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Auto Accidents

Auto & Motorcycle Accidents

Auto & Motorcycle Accidents

Here’s how Rico Tessandore can help you in your auto accident:

  1. I will examine every legal angle and piece of evidence to ensure that you have a good case against the insurance company, whether it involves personal injuries or a wrongful death.
  2. I will work with your medical providers to make sure your medical bills are paid.
  3. I will gather your medical records, police reports and other evidence to build the best case possible for you.
  4. I will advise you about how to deal with your wrecked vehicle or getting fair value if your car was totaled.
  5. And most importantly, I will help you get every dollar you deserve in a fair settlement with the insurance company. If necessary, we will go to court, mediation or arbitration to get you what you deserve.

The Law of Negligence

The person who brings the lawsuit (called the plaintiff) must show that the defendant (the person being sued) was negligent. If you are the plaintiff, you must show all of the following:

  1. The law required the defendant to be reasonably careful. In car accident cases, the law requires drivers to be careful when encountering anyone they meet on the road – passengers, persons in other vehicles, and pedestrians – so this one is a given. This is called the “duty of reasonable care.”
  2. The defendant was not careful. This is called “breaching” (or violating) the duty of care. In determining whether a driver was sufficiently careful, the law compares the driver’s conduct with the conduct expected of a “reasonable person.” The law asks: How would a reasonable, prudent person have behaved in the same or similar circumstances?If the defendant’s behavior falls short of how a reasonable person would have acted, the defendant has violated the duty of reasonable care. Examples of conduct expected of a reasonable driver include:
    1. stopping at a red light
    2. watching for crossing pedestrians, and
    3. following the vehicle in front at a safe distance.

     

  3. The defendant’s conduct caused plaintiff’s injuries. You must also show that the defendant’s conduct caused your injuries.For example, Laura is claiming she suffered a back injury when Rod rear-ended her car. Laura must prove that her back injury was caused by the rear-end accident and not due to some other accident or event.
  4. The plaintiff suffered losses and/or was injured. Car accident victims are entitled to compensation for injuries, lost wages or earning capacity, pain and suffering, and property damage (for example, damage to a car). If there aren’t any monetary losses or provable injuries, the plaintiff can’t recover anything.The plaintiff must show evidence of his or her injuries and other monetary losses to be compensated. If you are the plaintiff, it’s important to keep complete and detailed records of all injuries, medical expenses, and property damage.

What Duties Does a Driver Have?

The law requires drivers to use reasonable care to avoid harming anyone encountered on the road. But what exactly does this entail? Here are some examples of specific requirements that the law has imposed. If a driver fails to meet these requirements, he or she may be found to have violated the driver duty of reasonable care.

  1. Driving at a reasonable speed. Drivers have a duty to drive at a reasonable, prudent speed. A person who drives at a speed that is unreasonable in light of the existing traffic, road, visibility, and weather conditions may be negligent. Even driving at the speed limit can be considered negligent if, for example, visibility is low, the weather is bad, or the circumstances warrant particular caution (driving by a school where you can expect children to be crossing, for example).
  2. Vigilance and keeping a proper lookout. Drivers have a duty to be alert and to maintain a careful lookout for other vehicles, pedestrians, and road hazards. Drivers are expected to see the things that an ordinary, prudent person would see. A failure to keep a proper lookout – by, for example, failing to take care when driving by a road construction site or a school crossing – can constitute negligence.
  3. Maintaining control of the car. Drivers are expected to keep their car under control by, for example, being able to stop quickly. Negligence may be inferred if a car loses control (such as overturning or leaving the road) for no apparent reason.
  4. Maintaining and using the car’s equipment. Drivers are expected to maintain their vehicles in safe working order. For example, lights and brakes should be working properly.

Car Accident Defenses

There are a number of defenses available to a defendant in a car accident case based on negligence. Using these defenses can lower or erase the defendant’s liability (that is, the amount of compensation the defendant must pay the plaintiff). For example, if a pedestrian runs into the middle of the road and is hit by a car, the driver may escape all liability or may only have to pay for a portion of the pedestrian’s injuries.