Car Accident Lawsuits

Learn about compensation, settlements and hiring an
auto accident lawyer

Car accidents are a leading cause of unnecessary deaths and therefore the number one source of personal injury claims in the United States. In 2005, 6,087,000 cars were involved in accidents, according to a recent crash data report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). This comprised 56.1 percent of all motor vehicle crashes. In that same year, fatal automobile accidents took the lives of 18,440 people, and injury accidents harmed another 1,573,000.
Accidentes de auto (texto en EspaƱol)
Many of the accidents occurred due to negligence on the part of one of the drivers involved. When a car accident is caused by another party's negligence, people who are harmed often reach settlements with the liable party which provide compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering as well as other damages.
In this article you will find information on the legal issues associated with car accidents. To obtain further information, you should contact a car accident attorney who can help evaluate your specific situation and determine your legal rights.

Car Accidents and the Law

As a legal matter, a car accident occurs when a passenger car (convertible, sedan or station wagon) is involved in an event or series of events that causes harm, such as property damage, traumatic brain injury and/or death. In 2005, 82 percent of car crashes involved a collision with another motor vehicle and the other 18 percent involved collisions with stationary objects and other non-motorized objects, according to the NHTSA. Most of these motor vehicle accidents involved an element of negligence, corresponding with a traffic law violation. If you have been arrested for driving under the influence in conjunction with a motor vehicle accident, you will want to speak with a qualified defense lawyer — regardless of whether it's a DUI first offense or repeat offense.


To be compensated by either an insurance company or a court award, negligence usually must be proven. Negligence is a legal term that means someone has failed to act in a reasonably careful and responsible manner. In the case of a car crash, negligence is found in facts derived from the police report, eyewitness testimony, expert witness testimony, photographs and sketches of the crash scene. Proving negligence means showing that:
  • Someone's carelessness caused the car accident
  • The car accident caused harm and
  • The party at fault is responsible for paying compensation for the harm done
If more than one party involved in the accident is at fault, liability may be distributed among the negligent parties according to percentage of fault. This is called comparative negligence.

Compensation for Car Accidents

Receiving compensation usually means having your property repairs, medical expenses, lost income, physical and psychological pain and, if applicable, lost prospects paid for by the negligent party or parties. Insurance adjustors and juries typically use standard formulas to come up with a dollar value for car accident settlements.
No-fault insurance laws affect settlements in some states. In general, these laws prevent injury claims and lawsuits from being filed in trivial accidents. While they usually guarantee immediate insurance payment for medical expenses and lost wages, many other expenses are not covered. If you have been the victim of a car accident in a no-fault insurance state and have not been fully compensated for your losses, a lawyer can help determine if you are eligible for additional compensation.

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