If you were the victim of a car accident, the other driver or a third party might be responsible. Our team of lawyers can assist you in proving liability by showing that another party was negligent after an accident.
An Overview of Negligence
Negligence means that the other party acted irresponsibly, and they will be held liable for the harm done to you. Negligence can occur in one of two ways: (i) the defendant did something that they should not have done, or (ii) they did not do something that they should have done. Examples of the former include drinking and driving, driving the wrong way, speeding, or violating other traffic laws. Examples of the latter include driving without lights, failing to stop for a bicyclist, or failing to yield. An attorney will sometimes bring up negligence in a civil case after an accident in order to hold the other party financially responsible.
How to Prove Negligence
The courts use four factors to prove fault and negligence after an accident. Each of these builds on the previous one, and if any of the standards are not met, the defendant will not be found negligent.
First, the other party must have a legal responsibility toward the plaintiff in the situation. Next, the defendant did not fulfill their duty toward the plaintiff. To meet this point, the courts consider “reasonableness” or how a responsible driver would have acted in a similar situation. Third, this breach or failure resulted in the plaintiff’s injury. For example, if you suffered a knee injury after a car accident, the injury must be directly related to the accident and not due to an exercise injury or other factors. Lastly, the plaintiff experienced damages or other injuries because of the defendant.
In addition to injuries, your attorney might seek compensation for various reasons, such as lost earnings, pain and suffering or damage to the vehicle or other property. Without any damage, there is no case. The burden of proof falls on the plaintiff to show the exact amount of losses. For this reason, you should keep all paperwork related to hospital visits, doctor’s appointments, insurance, repairs, prescriptions, therapy, and any other expenses that stem from the accident.
A Driver’s Responsibilities
A driver must act with reasonable care when behind the wheel. The courts have determined several examples of this, including maintaining a safe speed on the road; general vigilance, such as watching traffic and road conditions; general car maintenance; and proper control of the vehicle. Laws vary by state regarding specific driver responsibilities and the level of proof the courts require in order to prove negligence. In some cases, the defendant must show they were not negligent.
A car accident and the aftermath can be very stressful with a long recovery process. If the accident was due to the negligence of the other party, you will likely feel even more stress. You need seasoned legal representation to assist you and provide sage counsel during this difficult time. Contact the Hancock Injury Attorneys by calling 813-915-1110, texting at 813-601-1110, or by contacting us online.