If you were injured in a motor vehicle accident in Magna, Utah, is someone else legally responsible for the losses you sustained?
An experienced auto accident attorney can evaluate your claim and determine if you have the right to pursue compensation. In assessing the situation, a lawyer will look to see if negligence can be proven – that’s absolutely essential for any personal injury claim.
After an accident, you must be able to prove that the actions of another party caused the injuries you sustained. If you fail to demonstrate that negligence exists, you won’t collect any damages. Instead, your claim for compensation will be denied. Below, an accomplished Magna auto accident attorney explains the basics on legal liability and proving fault in a personal injury claim.
The Burden of Proof
When you file an injury claim, you’re the plaintiff in the case. As such, you have the burden of proof – meaning that you have the task of proving that someone else, the defendant, is more likely than not responsible for your losses. It’s up to you (and your auto accident attorney) to tip the scales in your favor by presenting a preponderance of evidence. Fail to meet the burden of proof, and you’ll collect no compensation.
The Law of Negligence
An experienced auto accident attorney will understand what it takes to prove the merits in a personal injury claim. Essentially, to meet the burden of proof and establish the legal concept of negligence involves four different elements:
Duty of Care
In order for an individual to be liable for their actions, they must have an obligation to exercise a reasonable degree of caution. With an auto accident, the duty of care is clear – everyone who gets behind the wheel in Magna, Utah, is legally obligated to obey the rules of the road, use good sense and act with the proper care.
Breach of Duty
After establishing that the individual at fault had the duty to act with reasonable care, the next step is to prove that they breached their duty. The standard for this legal requirement varies, but with an injury claim related to an auto accident, you need to show that the other motorist didn’t act in a reasonable manner given the circumstances.
To establish negligence takes more than a breach of the duty of care. The breach must also be linked to the injuries you sustained – or to put it another way, you must prove that the other motorist caused both the crash and your resulting injuries. This can be difficult without an auto accident attorney, especially if you had preexisting conditions.
The final element to the law of negligence involves genuine damages. You only have the right to compensation if you suffered actual losses as a result of an auto accident – the idea that you could have been injured isn’t enough. If you were involved in a crash, but you weren’t harmed and your vehicle wasn’t damaged, no legal liability exists.
Evidence of Fault
To effectively prove that another motorist was negligent and, therefore, liable for the damages you sustained, you need to provide proof to illustrate how the crash occurred. The forms of evidence auto accident attorneys use to demonstrate fault include:
- Police reports describing the sequence of events as well as the weather and road conditions at the time of the Magna car crash
- Photos detailing the area of impact on each motor vehicle involved and the location of any debris created during the collision
- Statements from other drivers out on the road when the auto accident occurred and from bystanders who witnessed the event
- Testimony from bio-mechanical experts, accident reconstruction specialists, roadway safety experts and other qualified professionals
Other types of evidence can also be crucial to building a strong case – and sometimes, obtaining the necessary proof of fault can be quite the challenge. Because of this, hiring an experienced Magna auto accident attorney can be a smart move.
Evidence of Damages
Compensation in most injury claims related to car crashes is primarily focused on medical expenses, loss of income and the pain and suffering of the victim. To prove these damages, an auto accident attorney may use the following forms of evidence:
- Medical bills for any care you have received since the collision
- Medical records and information, including test results and treatment plans
- Photos that clearly document all of the injuries you sustained in the crash
- Functional capacity evaluations and reports from vocational experts
- Employment records demonstrating the amount of income you’ve lost
- Testimony from economists regarding future medical bills and future lost wages
- A pain journal created by you, detailing the impact of the crash on your daily life
Depending on the specific circumstances surrounding your auto accident, you may be entitled to other damages. However, while you may have the right to pursue compensation for emotional distress, loss of enjoyment or loss of consortium, trying to do so without an attorney is never easy.
If you’d like expert assistance proving the merits of your injury claim, contact Cockayne Law. With our years of experience and vast knowledge with regard to personal injury law in Utah, we have the goods to guide your case to a favorable outcome. For a free, no-obligation consultation and advice from a highly skilled Magna auto accident attorney, contact us today.