If you have ever been involved in a car accident, your personal injury lawyer likely mentioned the concept of negligence to you. You, probably, had no idea what it was, much less what it meant! You need to understand the term and concept of negligence because it will play a crucial factor in determining who was at fault.
What is negligence?
Basically, you act with negligence when you fail to use a certain standard and/or duty of care when acting and you end up hurting someone else as a result. A good example of this would be causing a head-on collision because you ran a red light. Your lawyer will tell you that because of their nature, negligence is a concept that is commonly used and/or discussed in car accidents and in car accident claims and cases.
Parts of a negligence claim
Your personal injury lawyer will tell you that as the plaintiff, you and him or her (the lawyer) must prove that the defendant was guilty of the car accident you were involved in. in other words, you must prove the defendant’s negligence. There are certain elements you must prove in order to do this.
● Standard or duty of care – you must prove that the law required the defendant to exercise a certain standard or duty of care when driving. You must also prove that the defendant failed to do so.
● The defendant was careless – you must prove that the defendant was careless. You must compare his or her actions and their results to those of a reasonable and responsible person in the same situation. If the situations and outcomes are different, then the defendant was likely acting carelessly.
● The defendant’s actions caused your injuries – you must prove that the defendant was acting carelessly and that the results of his or her careless actions were what caused the car accident and ultimately, your injuries.
● You were injured and suffered losses – you can receive a settlement only if you can prove that you suffered losses and injuries as a result of the car accident. You and your personal injury lawyer in Richmond, must also show evidence of the same.
Duties of the driver
Drivers are expected to drive with a certain standard and duty of care by law. This is discussed further below
● Reasonable speed – drivers are expected to follow posted speed limits when driving
● Drive defensively – drivers are expected to be diligent and to be constantly on the lookout for potential hazards when driving.
● Control the car – drivers must be able to control their cars when driving
● Maintaining the car – drivers must make sure that the proper equipment is always working the way it should when driving.
State defined negligence
States have further definitions for driver negligence. For example, drivers are expected to drive sober. They are expected to follow all traffic rules when driving, and they are expected to drive on the right side of the road. They will have to prove their innocence with substantial and admissible evidence for failing to follow these basic laws imposed on drivers in every state.
Drivers can use many defenses to get out of paying you a settlement. That is why you need to hire a good personal injury lawyer if you are ever involved in a car accident, no matter how minor.