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How Do You Know if You Have a Car Wreck Claim?

Posted by attorney Jeffrey Rasansky

It's not true that you have the opportunity to sue the other driver every time you get into a car wreck. While some people seem to think that any incident involving their vehicle and a crash is one in which they were wronged, this is most certainly not the case. In order to determine whether or not you actually have a valid lawsuit on your hands, you need to talk to a vehicle accident lawyer and get their opinion on the matter.

The Basics

In the vast majority of cases, a lawsuit over a traffic accident alleges that one of the drivers was negligent in a way that caused physical harm, financial harm or both to the driver filing a lawsuit. Negligence means that someone didn't take the precautions that a reasonable person could be expected to take in the same situation. For example, if someone was tailgating you and they slammed into you when you stopped to avoid hitting a dog that was running across the road, a jury might find that they were negligent because they should've been keeping an appropriate distance from your vehicle, which a reasonable person could be expected to do.


You can determine whether or not you have a lawsuit that is worth filing by having a consultation with a car accident lawyer. They're not agreeing to take you on as a client when you have one of these meetings with them. In fact, what they're doing is determining whether or not they want you as a client at all. These consultations are generally free, as they allow the attorney to meet people who may make potential clients and they allow people who may have lawsuits to determine whether or not they would actually be worth pursuing.


Most of the time, an attorney that works car accident cases will be working to work with you under a contingency agreement. This is agreement where the attorney doesn't get paid unless they actually win your claim for you. If they do win your claim, they can deduct their pay from the settlement amount or from the jury award that you receive. This agreement discourages people from filing frivolous lawsuits in that attorneys won't take their cases if they don't believe that they will actually win. The attorney, of course, is investing their time in the case without a guarantee of getting paid, so they're not likely to take cases that aren't likely to win at least some amount of compensation.

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