How do You Prove a Car Accident Case in Texas?
In the state of Texas, the victim of a car crash has a legal claim for compensation against a driver that either recklessly or negligently causes an accident. Under Texas law, anyone who causes an injury can be held legally liable for compensating the victim or the victim’s family in the case of a death, by paying for the victim’s medical bills, lost wages or earning capacity, and pain and suffering.
Knowing that a victim has a claim for recovery is different from proving that a victim has a claim for recovery, however. Proving that a car accident happened the way that a victim claims can be difficult without evidence. As a result, it is important to gather evidence after the accident and understand how much proof will be required to sustain a legal claim for compensation.
Negligence Law and the Legal Standard of Proof
A person who violates a duty that he or she owes to another and causes injury can be held liable for damages under the Texas legal theory known as negligence. In the context of a car crash, all drivers owe a duty to other drivers to keep the roads safe. If a driver creates a roadway hazard or is driving recklessly, that driver will be responsible for compensating the victim for any injuries that the driver caused.
In Texas, the accident victim must prove that the offending driver caused the victim’s injuries by a “preponderance of the evidence.” Unlike the criminal standard of proof, which is “beyond a reasonable doubt,” the preponderance of the evidence standard simply requires the accident victim to prove that the other driver was at least 50% at fault for the accident.
Gathering Evidence Immediately After the Accident
If the victim is going to effectively prove that the accident occurred the way that he or she claims, the victim will need to gather evidence. Before gathering any evidence, however, the victim should seek immediate medical treatment for his or her serious injuries. While gathering evidence is important, the crash victim’s health is more important. If any crash victim has a serious injury, call 911 for medical care immediately.
Assuming that no serious injuries have occurred, evidence gathering should begin as soon after the accident as possible. The first step will be to file a police report. A police report will act as an objective third party’s ruling on fault. Police reports are generally considered to be highly credible evidence, and should be requested whenever possible.
Next, the crash victim should gather additional evidence at the scene. First, the victim should obtain the other driver’s contact and insurance information. This will be needed to file either an insurance claim or a lawsuit. Second, if anyone witnessed the crash, the victim should collect the contact information of those witnesses, as their testimony will be useful in establishing the facts of the accident. Read what to do if there are no witnesses. Third, the victim should take pictures of the crash scene. It is true that a picture is wither a thousand words, but it may also be worth thousands of dollars if it shows the scene of the accident in a light that supports the victim’s version of events.
Contact an Experienced Houston Car Accident Injury Lawyer Today
Suffering a serious injury in an auto accident can leave you or a family member struggling to pay fixed expenses and struggling to accomplish even menial tasks due to serious bodily injuries. If you find yourself in this situation, you have the right to file a claim for the damages you suffered. Contact the law firm of Michael P. Fleming & Associates, P.C. to schedule a free consultation today 713-221-6800.