Car accidents change lives. In the blink of an eye, the lives of those involved are turned upside down. Depending on the severity of the crash, vehicles could be damaged, people could be injured, and some people might be dead. However, they are not the only people affected. Imagine being a parent and getting a phone call late at night that your son or daughter has been killed in an auto accident. You pray that you will wake up and realize it is all a bad dream, but unfortunately, that never happens. The same holds true when a wife loses her husband or a husband loses his wife in a similar manner. After taking some time to go through the seven stages of grief, it is time to take action. That action? Call a car accident lawyer.
The Initial Consultation with an Auto Accident Lawyer
Experienced auto accident lawyers know how to not only take on the driver at fault, but also understand the tricks big insurance companies try to play. In an initial consultation, they will not only obtain facts about the case, but also determine whether there are sufficient grounds for a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. The more documentation you have about the nature of the accident, the more likely it is that they agree to take on your case.
Types of Damages a Car Accident Lawyer Can Help You Win
In a personal injury claim, multiple types of damages exist. There are tangible damages, which are those damages that carry a defined monetary value. These are easy to document, and examples include medical and funeral expenses. A second type of damages, intangible, do not carry a defined monetary value. They are difficult to document, and examples include lost wages, benefits, and companionship. Punitive damages are the third type of damage a client may receive in a wrongful death claim. These damages are added on top of a client’s actual losses and are issued as a teaching tool to prevent this type of behavior in the future.
How an Auto Accident Attorney Proves a Client Deserves Damages
Tangible damages are easy for an experienced car accident lawyer to prove. Receipts of medical bills, auto repair bills, and funeral costs usually do the job. Proving intangible damages is much tougher. In order to do so, a personal injury attorney will need information about the victim’s age and health at the time of the crash. They also must determine the expected lifespan of the victim as well as the financial impact their death will have on their family going forward. However, this is not nearly as difficult as proving punitive damages.
Punitive damages require proof that a defendant acted maliciously, recklessly, or willfully. Generally speaking, Texas courts try to issue these damages very sparingly. For a plaintiff to be awarded punitive damages, every juror must agree on the amount of the punitive damages and that awarding them is legally correct. Not to mention, in Texas, these damages are capped. The state does not want these damages to be exorbitantly more than the value of the actual monetary loss the plaintiff suffered.