Phoenix, AZ – After most motor vehicle collisions, issues such as lawsuits and related legal problems are handled through the civil courts for the purposes of awarding compensation to the victim. In some rare cases, the person responsible for the collision may not have had a driver’s license, may have been driving under the influence, or engaged in some kind of reckless behavior while on the roads. These types of actions may have legal and insurance consequences for the person responsible, but the accident victim still retains their right to file their own civil lawsuit and insurance claims.
The process to file a standard injury lawsuit after an accident includes filing a complaint in civil court which argues that the defendant driver was negligent. The complaint will outline the facts surrounding the incident, along with detailing why the defendant was at fault and the specific amounts tied to the victim’s losses. If successful, the plaintiff will be compensated through a settlement agreement or after a jury trial. This level of compensation tends to increase with the severity of the victim’s injuries and other problems caused by the defendant.
A negligence lawsuit has a few standard elements that can vary slightly in each state. However, there will always need to be a relevant duty of care, a breach of this duty, causation, and damages.
Evidence of criminal actions
Things like traffic citations and criminal charges that are directly related to a collision can be useful to the plaintiff for a number of reasons. These illegal behaviors can be used as evidence of negligence. Negligence per se is a relevant doctrine that creates a presumption that the defendant was negligent through violation of a statute that was meant to prevent the type of harm that happened during the collision. This essentially proves that the defendant violated the relevant standard of care, establishing the first two elements of negligence for the plaintiff.
As a general rule, the outcomes of the civil and criminal cases do not affect each other. This means that an accident victim can file their civil case even if the defendant was found not guilty or had their charges dismissed in criminal court. Conversely, the defendant may be sentenced in criminal court but not found liable for damages in civil court.
Law firms that help after an accident
Southwest Injury Law is a firm that handles various kinds of cases related to motor vehicle accidents, personal injury, and similar aspects of tort law. Potential clients can meet with an experienced attorney to discuss their situation and begin the process to file a lawsuit and receive compensation.
Firm contact info:
4425 North 24th St., Ste. 225, Phoenix, AZ 85016