Car accidents involve insurance as well as personal injury law, so it is very important that victims of an auto accident contact a lawyer immediately. We will mediate between the persons involved in the accident and the insurance companies. We will attempt to prove liability by preserving evidence and interviewing witnesses. We also ensure that you receive proper medical care, and document your injuries so that you receive full compensation.
The term ‘damages’ refers to money awarded to the plaintiff in a personal injury case. Actual damages, also known as compensatory damages, are intended to restore a victim’s financial situation to a position roughly equivalent to what is was before the accident occurred. Actual damages can be awarded for medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, permanent disability, mental stress, and other similar hardships.
In some cases, punitive damages can also be awarded to victims of automobile accident and other personal injury cases. Punitive damages are funds over and above those actually incurred by the injured party. Used to punish the defendant for especially reckless or inappropriate behavior, punitive damages may also function as a deterrent for others.
Although juries are responsible for deciding the amount of damages awarded to a plaintiff, the judge can increase or decrease the amount if he of she deems the jury’s decision inappropriate.
Auto accident liability is determined according to the laws of the state in which the accident occurs. Some states (like Minnesota) do not consider fault when deciding liability. Instead, each driver is responsible for his or her own losses. This does not always apply, however, if serious personal injury or major property damage are involved.
If you have been in an auto accident, you should contact a ‘Know Your Rights’ attorney. He or she can advise you of your rights and responsibilities and can answer questions specific to your case.