Julie was driving home late at night after attending an out-of-county training session for work. Her employer sent her for the training and it was a requirement that she attend. While driving home, a drunk driver crossed the centerline of a two-lane road and collided head-on with Julie’s vehicle. Julie would be immediately taken to the local hospital where she would undergo hours of surgery and begin a long course of physical therapy on the road to recovery from her serious injuries. The drunk driver would succumb to her injuries at the scene and the prospect of making any sense of her careless actions after ingesting some impairing substance, whether it was alcohol or some other impairing substance, would die with her.
We have all seen it. You are driving along and see the car next to you with the driver looking at their phone and not paying attention to traffic. Texting and driving perhaps? They may weave from their lane of travel into yours. You may honk your horn and snap them out of their urgent Facebook viewing or texting. Many are not lucky enough to see in advance the carelessness going on in the car next to them or behind them. Instead, you find yourself in an accident when the other driver collides into the side of your car or, if you are unlucky enough, to be rear-ended at full speed by this person who does not care enough to put their phone away and watch the road.
Usually, one of the first questions that a personal injury lawyer gets is “How much is my case worth?" The true answer is that any case is worth exactly what 12 jurors who are completely unknown to you and unknown to your lawyer would award sometime in the future after hearing some evidence of what happened to you and some evidence of how the other driver or at-fault party was negligent and, therefore, responsible for some part of your damages.
If you are like many out there, you care more about your car than your middle child, wife, husband, or significant other. You are left staring at your damaged precious in the driveway or at the wrecking yard, and wondering what to do next. Someone else was at fault. Now, what do you do?