A car accident lawyer specialized in the area of vehicle accidents and the legal regulations and precedents that are used to determine responsibility when a crash occurs. As a result, a car accident lawyer is most often engaged to help a person receive compensation for their property that was damaged from the crash and for the hospital bills they may have incurred from being injured. A car accident lawyer in particular applies the principles of negligence to the case to determine who was at fault. Most of the cases are tried under state laws, which can vary slightly from state to state.
Despite those variations, most cities and states, including Canton, Ohio, require that those seeking compensation prove there was negligence in four areas: duty, breach, causation, and harm. Because of this burden, many who have been in an accident, seek the help of a professional car accident lawyer such as those with the firm of Schulman, Roth and Associates, who can be contacted at (330) 456-4400. These professionals have years of experience in auto accidents.
In terms of auto law, duty refers to the obligation that all drivers have to obey traffic rules and laws. It also extends to driving safely and reasonably. To a car accident lawyer, this means that the driver maintains a safe speed, is in control of the vehicle, is aware of the road and other things around them watch for traffic signals, and properly uses their vehicle’s traffic lights, blinkers, etc.
Generally, a car accident lawyer will have very little difficulty in proving a breach of duty, but it is the responsibility of the plaintiff and their representation to show that it occurred. Eyewitness testimony, admission of guilt, and surveillance videos can all be used to prove breach of duty. In some cases, a car accident lawyer will have to use paint smudges, the driver’s blood-alcohol level, or skid marks. These things are more circumstantial but can be used to make the point.
However, while a car accident lawyer may have been able to prove that the defendant demonstrated a breach of duty, it does not automatically mean that the case is won. They must also show that the defendant’s breach of duty directly caused damage to the plaintiff or the plaintiff’s property. The court is not allowed to assume that there is a connection between the breach of duty and any damages unless a car accident lawyer can show that connection. This is generally done with testimony by the plaintiff’s doctors and the medical experts who arrived at the scene. This testimony establishes that the plaintiff’s injuries match those that have occurred in crashes and that none of these injuries were pre-existing.
The final thing a car accident lawyer must prove is harm. If the lawyer cannot show that the plaintiff was harmed in some way, the case cannot be won. Often, this is done at the same time as causation because the testimony from the medical experts shows that the plaintiff was injured and that those injuries were caused by the accident. Once a car accident lawyer has proven harm, the courts will order the defendant to pay compensation for damages, medical expenses, lost wages, pain, and other things.
What to do After an Auto Accident
If you have been in an auto accident, the first thing a car accident lawyer will tell you to do is to be very careful about what you say. Even if you simply say you’re sorry to the other driver, it could be seen as an admission of fault, and that will make it very difficult to win a case. Do not say anything that a car accident lawyer could use against you as an admission of guilt.
On the other hand, a car accident lawyer would want you to carefully record anything the other driver says. You can take voice memos or videos on your smartphone or tablet, but if you do not have a device available, find a pen and paper and take notes by hand. Your car accident lawyer will be able to use all of these notes later in preparing your case. Be certain you get the other driver’s name, address, and insurance information, too.
You will also want to provide your car accident lawyer with as many photos of the crime scene as possible, so use a smartphone or camera to get photos of the accident from every available angle. Take a video if you can. Get photos of the intersection, the cars, the driver(s), any passengers, etc.
Finally, make certain you get a copy of the police report and any medical reports filed to give to your car accident lawyer. Get the names of all the officers and medical personnel who came to the scene, and see your doctor as soon as possible. While you may not feel any pain at the time, if you do not get a medical exam, it may be impossible to show causation later.