The Four Required Elements of a Successful Auto Injury Accident Insurance Claim or Lawsuit
If you’re reading this, you certainly want to know whether or not your family might have a successful personal injury case against a defendant who must reimburse you for the loss of your loved one in a fatal car accident. In most auto accident cases, the victim, or in this case, the victim’s surviving family, has a legal right to collect damages. Texas law says that rightfully asking for and collecting damages are two different things. As plaintiffs, you have the burden of proving all four necessary pillars of defendant liability for the fatal car accident claim in court. In the US, we all know that all defendants are innocent until proven guilty. All who will judge your case (or evaluate your insurance claim) must clearly understand why you are owed damages. All your opponents have to do to win is effectively deny or disprove any one of these four elements.
In civil law, each of these four essentials of proving legal liability against a defendant must demonstrate your charges are valid and appropriate. They are duty, breach, causation, and damages. Below, we’ll briefly discuss each of these elements to give you a better appreciation of what it will take to prove that you’re entitled to damage compensation.
Duty: The first task thing your fatal auto injury lawyer must do is prove is that the defendant owed your loved one a duty of care. The defendant must exercise an acceptable level of caution to prevent people from being hurt or killed as they drive. Texas Civil Codes and Procedures establish the level of the duty of care that a person or organization owes to another in personal injury cases. Duty depends on the situation in-question that are considered relative to the relationship of the parties involved. Proving that the defendant in your case owed your loved one at least some duty of care is relatively straightforward since nearly all drivers owe each other the duty to drive as a reasonable person would in keeping others safe. Unless there are unusual circumstances (and there are a few), the chances are that a moderate “reasonable person standard” applies to the defendant (or defendants) in an auto accident case that caused your loved one’s untimely death.
Breach: If the defendants drive unreasonably only for the moments immediately leading up to the fatal car wreck, they can be held responsible for their negligent actions that caused this tragedy.
A breach of the defendant’s duty of care includes offenses such as
speeding recklessly, driving at night without headlights, running through red lights, driving while intoxicated, driving while distracted (by cellphone or texting). It applies even if they may not have been legally charged for these offenses in criminal court. Proving that the defendant breached his duty of care is typically accomplished when your attorney presents evidence from an investigation that removes any doubt what the defendant did or failed to do in causing the fatal car wreck. The jurors, in your case, will consider your breach of duty evidence along with additional evidence that clearly illustrates the defendant’s negligence. Many times this element can be the most difficult to prove and calls for a great deal of investigation by your lawyer. But once that breach is successfully confirmed, the rest of your civil action might not be so difficult.
Causation: Simply showing the defendant might have been negligent isn’t always enough to win your case that the defendant owes your family a long list of damages arising from the fatal auto wreck. If a defendant is forced to deny causation (a term used in proving a breach of duty), often he will argue “unforeseeable circumstances” such as other drivers, pedestrians, or even your loved one were the actual cause of the fatal wreck. Most often, this tactic is the defendant’s last stand if he or she hopes to wiggle out of being held liable for legal damages. Expect the defendant’s lawyers to claim anything from the sudden appearance of an obstacle in the road that forced them to violently swerve and hit your loved one’s car to their toddler threw a bottle of apple juice at them while they were otherwise driving safely. You know that this is untrue. But how do you expose this defense for what it is? What happens if they introduce a perfect driving record, no accidents or tickets, that dates back to the Reagan Administration? It’s up to you and your Texas fatal auto accident lawyer to prove your accident claim and disprove any untruthful defense. It’s important to have more than sufficient evidence to refute any argument that is thrown at you, and that it was the defendant’s conduct behind the wheel that caused the car accident that took your loved one.
Damages: The term “damages” isn’t limited to just the actual cost of injuries and the medical or funeral expenses of your loved one. It’s a legal term that refers to the total monetary value (the exact sum of money) the defendant owes you and your family in the wake of your loved one’s fatal auto accident. In addition to the above expenses, damages might include your deceased loved one’s pain and suffering, present lost wages (present and projected earnings), and you and your family’s pain and suffering. The repair or replacement bills for any vehicle or items of worth that are destroyed in the accident will be included as well. To prove what you’re entitled to collect, you and your attorney must correctly calculate what the defendant owes you and provide irrefutable evidence of all your family’s injuries and losses to support your damage claim.
While you and your fatal car accident lawyer establish your exact damage amount, the defendants also work on the very same thing, calling it “totaling up our losses.” Civil damages owed can be the most contentious issue of any personal injury case. Defendants use their own “creative accounting” to determine how little they think they owe fatal accident victims if the jury finds that they are responsible for the accident. They’ll accuse you of asking for a handout and beg the court to see that your requested amount is unreasonably higher than traditional payouts in similar cases. This very convenient defendant argument is also often accompanied by a charge that you are bringing a frivolous lawsuit against them. You must clearly show the jury that your requested damage amount is realistic and proportional to the actual harm done to you and your family by the negligent defendant. Contesting the compensation amount is usually their last gasp at wiggling out of paying reasonable damages. You must strongly finish your case with clear evidence that proves your family’s losses are genuine, and that the amount requested is the full and reasonable total of your damages.
