In our previous article we covered factors that determine burden of proof during an auto accident injury suit. In this article we would like to pick up from right where we stopped and this primarily entails how settlements are determined in such suits.
We are therefore going to look at 5 factors that will be considered when estimating the dollar amount in an injury settlement.
1 Costs spent by the claimant on medical bills
This is a rather straight forward calculation because the claimant will be expected to furnish the court with documents such as receipts or invoices showing how much they spent on medical expenses following the accident.
2 The cost of future medical bills
In the event the claimant suffered from injuries that will require them to undergo medical care for an extended period of time, the cost of this medical care is calculated and a dollar amount determined.
3 Damages incurred to property
Following the auto accident, the claimant will need to furnish the court with invoices from either their insurer or a registered mechanic indicating how much damage their vehicle sustained and what it will cost or what it cost to repair these damages.
4 The loss of income
If the claimant was injured to a point that they were not in a position to work for a couple of days, weeks or months they will be required to tabulate and come up with a dollar amount for this lost income and present it to the court.
5 The loss of future income
In the event the claimant suffers injuries that will render it impossible for them to resume the work they were doing even after they are fully recovered then they have the option of making a claim for loss of future income. Just as in the loss of income scenario, a dollar value will be determined for this loss.
Once all this has been tabulated and calculated, should the claimant be successful in proving their case, they will be awarded their claim and the accused ordered to pay up in addition to other punitive measures such as jail time.
When you have been involved in an auto accident and sustained significant injuries, from a legal stand point, it’s the person who caused the accident who will be held responsible and they are required to compensate you for any damages to your body as well as your car.
It’s however noteworthy that these suits are usually not open and shut cases because the burden of proof will mostly fall on the victim. This essentially means that it’s upon you to prove that the other driver was negligent and caused the accident as a result.
We are therefore going to briefly look at what you must prove in an auto accident injury suit.
You must prove that it was the driver’s duty to be cautious
Reason dictates that once you are behind the wheel, it becomes your responsibility to ensure that you don’t endanger other road users be they motorists or pedestrians. Legally speaking however, it must be demonstrated in a court of law that the person behind the wheel actually had the responsibility of safeguarding other motorists.
You must demonstrate negligence
Once you have been able to convince the court that the responsibility to be cautious indeed fell on the driver, you must now prove that it was through their negligence that they caused the accident. This will require providing evidence such as pictures, video or witness statements showing the driver ignoring traffic lights, a stop sign, a speed limit sign and so on.
You must demonstrate that your injuries were a direct result of the accident
The court will not just take your word that the injuries you sustained were a direct result of the accident, you must produce evidence to demonstrate this. Such evidence will include photos or video from the scene as well as the doctor’s statement.
Once you have been able to prove all these in front of court the next step will be for you to demonstrate to the court the monetary value of these injuries so that it can be determined what you are actually owed.
Anytime you are involved in an auto accident that was the result of negligence by another motorist and the accident results in either injuries or damage to your property, you must act very fast to ensure that you protect your claim. This is because the defendant will do everything within their power not to pay up.
There is a couple of ways you can protect your claim and in this article, we are going to look at 4 ways you can do it.
1 Ensure that the police is involved
It’s advisable that if ever you are involved in an auto accident ensure that you immediately call the police to the scene. This is mainly for documentation purposes because the police will record and even investigate the incident and this becomes evidence you can produce in court.
2 Document the accident scene
If you are fortunate enough not to suffer very serious injuries, you must ensure that you document the accident scene through taking photos, videos and even contact info of potential witnesses. If you are not in a position to do this on your own, you can request the people at the scene to do it for you and ensure you have their contact info.
3 Seek the services of a personal injuries lawyer
Personal injuries lawyers are lawyers who have specialized in injury claims and they will therefore guide you through the process of filing your suite and arguing your case on your behalf in court. They are very experienced in such matters therefore you should always follow their advice.
4 Your claims must be reasonable
It’s unwise for you to try and make exaggerated claims because they will make you come off as disingenuous and this may negatively affect your entire case. Restrict yourself to making claims for damages and injuries that you actually incurred and that you can prove.
If you take all these measures diligently, you will have taken great strides towards positioning yourself for a successful legal battle.