Car accident law is mainly governed at the state level with each state having their own rules and regulations on how to file a case. Each state however typically follows the same pattern of proof that the plaintiff uses to determine who is responsible for the injuries sustained in the accident. It is a good idea to understand a bit about car accident law, and what you should right after an accident in the event you ever find yourself in need of the information.
What You Need to Prove
While each state does have some of their own rules regarding personal injury claims surrounding car accidents, every state has the same basic elements you must follow to claim for compensation. These are:
Duty – A driver is supposed to follow the rules of the road properly and operate their car in a reasonable manner by obeying the rules of the road.
Breach – if the driver did not operate their car in a proper manner and instead was speeding or driving erratically for example. This can be proven through traffic camera video, witnesses or even skid marks.
Causation – you must prove that the other driver and that accident are what caused your injuries and not some other event. This is proven by medical evidence from your doctor who must prove your injuries didn't exist before the accident occurred.
Harm – You must prove that the accident caused damage to your car or to yourself. This usually only applies if the damage is severe enough to warrant time off work and potential lifelong injuries.
Once An Accident Happens
When an accident happens, the first thing you need to do is to not say anything about who is to blame for the accident. If you are the one who caused it, it is better to remain silent as this can be used against you in court. Instead, make notes of what happened, what everyone involved is saying, including the other driver and gather as many details of the event as possible. If you have a cell phone or tablet, then take pictures and videos of the events immediately after the accident if you are able to.
Get a description of the traffic and road conditions, and what the weather was like. When taking video and pictures, get close up shots and far away ones. Take note of all stop signs, traffic signals, crosswalks and how many people were in the area. When the police show up, get the officer's name and information so you can get copies of their reports should you need them. Contact a business, such as Loughlin Fitzgerald P C, for more information.