because of this, plaintiffs should take care to ensure their medical records properly name the accident as the source of their injuries.
Finally, defendants can argue that a plaintiff waited too long to file a claim. Under Florida Statute §95.11, all plaintiffs must file a case within four years of the date of injury. If this time limit elapses, a defendant will be able to have a case dismissed and prevent it from being heard in court.
Consulting with a Clearwater Car Accident Attorney
Car accidents are often the cause of severe injuries that affect a person’s health and finances. Whenever these accidents are the fault of another driver, an injured person has the right to demand compensation for medical bills, lost earnings, pain and suffering, and other damages.
If you were injured in a car crash and wish to achieve a successful outcome, you must prove certain elements to demonstrate that the defendant was negligent and, therefore, liable for their losses. A Clearwater car accident lawyer could help you to gather the necessary evidence to prove this case. An attorney could take care of the details so you can focus on getting your life back on track. Contact an attorney today to discuss your case.