For the average person affected by a car crash, insurance coverage will be sufficient for their needs. They may only require a few thousand dollars worth of property damage coverage to repair minor body damage to their vehicle or basic bodily injury coverage for a single trip to the hospital.
Other people may have far more extensive costs. Maybe you have an injury that will permanently reduce your earning potential, or perhaps your child will require around-the-clock support for the rest of their life because of a traumatic brain injury. It could even be property damage that pushes the costs for a crash well over the policy limit that applies to the at-fault driver’s coverage.
When there are catastrophic costs that exceed what insurance will pay, you may need to take the other driver to civil court. You typically will need to prove that either negligence or law breaking contributed to the crash. Although misconduct is often straightforward to prove because it involves breaking the law, negligence cases can seem more subjective. How do you establish negligence for a civil claim?
You apply the reasonable person standard
If you want to claim that someone was negligent at the wheel, you need to show that other reasonable people would not engage in the same actions that they did. Testimony from expert witnesses like safety professionals, driver training instructors or even police officers could help you build a case that what the other driver did was obviously unsafe and therefore negligent.
As long as you can convince the courts of the negligence that led to your crash, you can potentially seek financial compensation for the other driver for any costs that insurance did not fully cover.
Going to court may be a worthwhile endeavor
When you recognize that insurance is not nearly enough to fully cover the costs the crash created for you, you may understand that the stress and delay involved in pursuing a civil claim against the driver who caused the crash is necessary. Although you have to invest time and resources to file a civil claim, being able to recoup your costs can make that extra effort worthwhile.
Getting the right support in learning more about how to build your case will increase your chances of success when you pursue financial compensation for a recent car crash in the civil courts.