3 Basic Steps in an Auto Accident Case

While each car accident case is unique and will have a range of varying issues involved and legal complications that must be tackled, there are three basic steps that must be taken when filing a claim or lawsuit.

These include establishing the following key areas:

  • Negligence
  • Causation
  • Damages

By effectively laying the ground work for your case, you can ensure that you have the strongest chance possible of securing the maximum compensation you deserve for your accident.

First Step: Establishing the Other Driver’s Negligence

Under Texas law, all drivers have a responsibility to exercise reasonable care when behind the wheel. This is supposed to keep drivers from engaging in actions they know would likely cause injuries to themselves, another person or driver, or another’s property. When a driver fails to uphold this responsibility, it is considered negligence. This can take many forms, including breaking traffic laws, driving while distracted or tired, texting while driving, or getting behind the wheel while under the influence.

When a person drives in such as a way that you could predict harm would be caused by their actions, they are considered to be negligent. In order to pinpoint this negligence more effectively, the Proper Lookout standard was created. Under this standard, a driver’s proper lookout is their duty to remain observant of the vehicles, people, and objects around them while obeying basic road rules. Failure in this area constitutes negligence.

Second Step: Connecting Negligence to Causation

Once you have established negligence in your car accident case, you must then take the next step in connecting it to causation. This means that you must show how the other driver’s negligent behavior was the cause of the accident you suffered injuries in. While this can be challenging to establish, working with a seasoned legal professional can help tie the two components together. It is crucial that you obtain as much evidence as possible for this step. This includes phone numbers or contact information of witnesses, street light camera footage, photographs of the accident, the police report, and other key proof. When you can create a bridge from negligence to causation, you are one step closer to securing compensation.

Third Step: Proving the Correlation to Your Damages

Finally, you must be able to chain together negligence and causation to the damages you suffered. By proving that the driver’s negligence caused the accident which resulted in your serious injuries and/or property damage, you can demonstrate their fault and responsibility in the situation.

These damages could include a variety of areas, such as:

  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Loss of wages or earning capacity
  • Hospital bills and medical costs
  • Repairs needed for your vehicle
  • Funeral expenses in wrongful death cases

It is also important to note that Texas law recognizes comparative negligence. This means that if the other party can prove that there was some negligence on your part that contributed to the accident, the court or insurance company may be able to reduce some of the damages you receive. A percentage of responsibility must be established between you and the other driver, with your award slated to be reduced by your percentage of fault.

Even if you are partially at fault, when the other driver carries most of the fault, you deserve fair compensation. That is why you need to contact the Houston car accident lawyers at Arnold & Itkin.


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