To Sue for Damages in an Albany Car Accident, the Other Driver Must Be at Fault
According to Albany’s WALB, in May 2017, an infant died from her injuries after being involved in an Albany car accident in Dougherty County. A dump truck driver allegedly ran a stop sign. As a result, the driver hit a vehicle with six people. One of the passengers was an infant. She was immediately airlifted from the intersection of Spring Flats Road and County Line Road.
Immediately after the Albany car accident, the driver was cited for failing to stop at a stop sign. However, the driver may face criminal charges in connection to causing the three-week-old girl’s death. It was unknown at the time if the infant’s family would file a wrongful death claim against the driver for the death of the little girl.
Damages Available in an Albany Car Accident
In Albany, anyone injured in a car accident can sue to recover compensation or damages. The amount of money they can sue to obtain depends on their injuries and related-accident expenses. Some examples of damages sought in a car accident case are:
- Lost wages;
- Medical bills;
- Pain and suffering;
- Decreased earning capacity; and
- Vehicle damage.
If the Albany car accident resulted in fatalities, the accident victim’s family can sue for other damages like funeral and burial expenses.
What is Fault in an Albany Car Accident Case?
Fault, also called negligence, is the failure of a driver to act responsibly. Every driver owes pedestrians, passengers and other drivers a legal duty to protect them from harm. When they cause an accident and injure someone, they breach their legal duty.
An attorney must show how an at-fault driver breached their legal duty to an accident victim. Fault in an Albany car accident can happen in many different ways. For example, the at-fault driver may have:
- Broken a traffic law like not stopping at a stop sign
- Done something to cause the accident like follow behind the accident victim too closely
- Been distracted while driving
In some cases, the driver is not at fault at all. They cannot be sued. Instead, there is another party at fault like the state of Georgia for faulty road conditions. In addition, a vehicle could be the cause because:
- The car maker did something like not build the car correctly
- Vehicle designer did not properly design the car
- The automaker failed to warn drivers about a danger in the vehicle
Proving Fault in an Albany Personal Injury Case
An individual can obtain damages based in two ways. The first way is to obtain a settlement. A settlement is an out-of-court agreement between the defendant and plaintiff. The plaintiff agrees to take money in exchange for no longer pursuing the court case.
Their money may be a lump sum amount paid in a series of payments. The settlement covers the amount of damages such as hospital bills, lost wages and pain and suffering. Once the case is settled, the plaintiff cannot file a lawsuit again if the money does not cover all their damages. They cannot continue their original case, either.
To prevent the settlement being less than the amount needed for their damages, a plaintiff’s lawyer is responsible for calculating damages and getting a fair and correct amount. The latter is done through negotiations.
Settlement negotiations occur between the plaintiff and the defendant. The plaintiff, to obtain the best settlement, should let their lawyer negotiate for them. Settlement negotiations may stop and start before finally reaching a settlement.
If both parties cannot come to an agreement, they may decide to pursue the court case. In the court case, the plaintiff’s attorney is responsible for proving fault. It is done in the same way in every case. The attorney must prove the following four elements of the case:
- The defendant had a legal duty to protect the plaintiff from harm. A legal duty is a responsibility of every driver or company. They have a duty to avoid causing an accident with injuries.
- The defendant breached their legal duty to the plaintiff. Any time an accident occurs, a breach of duty is possible. The plaintiff’s attorney claims the defendant’s legal duty was breached once they caused the accident.
- The next element involves connecting the accident to the plaintiff’s injury. This can be done in two ways: direct and proximate cause. The defendant must be the cause of the accident. The attorney can show if it was not for the defendant’s actions, their client would not be injured. This is called actual, or direct, cause. The other type of cause, proximate cause, shows the defendant indirectly caused the accident that led to the plaintiff’s injuries by doing something. That something depends on the facts of the case.
- Damages are requested. The other three elements sets up this element. The attorney shows that the defendant needs to pay damages to their client.
Let a Lawyer Fight to Get You the Money You Need in Your Albany Car Accident Claim
In rare cases, a car accident happens and no one is at fault. It simply happened. In that case, you do not have a legal right to sue. This is different from another driving claiming they were not at fault for the car accident.
When the latter occurs, you need a team of attorneys to determine fault and prove the other driver was negligent. We are your team of experienced, top-notch attorneys ready to determine who caused your accident and get you compensated.
Determining fault involves things like investigating the Albany car accident scene and what happened prior to the cars colliding. It is vital to determine who is liable for your car accident. Sue the wrong party, and the case will get dismissed. In addition, the car accident may have more than one at-fault party you can sue.
Contact us for a free case review. We will look at your case and prepare to obtain a favorable trial verdict or settlement.
Lashonda Council Rogers is a Personal Injury Attorney who practices in Atlanta, Georgia. She graduated from Howard University School of Law and has been practicing law for several years now. Lashonda Council Rogers believes her personal approach is the best way to defend her clients. Learn more about her experience here.