How Car Accident Lawyers Help You Prove Liability

After a car accident, the path to recovery can be long and complex, and beyond the physical and emotional toll, there are all the hoops you have to jump through to secure compensation for your injuries. Skilled car accident lawyers in Houston, TX can play a major role here in helping you establish liability: the cornerstone of any successful personal injury claim.

Texas Law on Car Accidents and Liability

Texas follows a “modified comparative fault” rule in personal injury, which means that the compensation a victim can receive is reduced by their percentage of fault in the accident. If a party is found to be more than 50% at fault, they are barred from recovering any compensation at all. Accurately establishing liability in car accidents is thus of the utmost importance, as any liability assigned to you which you shouldn’t bear will unfairly reduce your compensation.

You can count on the other party’s insurance company to at least consider trying to minimize their client’s liability in order to minimize what they have to pay out. Your lawyers will leverage their understanding of Texas law to build a strong case, highlighting the evidence that supports your position while challenging any claims that may increase your fault percentage.

Here’s how they’ll go about it:

Gathering and Analyzing Evidence

One of the first steps in proving liability is the collection and analysis of all relevant evidence. This will typically include police reports, witness statements, video footage from traffic cameras or dashcams, and photographs of the accident scene, and your attorney will help you find and collect all this important evidence.

Attorneys then meticulously review this evidence to construct a timeline of events and identify the factors contributing to the accident. For instance, if the police report indicates that the other driver was speeding or failed to obey traffic signals, this would become a critical piece of evidence in proving their liability.

Expert Testimony and Accident Reconstruction

In complex cases, lawyers may enlist the help of accident reconstruction experts. These professionals use their knowledge of physics and engineering to recreate the accident, providing insights into what happened and who is at fault. This expert testimony can be the missing link in cases where the cause of the accident is not clear or is disputed by the parties involved.

Dealing with Insurance Companies

Navigating the claims process with all the involved insurance companies is a part of proving liability. Insurance adjusters often try to minimize the company’s payout by disputing liability or the extent of the victim’s injuries. Your lawyer will negotiate with these companies, using the collected evidence to counter any attempts to undervalue your claim. They’ll also protect you from being pressured into accepting an unfair settlement, and they’ll be prepared to take the case to court if necessary.

Legal Precedents and Case Law

It’s important for your lawyer to have a comprehensive understanding of previous court decisions and case law related to car accidents when proving liability. Your lawyers will use their understanding of these to strengthen your position, drawing parallels between the current case and past cases where similar circumstances led to a particular outcome. This approach helps in anticipating the arguments that might be presented by the opposing side and preparing counterarguments.

Interpreting and Applying Traffic Laws

A detailed understanding of local traffic laws is required to prove liability in car accidents. Houston, TX lawyers know and can interpret these laws to establish how the actions of the parties involved may have violated traffic regulations. By referencing specific traffic statutes and demonstrating how they apply to the circumstances of the accident, your lawyers can effectively argue in your favor.

Leveraging Technological Tools

In today’s digital age, technology can play a significant role in proving liability. Lawyers often use technological tools to analyze things like cell phone records, GPS data, and vehicle ‘black box’ data, which can all provide crucial information about a driver’s actions immediately before the crash, such as their speed, their braking action (or lack thereof), and steering patterns. With these technological tools, your lawyers can uncover compelling evidence that may not be visible through traditional means.

Medical Records and Injury Reports

Medical records and injury reports usually cannot directly determine liability, but they are vital in establishing the extent of your injuries and linking them directly to the accident. Your lawyers will review these documents to understand the severity of your injuries and how they impact your life. This information can help in proving liability in some cases but will be especially helping in quantifying the amount of compensation due to you as the victim. Your legal team will work closely with medical professionals to ensure that all injuries are accurately documented and attributed to the accident.

Witnesses and Their Statements

Witnesses can provide unbiased accounts of the accident, which are invaluable in proving liability. Your lawyers will identify and interview any witnesses to gather their testimonies. These statements can corroborate the evidence gathered and provide additional insights into the accident. Witness testimonies can be compelling in negotiations and in court, especially if the witnesses have no vested interest in the outcome of the case.

The Foundation of Liability

Establishing liability depends on proving the at-fault party was negligent. Negligence is defined as the failure to act with the ordinary care that a reasonably prudent person would exercise under the same circumstances. This means demonstrating that the other driver:

Breached a Duty of Care

Every driver has a legal duty to operate their vehicle safely, obey traffic laws, and avoid foreseeable risks. Your lawyers will analyze the specific circumstances of the accident to establish that the other driver had this duty to you.

Caused the Accident

A direct link must then be established between the at-fault party’s breach of duty and the resulting accident. Your lawyers will go through the evidence to demonstrate this causal relationship.

Caused Your Damages

It’s not enough, legally speaking, just to prove that the other party caused an accident. It must also be clearly shown that your injuries and associated losses were a direct consequence of the accident. Your lawyer will evaluate all the medical records, records of your lost wages, and any other expenses you were forced to suffer to quantify your damages, and they will tie all these clearly to the accident.

Challenging Disputed Claims and Defense Strategies

When facing disputed claims, your lawyers must be skilled in challenging the defense strategies presented by the opposing party. This often involves dissecting and countering arguments that are meant to shift blame onto you or diminish the responsibility of the defendant. This process requires not only a deep understanding of the law but also strategic thinking and experience.

Preparing for Trial

If a settlement cannot be reached, the case may go to trial. If this happens, your lawyers must prepare legal arguments, organize evidence, and coach witnesses for their testimony. This stage also involves filing legal motions, attending pre-trial conferences, and interacting with the judge and opposing counsel. A well-prepared case for trial demonstrates a lawyer’s commitment to their client’s cause and may even lead to a more favorable outcome than a settlement: though the process takes longer and is often less certain. Be sure to talk to your car accident lawyers about the wisest choice for your case.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident, contact us at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner for a consultation to discuss your case and how we can assist you in achieving a just outcome.