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How is an Auto Accident Injury Case Evaluated in Court?

Posted on: November 18, 2016 by Edwards & Patterson Law

auto accident injury

Auto accident injury cases go to civil court when one party involved in an accident files suit against another for compensation. The state of Oklahoma is a “fault” state, which means that someone is deemed at fault in an accident and therefore liable for any personal injuries or property damage stemming from it.

Weighing the Elements

As such, anyone not at fault involved in an auto accident may file suit to recover compensation in a court of law. How that case is evaluated will be based on several factors. All the documentation and records pertaining to the auto accident injury would be reviewed by the court to make a determination.

  • Police report – To establish fault and liability, the court will consider the report from the police who were at the scene.
  • Witnesses – If there were persons at the scene who saw the accident, they can testify as to who was at fault.
  • Medical records – Compensation for injuries should include all aspects of treatment, therapy, and recovery. Hospitalization records, office visits, medications, physical therapy, chiropractic care, etc.
  • Loss of Income – How long was the claimant out of work? What financial hardships did it cause?
  • Pain and Suffering and other intangible losses. The effects of an auto accident injury can be psychological as well as physical.
  • Punitive Damages – In a case where the at-fault party was especially negligent or careless, the court can award additional punitive damages.

In addition to the above factors, the court may also consider circumstances that can work against the injured person. These include:

  • Comparative negligence – This is when the injured person shares some degree of fault in causing the accident, which will mitigate the amount of compensation the court may award. For example, the court may find that the fault was a 60/40 ratio, and would decide compensation accordingly.
  • Failure to mitigate damages – This is where good records are especially useful. A court may in some cases find that the injured party didn’t do enough to minimize the effects of the accident, such as neglecting to seek proper medical care.

Collectively, these factors are evaluated by the court to reach a decision on the proper compensation, if any, due the injured party. Your chances of a favorable outcome are greatly improved when you hire a firm whose expertise is in personal injury. Hire the legal team who have been fighting for the rights of thousands of clients in Eastern Oklahoma and Arkansas. Give us a call to schedule a free and confidential consultation today.

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