If you’ve been injured in a car accident caused by another driver, you may think that winning compensation is a foregone conclusion. However, insurers and legal defense teams tend to fight tooth and nail to avoid paying a fair settlement. In order to win your case, you’re likely to need an experienced car wreck injury attorney in San Antonio on your side.
What Factors Affect Your Chances of Winning a Car Wreck Injury Case?
How Much Evidence You Have
Car wreck cases usually entail filing either an insurance claim or a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. For either to be successful, the other driver’s fault will need to be proven; you must present sufficient evidence to prove that they caused the crash through their own negligence or recklessness. With a straightforward rear-end collision, liability may be clear and hard to deny, but in more complex accidents, evidence will often play a pivotal role.
Evidence will frequently include the police report from the officers who visited the scene of the accident, plus photos and videos from the scene, eyewitness accounts, surveillance camera footage, and sometimes accident reconstruction experts and other expert witnesses. If you lack any of this, it might become difficult to prove the other driver’s liability without the help of a skillful attorney.
Whether You’ve Admitted to Liability
Car accident victims sometimes unwittingly ruin their own cases by admitting to some modicum of fault while communicating with the police, the other driver, the insurance company, or even their doctor. If you accidentally admit to contributory fault, your case may be diminished or even destroyed. From the very first moments following an accident, everything you say can have an impact on the success of the subsequent insurance claim or lawsuit.
Even a passing remark that you were in a rush because you were late for a meeting may be used to imply that you were speeding or driving with less than ordinary care. So it’s wise to be extremely wary when communicating with anyone after your crash. Better yet, have an attorney handle all communications on your behalf.
Modified Comparative Negligence
San Antonio and all of Texas have a modified comparative negligence rule when it comes to determining fault in a car wreck. This means that even if you were partially to blame for the accident, you can still sue the other driver for damages, albeit you’re likely to win a smaller settlement.
However, if you’re found to be more than 50% at fault, you won’t be able to win any damages at all. Quite the reverse: the other driver may well successfully file a counterclaim or lawsuit against you.
How Easily You Can Link Your Injuries to the Crash
In most car accident cases, medical expenses make up a large proportion of the damages sought. And further damages, such as lost income or emotional distress, often result from the physical injury. It’s therefore essential that you can clearly demonstrate how your injuries were caused by the accident. Without this causal link, the other driver won’t bear legal responsibility for injury-related losses, even if they caused the crash.
For this reason, it’s crucial that you visit a doctor immediately after an accident, even if you feel fine. Sometimes serious injuries have delayed symptoms, and adrenaline can temporarily mask pain. The doctor’s report can later prove a connection between any injuries and the accident.
Did You Have Pre-Existing Injuries?
Pre-existing injuries might also muddy the waters of a case when it comes to proving fault for damages. The insurer may claim that your injuries already existed to a large degree before the accident, thereby lessening the liability of the other driver.
The Evidence You Have in Support of Your Damages
When the liability of the other driver is proven for both the accident and your injuries, you must still prove the full value of your damages. If your injuries are severe or even permanent, you may need to present detailed medical records and statements from various medical experts. Likewise, the value of all your damages will need to be proven with robust evidence.
Accident victims sometimes shoot themselves in the foot by posting carelessly on social media or carrying on with a lifestyle that seems at odds with the claimed injuries and related losses. If you post images of yourself taking part in active social activities, the other party may claim that your injuries aren’t as bad as you claim. It’s usually wise to stay clear of social media altogether until the case is over, as your lawyer may well advise.
The Quality of Your Car Wreck Injury Attorney in San Antonio
The choice of attorney can often make or break a car accident case. It’s important to choose the right attorney with care. A good attorney will guide you through the entire legal process and gather evidence to prove both the at-fault driver’s liability and the full value of your damages. Your attorney can then negotiate with the insurance company and represent you before a judge and jury if litigation becomes necessary.
In order to avoid the various common mistakes that can ruin a car wreck case, it’s usually best to speak to an attorney sooner rather than later. Find out more here about how a seasoned local San Antonio attorney can help you win the full and fair compensation you deserve.
Suffering an injury in a car accident and pursuing compensation can be a daunting experience. However, once you bring the factors outlined in this article onto your side, your chances of success increase significantly.