Prior to reviewing the mechanical and procedural elements necessary to succeed in your car accident case, it is helpful to outline the face of the most common kinds of lawsuits that they come in. Doing this will show you the larger environment that your case sits within as well as the specific landscape that your legal fight will take place on. Furthermore, it will give you an inductive understanding of what you will need to do at trial in order to win.
CAR ACCIDENT CASE TYPES
Negligence is the failure to use the amount of care that a reasonable and prudent person would have in a similar situation. Conversely, it is committing a certain act that a reasonable and prudent would not have committed in a similar situation. Under both scenarios, the conduct must produce some injury to the aggrieved person in order to form the basis of a lawsuit. It is by far the most common kind of car accident case type as well as with other kinds of accidents. Victims typically sue for economic, non-economic, punitive, and wrongful death damages in negligence actions. In either situation, these victims-turned-plaintiffs must allege and prove the following elements:
- The defendant held a duty to the plaintiff specifically.
- The defendant failed to abide by that duty.
- That failure caused injury to the plaintiff.
- That injury resulted in damages.
- PRODUCTS LIABILITY
Though they are not as frequent as negligence cases in car accident litigation, products liability actions are still incredibly important especially if you have been following the news lately. The central premise of products liability cases with car accidents is that the design or manufacture of a car or related car product injured you. For example, if the brakes stop working when you are going down the highway through no fault of your own, and you crash because of that, then that is likely a products liability issue. Here are the core components of any defective design or manufacture case in products liability cases:
- The car or car product was defectively designed or manufactured.
- You were injured while using the product as reasonably and foreseeably intended.
- Your injury was caused by the defect.
- Your injuries produced actual damages.
Note, however, that plaintiffs can pursue products liability and negligence claims in their complaint and subsequent case.
- WRONGFUL DEATH
Unfortunately, the car accident in question might lead to the death of one of the passengers, drivers, pedestrians, or bicyclists. Under these circumstances, it is not uncommon for the decedent’s loved ones to bring a wrongful death action for the harms that they suffer including loss of support, loss of services, loss of consortium, and other injuries. In either case, the plaintiffs will have to plead and prove these case elements:
- Someone died in a car accident.
- The death was the result of the defendant’s negligent conduct.
The plaintiffs experienced actual financial loss because of the death.
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