No one plans to leave their home and be involved in an accident that severely injures them. People leave their homes unconsciously expecting to return home healthy and unharmed. However, as much as we expect safety, car accidents are far too common. The worst part of it all is that most car accidents are entirely preventable because they’re the result of someone’s carelessness or recklessness. These reckless and careless behaviors fall under the term negligence, which is the legal term for the conduct which leads to the accident and subsequent injuries and losses.
Hollis Law Firm is a personal injury firm dedicated to helping accident victims pursue the compensation they deserve. We don’t accept lowball offers and are ready to go to trial if it means getting maximum compensation for our clients.
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The Four Elements Needed to Prove Negligence in a Car Accident Claim
Negligence is the failure of an individual or entity to exercise reasonable care towards others to prevent harming them. The key to understanding negligence is understanding the four components that establish and create negligence. These four elements are duty of care, breach of duty, causation, and damages. Establishing these four elements helps create a strong narrative that proves that one or multiple parties were, in fact, negligent and, therefore, should be held legally responsible for paying the victim’s damages.
Duty of Care
The first step to proving negligence is proving that the opposing party (the defendant) had a duty of care they failed to uphold. Duty of care refers to the legal obligation one person has to another to use reasonable care and caution to avoid hurting each other. Anyone who gets behind the wheel of a motor vehicle is expected and bound by the law to adhere to a duty of care as it pertains to others on the road.
Breach of Duty
Once it’s established that the defendant owed you a duty of care, the next step is to show that this duty was breached, which means that they failed to behave in a way that a reasonable person would to avoid causing you harm. Proving that a person failed to act within reasonable care widely depends on the circumstances of the accident. The most common behavior that breaches a driver’s duty of care is drunk driving or ignoring traffic signals, such as a red light.
Duty of care and breach of duty are the two main elements of negligence. Together they prove that the defendant was negligent and, therefore, liable, making them legally responsible for damages.
To fully establish the defendant is liable means proving that their breach of duty is the direct or proximate cause of the accident which caused your injuries and other losses. The more direct the link between their breach and your injuries, the stronger your case for compensation becomes. Proving causation means demonstrating that if not for the defendant’s actions, you would not have sustained the injuries you did or suffered the pain you did.
Evidence of Damages
The last element you’ll need to prove is that you suffered some sort of financial, emotional, or physical loss because of the defendant’s actions. This part means proving the existence of your injuries and other losses. Proving you’ve suffered some sort of loss is done through medical bills and other forms of evidence.
Contact Our Experienced Car Accident Lawyers Today
Proving negligence may seem easy. If the other driver was drunk, then they should be held liable. However, car accident claims are rarely that simple, especially because insurance companies are always looking to minimize their losses.
At Hollis Law Firm, we can help gather the evidence you need to build a strong claim establishing negligence and liability. Our firm is committed to our clients and will do what we can to pursue a favorable outcome. Schedule a consultation today by completing our online contact form or calling (800) 701-3672.