Car Accident Lawsuits

Authored by , LegalMatch Law Library Managing Editor and Attorney at Law

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What are Car Accident Lawsuits?

Car accident lawsuits are a specific type of personal injury claim that typically involve two or more automobiles.  They can also involve pedestrians and bicycles, although most legal disputes involve two or more car drivers.  Car or automobile accident lawsuits can often involve great injury to several parties as well as severe damage to the cars.  As such, car accident lawsuits can often involve large damages awards.

What Types of Legal Claims are Car Accident Lawsuits Based On?

Most car accident lawsuits involve unintentional conduct, and are therefore based on a negligence theory of law.  Negligence requires proof that the driver owed a duty of care to the other party; the driver breached this duty of care; and the breach was the actual caused of verifiable damages to the plaintiff. Most driving laws create the duty of care for all drivers, and so most accident lawsuits focus on determining fault, or on the amount of damages to be awarded.

Many types of lawsuits can focus on specific damages or injuries.  For instance, many car accident lawsuits focus specifically on whiplash injuries if a rear-end accident was involved.   Complex car accidents may require some use of “reconstruction” technology to help recreate the scene of the accident.  This can help determine whether the defendant was negligent or not. 

What are the Legal Remedies Available in Car Accident Lawsuits?

Perhaps the most common legal remedy in a car accident is a monetary damages award to offset the costs of the plaintiff’s injuries, as well as the damage to the car.  Insurance may cover some of the costs, but the defendant may be required to should various expenses, especially hospital bills, medical receipts, therapy expenses, and other costs.  They may also be required to pay for mechanical repairs or replacements. 

In cases involving DUI (driving under the influence, or driving while intoxicated), the defendant may also face criminal charges and consequences.  These can include criminal fines, suspension of driving privileges, car impoundment, and possible jail time. 

In some cases, products liability or defective cars can sometimes be a factor.  For instance if a car has a manufacturing defect, the car production company may also become a party to the car accident lawsuit.

Do I Need a Lawyer for Help With a Car Accident Lawsuit?

Filing a car accident lawsuit can sometimes get complicated, especially if severe damage or injury has resulted from the accident.  Your attorney can represent you during the trial, and can provide you with valuable legal advice to help you during the process.  Also, your will be able to help determine what types of damages or other legal remedies are available to you in your case. 

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Last Modified: 08-07-2013 12:36 PM PDT

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