Have you been in an auto accident but need to prove the other driver was at fault?
Car accidents can be a devasting occurrence in one’s life. The accident can lead to a long road to recovery, being out of a vehicle, and dealing with messy insurance claims.
It’s always a frightening experience after the accident because there’s an uncertainty of the future, especially when it comes to insurance claims.
If you’re seeking compensation after a car crash, you’ll need to prove the other driver was negligent. Here are some examples of automobile negligence.
What Is Negligence?
Negligence is a legal term that describes a person’s lack of awareness and complete disregard for performing a duty safely. In terms of a car accident, this would have to do with the driver’s ability to drive safely on the road. If a person fails to drive safely on the road from not obeying traffic laws, this would be deemed as negligence.
How can You Prove Auto Negligence?
It may seem logical to jump-the-gun and proceed to trial because, in your mind, it’s evident at who’s at fault. Even with common accidents where a defendant runs a red light or rear-ends you, it’s crucial to gather evidence and construct a case with the help of an attorney.
Four elements are critical when you are trying to prove negligence against the other driver. These elements are:
- Duty of care
- Breach of duty
If you can prove these four elements in your negligence case, you will have an easier time of getting the damages owed to you and any compensation for medical fees accrued.
Duty of Care
Duty of care is the first element a plaintiff must prove against the defendant in a car accident case. What this means is that the driver at fault had a legal obligation to drive in a way that would ensure the safety of themselves and everyone else on the road.
This means following all traffic laws and not being under the influence of drugs or alcohol while driving.
Breach of Duty
The second element when proving negligence in a car accident claim is showing that the at-fault driver breached their duty to drive on the road safely.
Any motorist who operates their vehicles knowing that the conditions can cause harm to another person on the road, whether it be a motorist or a pedestrian, is considered a breach of duty.
Situations where there is a breach of duty can be:
- Failing to stop at a stop sign
- Failure to obey traffic lights
- Driving down the wrong side of the road
- Operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Driving without using vehicle lights at night
- Driving while distracted by a phone
Without proving there was a breach of duty, you will have little to no chance of being compensated for your claim.
Once you have shown that the other driver owed you a duty of care and breached their duty to drive on the road safely, you need to prove that the driver’s negligence caused the injuries that occurred in the accident.
This means you need to prove that if the other driver had not negligently operated their vehicle, you would not have been injured.
If the injuries were determined to be preexisting or were caused after the fact of the accident, the driver might not be held liable.
The last element you need to prove is that the accident caused by the negligent driver has caused you to suffer damages.
When filing an injury claim, you need to report the damages you suffered in monetary value, such as:
- Lost Wages
How much time off did you need to take when recovering from the accident? How much do you lose in earnings from this?
- Medical Expenses
The cost for medical procedures, car accident chiropractic care, surgeries, cost of medications, and physical therapy.
- Property Damage
How much was the total cost to repair your vehicle or replace valuables inside that were damaged in the accident?
- Loss of Earning Capacity
Did the accident cause injury to the point where you can’t work?
Always consult with an attorney when dealing with the monetary value of injury claims. They can accurately assess the damages and determine what your claim is worth.
Building Your Claim
It is essential to follow these tips to develop your claim so you can get compensated for damages.
After an accident, call 911. Tell the authorities what happened, your location, and if the scene is dangerous. These calls are recorded and can help you during your case.
Whatever you do, don’t let the other driver talk you out of calling the authorities. Provide an official accident report and attain a copy of it. This report will play a vital role in building your injury claim.
Accept Medical Treatment
No matter how small your injuries are, accept any medical treatment provided by emergency responders. Let them know about your symptoms, even if you think it isn’t a big deal. You may have life-threatening injuries like internal bleeding or head trauma.
Don’t delay on receiving medical attention. Doing this will only weaken your claim, and insurance companies may argue that the accident didn’t cause your injuries.
Make sure to collect information from the driver at fault. Write down as much information as possible, and if you can, take pictures of the scene of the accident and any car wreck trail that is visible.
The information you want to get from the driver are:
- Name, address, telephone number, email
- Drivers insurance information
- Contact information of the everyone who was inside the vehicle
- Names and contact information of witnesses
Hire an Attorney When Dealing with Automobile Negligence
Dealing with anything in the legal realm can be intimidating. When dealing with an automobile negligence claim, it is best to hire an attorney. Some insurance companies try to offer low-ball settlements to people not represented by a legal professional.
If you’ve suffered from injuries and a loss of property value from an auto accident, talk with an attorney to see how you can get the compensation you deserve.
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