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Proving Driver Negligence When You're Injured in a Car Accident

  • Jul 29, 2022
  • The Harr Law Firm

Close up of woman texting on phone while drivingSometimes, accidents happen and nobody is truly at fault. In other cases, however, another person’s negligence can directly cause injuries that wouldn’t have otherwise occurred. This is especially true in automobile accidents, when negligence can very quickly have disastrous consequences. But how can you prove that the accident was a direct result of that negligence, and not simply an unfortunate accident? Here’s what you need to know about proving driver negligence if you’re injured in a car accident.

Defining Negligence

Before we dive into proving a driver’s negligence, let’s first discuss what negligence is. According to negligence is careless conduct that ends up causing another person harm. There is no malicious intent involved in these cases. Rather, the person simply neglected to do something they should have done, or they did something that they should not have done. Obviously there are many possible examples of negligence in a car accident situation, including:

  • Failing to yield when merging
  • Not stopping for a pedestrian
  • Running a red light
  • Speeding
  • Using a mobile phone while driving
  • And many, many more

The bottom line, however is that drivers are expected to follow the rules of the road and be reasonably careful to avoid other motorists or pedestrians. If they were not reasonably careful in some way, and somebody was harmed as a result, the driver can be held liable for that person’s injuries and other damages.

Proving Their Negligence

Now that you understand what negligence is, let’s discuss how to prove that another driver was negligent. To do so, there are several elements of liability law that will need to be addressed:

  1. The driver had a responsibility to be reasonably careful. If they were operating a vehicle, this responsibility is generally assumed. Duties like driving at a reasonable speed, staying aware of your surroundings, maintaining your vehicle properly, and staying in control of the car are expected of every driver on the road. When you get behind the wheel of a car, you take this responsibility upon yourself, so this is a given.
  2. The driver did not uphold the responsibility to be reasonably careful. This is called a breach of duty of care. Determining that a breach of duty occurred is usually done by comparing the driver’s behavior to the conduct expected of any reasonable person. If their actions fall short of how a reasonable driver would be expected to behave in those circumstances, then they have violated their duty of care. For example, you might expect any reasonable person to swerve to avoid a deer jumping into the road. If that action caused an accident, it would be difficult to prove the person was not acting responsibly. However, if the person failed to stop at a red light, this is an action that falls short of what a reasonable driver would be expected to do, and constitutes a breach of duty.
  3. The person’s conduct directly caused your injuries. While the two items above generally establish the other driver’s responsibility, if you want to pursue legal action to receive compensation, you must also prove that the driver’s actions directly caused your injuries. For example, if you sustained a neck injury when you were rear-ended, you must provide evidence that the injuries were a direct result of the car accident and not some other event.
  4. You suffered a measurable loss. Finally, your loss must be somehow measurable in order to receive compensation for damages. This includes evidence like medical bills, repair bills for your vehicle, physical therapy expenses, lost wages due to your injury, and so on.

These four factors clearly establish the other driver’s negligence and shows that your injuries were a direct result of that negligence. With these four cornerstones of a case in place, you will have a strong foundation for pursuing compensation for your injuries.

Getting Help with Your Car Accident Case

If you were injured in a car accident and you believe that the other driver’s negligence is to blame, contact The Harr Law Firm today. Our experienced personal injury attorneys will consult with you on your case, determine if we have the necessary evidence to prove the driver’s negligence, and help you to pursue the compensation you deserve. We will advocate for you as we negotiate with the driver and their insurance company, review any settlement offers you might receive, and, if necessary, take the matter to court to ensure your rights are protected. Contact us today to schedule your initial consultation.