Your life can change in the blink of an eye if you’re in a car accident. You may have permanent and life-altering injuries resulting in high medical bills. You could be out of work for a significant amount of time. You may even be forced to leave your job because of your injuries. If you live in Alexandria and have been hurt in a car accident, who can you count on to fight for you?
The car accident attorneys of Koonz McKenney Johnson & DePaolis LLP are here to help. We represent victims by demanding the compensation they deserve to get their lives back on track. If you or a loved one have been injured because of a negligent driver, let us explain your legal options today.
Why Car Accidents Happen in Alexandria
After a car wreck, one of the first steps toward holding the other driver liable is to understand why the accident happened. In fact, it’s up to the victim to prove to a court how and why the other driver caused his or her injuries. Some of the most common reasons for car accidents are:
- Distracted driving. Now more than ever, there is a number of distractions that can take a driver’s mind off the road. One of the most problematic is texting while driving. Other forms of distraction including talking on the phone, trying to eat while driving, changing radio stations, or even talking to passengers in the car.
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Drunk driving is one type of driving under the influence. But it’s also illegal to drive if you’re under the influence of drugs. And “drugs” don’t just include narcotics. Even if a driver is legally using a prescription medication, he or she can be held liable if that medication causes impairment that leads to an accident.
- Drowsy driving. Some studies have shown that driving without enough sleep is much like drunk driving. Far too many motorists neglect to get the rest they need before getting on the road. Drowsy driving causes many problems, such as delayed reaction time or even falling asleep at the wheel.
- Speeding. If you speed over the limit, you’re automatically considered negligent. Speeding also includes driving too fast given the traffic or environmental conditions. For example, drivers should slow down during poor weather or high traffic volume. Failure to drive at a reasonable speed could make the driver liable in the event of an accident.
- Reckless driving. This takes a number of different forms, such as driving at excessive speeds (e.g. 20 mph over the posted limit) or failure to maintain control of the vehicle. A reckless driver is one who demonstrates a disregard for the consequences of his or her actions and indifference to the safety of others. Because more dangerous driving patterns usually accompany reckless driving, accident injuries tend to be more severe.
What Should I Do After An Alexandria Car Accident?
First, get medical attention for yourself and your passengers. This is critical even if you think you’re not hurt or your injuries were minor because some injuries take several days to present themselves. If you delay medical attention and problems emerge later, it may be more difficult to connect them to the accident, which only helps the driver who was responsible for causing it.
Next, call 911 to report your injuries and make a police report. Police reports are valuable pieces of evidence because they include basic facts about the accident, as the identity of the other driver, the time and date of the accident, and the weather conditions when it occurred.
After that, start putting together any evidence you can on your own. Take pictures of the vehicles, the damage, and the accident scene. Talk to witnesses and get their names and contact information. Make your own notes about what happened and what you observed. This sort of evidence is best gathered right away so important details aren’t forgotten.
Finally, reach out to a skilled car accident attorney. Your lawyer can explain what your legal options are, help assess a proper value for your damages, and litigate your legal claim against the other driver.
How Do I Prove The Other Driver Was Responsible?
Car accident cases in Alexandria require proving four elements. They are:
- Duty. This means the other driver owed you a duty to drive safely.
- Breach. A breach occurs because of some act of negligence or recklessness like those listed above.
- Causation. The breach must actually cause the accident or there is no claim.
- Damages. These include economic and non-economic losses the victim suffers.
What Damages Might Be Available?
One critical role of your attorney is to prove the nature and monetary value of the losses you suffer, known as damages. Once a case goes to trial or settles you won’t get another chance to ask for more money, so picking a skilled personal injury lawyer is essential. These are some common car accident damages:
- Medical bills, including hospitalization, rehabilitation, physical therapy, special adaptive equipment, and follow-up appointments
- Lost wages due to the time missed from work while recovering
- Lost earning capacity if you can’t work at the same level of productivity as before the accident
- Pain, suffering, and emotional distress
- Wrongful death damages in the event the victim dies
- Property damage
Contact Our Alexandria Car Accident Attorney
Victims only have a certain amount of time to file their cases, generally two years from the date of the accident. If you file outside this deadline your claim might be void. Don’t wait to get the compensation you need. Call Koonz McKenney Johnson & DePaolis LLP to get started on your case or to find out more about your legal options.