If a negligent Fairfax driver caused your accident and you suffered injuries, you may be eligible for compensation. However, the insurance company for the at-fault party may try to deny your claim or reduce the amount of your settlement even if you have a solid case. Because the insurance company is a for-profit business, they will do anything to pay out as little as possible.
Thus, the evidence you collect is an important element in recovering a fair settlement. An experienced Fairfax car accident attorney can help put together the proof you need to fight the insurance company and obtain a successful recovery.
Elements of a Car Crash Negligence Claim
To recover compensation for your injuries in a Virginia car crash, you must prove that the other driver was negligent. You have to establish four elements to win a negligence claim:
- Duty of care. Every driver in Virginia is responsible for the safety of other drivers and has a duty not to cause harm to others on the road.
- Breach of duty. To prove the driver was negligent, you must show that they breached their duty of care by some type of negligent behavior. Speeding, drunk or drugged driving, texting, or talking on their cellphone are some ways they could have breached their duty to you.
- Causation. You must prove that the other driver’s negligence caused your injuries.
- Damages. Damages are the losses you suffered due to the car accident. Your settlement should include your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Proving Negligence in Your Car Accident Case
When you’re injured in a car accident, the best way to build a strong case is to gather as much evidence as you can. The more documentation you can provide about what happened at the accident scene and about your injuries, the more likely you are to receive a fair settlement. Even if you believe you have a solid case against the at-fault driver, you have to provide proof of negligence.
Types of Evidence to Help Prove Car Crash Negligence
- Police report. A police report provides a detailed account of the car crash, including the date, time, and location of the accident and the parties involved. It also contains information on the possible cause of the crash and any citations issued. A police report can be essential evidence to convince the insurance adjuster to settle your claim.
- Photos. Photographs of the collision scene, vehicle damage, and injuries can be compelling evidence in a car accident case. They can also help establish fault.
- Witness testimony. Eyewitnesses can provide valuable testimony about the accident, including how it happened and who was at fault. Witness testimony can help corroborate your version of events and strengthen your case.
- Repair receipts. If your car or other property is damaged in the crash, keep all your repair receipts. The insurance company should reimburse you for the cost of necessary repairs.
- Medical records. Medical records document the injuries you sustained in the accident and the treatment you received. They can help prove the severity of your injuries and the medical expenses you incurred.
- Wage loss documents. If you took time off work due to your injuries, paystubs can help establish your lost income. You should also collect documentation of any sick and vacation time, bonuses, commissions, or other perks of your job that you lost.
- Expert witnesses. Depending on the disputes raised by the insurance company, your attorney may hire an expert witness to testify about the cause of the accident, the seriousness of your injuries, and the damages you deserve.
How a Fairfax Car Accident Attorney Can Help You Collect Necessary Evidence
- Conducting an investigation. Your lawyer can investigate the cause of the crash by reviewing the police report, interviewing witnesses, and gathering evidence.
- Working with experts. Your attorney can decide whether you need an expert witness. They will have a network of experts, such as accident reconstructionist experts, medical professionals, and economists, to provide testimony and help strengthen your case.
- Obtaining medical records. A car accident lawyer can get and review your medical records to ensure that you prove how serious your injuries are and the medical treatments you need.
- Negotiating your settlement. Your car crash attorney can negotiate with the negligent driver’s insurance company to ensure you receive all the compensation you deserve.
- Representing you in court. If you must file a lawsuit, you need a skilled car accident lawyer to represent you in court and present your case to a judge or jury.