Are You Eligible for Compensation After an Auto Accident?

Auto accidents are one of the most common causes of death and injury in the United States every year. Each year millions of cars are involved in accidents, with thousands losing their lives to the needless accidents. It is an unfortunate reality that the vast majority of auto accidents are actually caused by one driver’s negligence. This means that even if you are paying close attention to all of the laws of the road and driving extremely carefully, you could still find yourself involved in a serious accident. If you are injured in a crash that is due to the negligence of another person you deserve for this fault to be acknowledged. Often people are injured because of another person’s actions are able to reach legal settlements requiring the person responsible to pay for medical expenses, damages to your vehicle, pain and suffering and other considerations. It is important if you are involved in an auto accident that results in personal injury or damage to your property you contact an auto accident attorney as soon as possible to discuss your legal rights.

One of the most important considerations to keep in mind when determining if you may be eligible for compensation through either court award or an insurance claim is the concept of negligence. Generally, in order for compensation to be awarded there must be evidence of negligence. Negligence in this situation is a legal term that refers to a person acting in a way that does not show reasonable care and responsibility. This type of proof can be in the form of a police report, eyewitness accounts, crash scene investigations, your testimony, photographs, sketches or other presentations. The more reliable evidence that you can provide, the better the chance that you will be able to demonstrate negligence on the part of the other party involved in the crash and therefore show you deserve compensation. This evidence must be able to clearly show that:

  • The auto accident was caused specifically by the carelessness and negligence of the other person
  • The auto accident caused measurable and genuine harm to you, your family or your property
  • The other person involved should be held responsible for compensating for the costs associated with the accident

If it can be demonstrated that more than one person can actually be held at fault for an auto accident the insurance company or courts may determine that the liability should be divided amongst all of the responsible parties commiserate with the amount of fault that party holds in the accident.

Some of the factors that may be defined as negligence in the event of an auto accident include:

  • Distracted Driving-this can be making phone calls, sending text messages, adjusting the radio, applying makeup or doing anything else that takes focus away from driving
  • Violation of Traffic Laws-the vast majority of auto accidents involve the violation of one or more traffic laws such as posted speed limits, failure to yield, running a stop sign or red light, or following too closely
  • Driver Error-this refers to the mistakes that the responsible driver made leading up to the accident. This can include driving while intoxicated, driving while fatigued, aggressive driving, overcorrection and not braking quickly enough
  • Equipment Failure-the failure of specific parts of the vehicle may indicate the negligence of a driver when it can be demonstrated that the mechanical failure could have been avoided through regular maintenance. This could also indicated negligence of a mechanic or even the individual automaker if it is not the actions of the driver that led to the mechanical failure, but rather the misleading actions of another party.

Criminal Charges You May Face After an Auto Accident

Though most people will at some point in their lives experience an auto accident, it can be a truly terrifying experience. Even relatively minor accidents can be frightening and overwhelming. If you are an immigrant, however, this can be an even more upsetting experience. Being involved in an auto accident can bring with it a variety of criminal charges, and with them the potential to encounter ICE and face deportation. By understanding what types of criminal charges you could face after being involved in an auto accident you can be better prepared to discuss these issues with your immigration lawyer and help protect your desire to remain in this country.

Failure to Stop (Also Known As Leaving the Scene or Hit and Run)

Whenever there is an auto accident, regardless of how minor the accident is, all parties involved are required by law to stop. This allows for the parties to discuss the issue with each other and share contact and insurance information. In more serious accidents it is required that law enforcement be involved in order to assist with any injuries and address any criminal liability. If you do not stop and properly discuss the situation with the other driver or drivers involved, you could be charged with what is known as a failure to stop, leaving the scene or hit and run. Depending on how serious the accident is and if there are any injuries or deaths, you could face a wide variety of punishments including fines, jail time, loss of driving privileges and possible deportation.

Reckless Driving

You may be charged with reckless driving after an auto accident if it can be shown that you intentionally drove in such a way that you put the safety and wellbeing of other drivers and their property at risk. The specific way that such an offense is defined varies and is subject to wide police discretion. You may be charged with reckless driving for an offense as simple as driving 20 miles per hour over the speed limit of a specific area or in excess of 80 miles per hour. A conviction of this type of offense can carry a penalty of jail time and loss of driving privileges.

Drunk Driving

Drunk driving is an extremely common offense, but it is also extremely dangerous. Driving impaired by alcohol can put you and drivers around you at serious risk of injury or even death. It’s important to realize that even if you are not tested at being over the legal limit of intoxication, which is indicated in all state as being a blood alcohol content of .08, you can still be arrested for a Driving Under the Influence or Driving while Intoxicated offense due to the wide police discretion that is allowed in these charges. A conviction for such a charge can lead to fines, suspension or loss of driver’s license, restricted driving privileges, compulsory high risk insurance programs and jail time. The risk of jail time increase with repeat offenses, and those that are convicted multiple times are at high risk of deportation.


It is critical that you contact an attorney as soon as possible after being charged with a criminal offense associated with an auto accident. Deportation attorneys are trained to help you face your charges and avoid problems with your immigration case.