Proving negligence in a car accident
The majority of lawsuits involving car accidents are based upon negligence. Because the legal theory of negligence assumes that the defendant did not intend to cause the accident, there must be a way of proving negligence in a car accident.
In general, negligence means that the party responsible for the accident disregarded their “duty” to drive safely on the road which resulted in injury to the victim. In most cases, there are four legal elements that must be satisfied in order to prove that negligence on the part of the defendant resulted in the accident:
- Duty of care – all drivers owe their fellow drivers a duty to drive safely and obey all traffic laws.
- Breach of Duty — It must be shown that the defendant breached their duty of care by operating their vehicle in a negligent manner — violating safety standards such as failing to obey a stop sign, speeding, or more serious breaches such as drunk driving or impairment due to prescription drugs.
- Causation — the victim or plaintiff must prove that the defendant’s negligence caused his or her injuries.
- Damages — Damages can be physical, emotional, mental or financial. They can include a property damage claim for the cost of repairs to your vehicle, for example.
If you’ve been in a car accident, especially one resulting in serious injury, you want to make sure that you are fairly compensated for all damages. Retaining the services of an experienced personal injury attorney can insure that you will receive just and fair compensation.
“At fault” isn’t the only factor
Being at fault in an accident due to negligent driving on the part of the defendant is not the only breach of duty when it comes to determining who is at fault in a car accident. It is also the responsibility of a driver to maintain an operational vehicle.
Failing to maintain parts such as headlights and brake lights in good working order is also considered to be negligent driving as is failing to use the car’s equipment properly.
In order to successfully prove negligence in a car accident, you need to preserve as much evidence as possible in order to strengthen your claim. This includes police and medical reports as well as information about the operational status of the vehicles involved and witness statements.
Making insurance work the way it should
If you or someone you know has been involved in a car accident, you should contact a car accident personal injury attorney as soon as possible. An experienced personal injury attorney can be a valuable asset when it comes to proving negligence in a car accident and to recovering damages for your medical expenses, lost income, and physical as well as mental pain and suffering.
Gregory Yates is one of the most trusted personal injury attorneys in Los Angeles. In practice for over 30 years, Mr. Yates has an excellent record of success when it comes to negotiated settlements, awards, and jury verdicts.