Determining the proper amount of damages can be as important as the other three elements of proof because you are approaching the end of your family’s quest. And you have only one shot at receiving fair compensation from any single negligent defendant. Computing every single loss can be challenging unless you have an experienced auto injury attorney who knows the value of personal injury losses arising from fatal auto accidents and how to effectively calculate them: both tangible and intangible. How do you put a price tag on a beloved family member? In calculating the loss of earning capacity, how do you account for hypothetical raises and promotions your loved one would have received had he or she continued to work, or been promoted, or hired away by another company at double tomorrow’s salary? Damage calculation issues are a reason you need an experienced fatal car accident attorney with our Law Firm who knows how to account for and calculate every damage claimed as a result of losing a loved one to a deadly auto accident.
Call us today. One of our accident injury attorneys will patiently listen to you, analyze your case, and explain your options. Our goal is to make sure that you recover as much as possible for your injuries and make this sometimes complicated legal process as easy as possible for you to bear.
The period after the loss of a loved one is often stressful and confusing. Don’t add to it and the confusion it creates by letting an inexperienced attorney handle your case or represent yourself when you are unqualified. With decades of experience, we are uniquely qualified and fully prepared to get you the best results possible. If you or someone you know was injured in a car accident, contact an attorney at our Texas Law Firm today at 1(800) 862-1260 (toll-free) for a free consultation and find out how we can help you.
Construction Accident Attorneys Texas
Just like pretty much every other locale in the state, Texas is under a constant state of construction. Due to the dangerous nature of construction, this means that construction accidents occur from time-to-time. Despite the hazards, their workers face every day, many construction companies avoid purchasing workers’ compensation insurance and instead hire their workers as contractors. Contractors are responsible for providing their own safe working conditions and are not due to compensation when injured on the job. However, just because your employer called you a contractor doesn’t mean that’s what the law considers you to be. For 30 years, the attorneys at our Texas Law Offices have been handling these cases, and we’ve helped hundreds of injured construction workers.
In many instances, we took on cases in which the employer tried to deny liability by claiming the injured employee was a contractor, and we were able to establish an actual employer-employee relationship and hold the employer accountable. Just like with other on-the-job injuries, we’re also able to use a thorough investigation on occasion to find another responsible party besides the employer who can be brought to justice. If someone else caused your construction accident in Texas, we will help you find compensation for your medical expenses, lost salary due to work missed, and pain and suffering.
Why You Should Contact our Law Firm Immediately
While the statute of limitations after a negligent injury or wrongful death in Texas is two years, you need to act immediately to give yourself the best chance of securing the compensation you deserve if you’ve been injured or a family member has been killed by someone else’s negligence. Success with a personal injury or wrongful death claim requires evidence, and that evidence can only be found through a quick and thorough investigation. In most accident situations, the evidence begins to fade away or become altered quickly. Thus, you should contact our Law Firm today, so that you give yourself the best opportunity of delivering justice and recovering the compensation to which you are entitled. We’ve taken on every major insurance company in the state and compiled a long track record of success.
For a free consultation, call our Law Firm any time at 1(800) 862-1260 for a free consultation. We’re happy to listen to your story, answer your questions, and advise of your legal options, so call us now.
Insurance Companies Oppose You and Your Premises Liability Civil Actions
Premises liability lawsuits usually involve the defendant’s insurance company simply because virtually any business owner knows the first check each month goes for the rent, and the second one pays the insurance. The same can be said for the majority of homeowners: at least those who are still paying a monthly note. And though this business owner or homeowner gets liability protection for his monthly premium, the owner (and his insurance company) and any injured party view this insurance coverage differently. You might see it as a means of financial compensation. But often, the insurance company is really providing “plausible deniability” for the owner being responsible for paying damages. Does this sound a bit contradictory? Well yes, in many cases.
The insurance company is the one who writes the check to you if your case is successful. And it’s their job to fight you tooth-and-nail to deny your civil claim or case. Why? Because in order to protect their profits that come from all those premiums they take-in every month, insurance companies are in the business of not paying out claims whenever possible. They do it with insurance adjusters whose duty is to the insurance company, not to you: in spite of what the “friendly adjuster” might tell you. There’s always some reason why they’re dragging their feet in paying your claim. Sometimes they try to talk to you on the phone, and then record the conversation in hopes of tripping you up and getting you to say something they can use against you. The best way to avoid this hazard is to have an experienced Texas personal injury lawyer right here in Texas, a accident lawyer to take those calls and keep you out of the loop.
Another position insurance companies take is to suspect (whether it’s true or not) that you’re just looking for some sucker to fleece and are using the premises liability laws to do just that. This is one reason why insurers have great lawyers, either on-staff or permanent retainer, to foil you at every turn. They file motions, argue technicalities and generally try to put every legal roadblock they can think of to keep your case out of court. And they have lots of experience dealing with premises liability claimants: both those who are justified as well as those they claim are not.
And finally, if the insurance companies know you have a good case but are not represented by a liability attorney, they’ll offer you a “low-ball” settlement that can’t come close to paying all of your damages arising from the property owner’s negligence. Or they think their case defense might be weak, even if they also suspect the veracity of the plaintiff’s charges. In short, your opposition knows the ins and outs of premises liability law and the best ways to avoid paying your legitimate injury claim against a property owner whose negligence caused your injury.
If you or someone you love has been injured on someone else’s property, then call us today for a free consultation at 1(800) 862-1260 (toll-free) for a free consultation and find out how we can help you. We will be happy to answer any and every question you may have about the specifics in your premises liability case. We’ll help you determine whether you have the right to file suit and possibly give you a fair estimate of what sort of damage compensation you have a right to expect. Let us help you like we’ve helped hundreds of other injured Texans, through no fault of your own.
Our Main Office:
Carabin Shaw P.C.
630 Broadway St, San Antonio, TX 78215