As with any other type of car accident, the at-fault party—who you can sue for damages—in a rear-end collision depends on the causes and specifics of each individual case. This article will help you to better understand how fault is decided in car accident cases and how a car accident lawyer can assist you with your case.
Who Is At Fault in a Rear-End Collision
Some rear-end collisions result from the negligence of the rear driver. They may have been:
- Following too closely
- Driving too fast
- Driving while sleepy
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Failing to pay attention, such as if the driver was distracted by a cell phone
However, there is no guarantee that the other driver was at fault. Some accidents are caused by mechanical failures, such as a problem with the brakes, bad weather conditions, or roadway obstructions. There may even be more than one liable party in your case, such as an auto manufacturer who created a defective part.
Economic Versus Non-Economic Damages
If you are considering filing a lawsuit, you may have come across the terms “economic damages” and “non-economic damages.” Both refer to types of compensation that accident victims can sue for. However, they are very different and often have different laws regulating how much you are allowed to collect.
Economic damages include financial losses, such as:
- Cost of repair: You had to send your car to a mechanic.
- Cost of medical treatment: Your injuries need medical attention.
- Loss of wages, benefits, etc.: Your injuries kept you home from work.
- Loss of employment: Your accident and/or your injuries cost you your job.
Non-economic damages include physical and mental losses, such as:
- Pain and suffering: Your physical and/or mental health has suffered.
- Disability: You will never regain your full range of physical or intellectual abilities.
- Scarring or disfigurement: Your injuries left marks that will never fully heal.
- Reduced quality of life: You have lost your independence.
The details of your accident will determine which damages you qualify for and how much you may be eligible to recover.
Why Hiring a Lawyer Can Help
It may be tempting to handle the legal process on your own, especially if money is tight and you are concerned about how you will afford attorney fees. However, you should not dismiss the possibility of hiring a lawyer too quickly. Legal representation may have benefits, and if you find a firm that works for a contingency fee, you may not have to pay anything until the firm succeeds in recovering compensation for you.
The law and the legal process are very complicated, especially for an injured layperson who has other concerns like recuperating, paying bills, and so on. Allowing a Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyer to handle your case for you can ease your burden considerably. In addition, there will always be someone to turn to if you have any questions about your case or the legal process in general.
Even if you are uncertain about hiring a lawyer, you can still speak with a law firm during a free consultation. This will allow you to learn if you have a viable case, what your options are, and whether or not a lawyer can help at no cost and no obligation to you.
How Your Lawsuit May Go
As stated before, every case is different. This means it is impossible to predict how your case will go, how long it will take, and how much money you may recover. However, to give you a general idea of what may happen after you hire a car accident lawyer in Fort Lauderdale, here is a brief overview of common steps lawyers go through in personal injury cases like yours.
To strengthen your case, your lawyer will gather all available evidence related to your accident. This may include police reports, medical records, any photos you took of the accident scene or damage, and more. Together, this evidence will show that the accident was not your fault and that you deserve compensation from the liable party.
The Administrative Work
Lawsuits are much less dramatic in real life than they are on television. Yours will likely involve a lot of paperwork and communication back and forth with the liable party and their representatives. Your lawyer can handle all of this. You do not have to worry about meeting submission deadlines or speaking directly with the liable party.
Assuming that the liable party was properly insured, you will be seeking compensation from their insurance company rather than the liable party themselves. Your lawyer will meet with their representatives on your behalf and argue for the money you are entitled to.
If a settlement is reached, your lawyer will draw up the agreement for you to sign. If a settlement is not reached, your lawyer will talk to you about the possibility of going to trial with a personal injury lawsuit. Trials involve filing more paperwork, including evidence, locating and examining witnesses, and more—all of which your lawyer would be happy to handle.
All throughout your case, you will have to make important decisions such as whether to settle or whether to go to trial. Your lawyer can help you determine which course of action is best for you and your family by discussing all options with you and answering your questions as they arise.
If you are looking for a car accident lawyer in Fort Lauderdale, call on the Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato. We treat you the way we would want our own family to be treated—with respect, honesty, compassion, and the determination to do everything we can to help. Contact our office at (954) 633-8270 to find out more. You will pay us no fees unless we win.