Car accidents affect millions of Americans each year, sometimes leaving them with serious injuries that result in long-term medical problems. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) indicates that nearly 2.4 million people were injured in motor vehicles accidents in the United States during 2012 alone.
Our legal system seeks to compensate people for injuries caused by the negligence of others through tort law, which encompasses personal injury cases such as those arising from motor vehicle accidents.
In order to be able to successfully recover, a plaintiff must be able to show that the accident that caused his or her injuries was caused by some sort of negligence on the part of the defendant, which in the context of torts has a very specific legal meaning. As a result, it is important for victims of car accidents to discuss their case with an experienced Atlanta personal injury lawyer.
An attorney who is familiar with litigating car accident cases will often be able to secure more compensation than would a person proceeding pro se (without an attorney). The lawyers of Goldstein Hayes & Lina are dedicated to helping car accident victims recover for their losses and have recovered over $100 million on behalf of clients. To schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys, call our office today at (404) 869-8600.
Proving Negligence in a Car Accident Case
Legal negligence occurs when a person fails to use the level of care that a reasonable person would in the same or similar circumstances. If this seems confusing, you are not alone, and personal injury attorneys spend countless hours arguing that a particular course of conduct constitutes or constituted negligence, while defense attorneys generally argue the opposite.
In the context of a car accident case, negligence can take many forms, including speeding, distracted driving, failure to follow traffic regulations, or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In many cases, a lawyer may have to gather evidence tending to show that a defendant was acting negligently. Some of the types of evidence that an attorney may obtain include the following:
- Police reports – After an accident, law enforcement officials usually generate an official report that details the way the accident occurred as well as certain facts about the accident. If an officer deems that a driver has committed a traffic violation, the report will generally reflect this fact. In some cases, this may be sufficient evidence to establish legal liability.
- Surveillance footage – In many cases, an accident may have been recorded by surveillance cameras set up by nearby home or business owners. In others, a witness may have serendipitously recorded an accident while intending to record something else with his or her smartphone or other device. In many cases, video of an accident can be extremely helpful in establishing liability.
- Eyewitness testimony – Your attorney may request that individuals who saw your accident give official statements under oath regarding their observations of the accident.
- The opinion of an accident reconstruction expert – In some cases, it may be helpful to employ an accident reconstruction expert in order to clarify how and why an accident occurred. An experienced attorney will know where to find such an expert and will pay for any upfront costs associated with hiring him or her.
There are other types of evidence that your attorney may gather depending on the specifics of your case. Call our office today to discuss your accident with an experienced Atlanta personal injury lawyer.