Auto accidents happen every single day in West Virginia. Most of them, however, are minor fender-benders that everyone walks away from, shaken but relatively unscathed. There are those that are more serious, though, which leave victims hurting physically, financially and emotionally. If negligence is behind a car accident that left you or a loved one injured, you may have the right to seek compensation for your losses through legal means.
Following a car crash, you may find yourself getting nowhere with your insurance provider or the provider of the person who caused your losses. It is typical for auto insurance companies to try to pay out as little as possible. By establishing the appropriate elements of negligence against the responsible party, it may be possible to negotiate a better settlement or successfully achieve maximum compensation by taking the matter to court.
What elements are necessary to prove negligence?
There are five elements that all must exist in order to establish negligence in a car accident case. These elements are:
- Duty of the responsible party to operate his or her vehicle in a safe manner
- Evidence that this individual breached his or her duty of care
- Proof that this breach in duty contributed to the victim’s injury
- Evidence that the injuries were in the scope of this individual’s responsibility
- Proof that you or your loved one suffered actual damages — whether economic or noneconomic in nature
Satisfying each of these elements is not always easy. If just one of them is missing, achieving maximum relief may not be possible. If you are not certain if you can establish negligence, it does not mean that you should not pursue compensation. With assistance, it may still be possible to hold the responsible party accountable for your losses — as legal counsel may be able to find out information that can help your case.
Don’t settle for less than you deserve
Most car accident injury cases never make it to court. A lot of victims choose to take the first settlement offer insurance companies provide. You should not have to settle for less than you deserve. Before accepting anything, it is wise to seek a case and offer review. Having someone on your side, fighting for your best interests, will only help you achieve fair compensation — which one may accomplish in or out of court.