3 Things That Can Affect The Outcome Of Your Car Accident Lawsuit

Posted on: 4 June 2015

Getting injured in a car accident can be devastating. Not only do you have to deal with damage to your car, but you could also have injuries that are significant enough to cause you to miss work for a period of time. In a lot of cases, it is necessary to hire an auto accident attorney to file a lawsuit against the person who caused the accident - or their insurance company if they were insured. Here are three things that can affect the outcome of your car accident lawsuit.

1. You are found liable for a portion of the accident.

The first thing that the defense will do is try to prove that you were at least partially responsible for the accident in question. If they are successful in convincing a judge or jury that your own negligence played a part in the accident, then it can greatly affect your ability to win your case.

If the state you live in holds to the doctrine of comparative negligence, then you still have the ability to collect compensation. The total amount awarded will be reduced by the amount of the accident you are responsible for.

So, if you have asked for $5,000 for your injuries and property damage and you are found 15% responsible for the accident, you will get 15% less than what you asked for. It is important to note that in many instances of this legal doctrine, if you are found to have equal or more responsibility for the accident, you won't win your case.

However, if your state holds to the legal doctrine of contributory negligence and you are found responsible for the accident, no matter how small your degree of fault is, you will not be able to collect compensation from the defendant.

2. Not seeking medical attention as soon as possible after the accident.

One big mistake that so many people involved in car accidents make is not being evaluated by a doctor afterward. It is vital that you seek medical attention as soon as you possibly can after an accident. If you wait several days before seeing a doctor, it can greatly affect your ability to get compensated for medical damages because the defense can argue that your injuries didn't come from the accident at all.

The thing with some injuries is that the symptoms don't always present right away. So, while you may feel fine immediately following the accident, you could have injuries that will cause problems later. It is just best to see a doctor the same day you have the accident, if at all possible.

3. Signing away your right to file a lawsuit.

This point can't be stressed enough: Do not sign anything given to you by anyone other than medical staff. People from insurance companies have been known to trick accident victims into signing away their rights to file a lawsuit against them for compensation. It's a sneaky tactic and one that will sink your case.

Most of the time these releases state that the insurance company will pay you a certain amount, which is usually a very small figure. When you find that it's not enough to cover your medical bills and the bill to fix your car, you are out of luck because you signed away your right to file a lawsuit against them for fair compensation.