After being involved in a car accident, the first thing is to determine where there is a car accident negligence claim involved. This is usually established by showing that one of the parties was negligent. Negligence is show that a person acted in a way that was thoughtless or careless and produced harm or injury to another person. In order to establish negligence in a car accident case, a party must prove the following elements of negligence: Duty, Breach, Causation, and Damages. Each of these elements are unique, but build off each other to establish a car accident negligence claim.
Duty is a driver’s obligation to be careful when encountering anyone on the road, whether it’s another car, person, or animal. In other words, duty requires a driver to extend “reasonable care” to all other parties on the road. This reasonable care standard works to determine what another reasonable person would have done in the exact same situation. In order to fulfill the element of duty, you must show that the defendant had a duty to act or behave in a certain manner.
Breach is when a driver is not careful and violates the duty that they are obligated to extend to other people. To do this, a court looks at what a reasonable person in the same situation would have done. If the reasonable person would have acted differently and prevented the accident, the driver has breached their duty of reasonable care. Some examples of breach are: not following traffic laws, not being aware of surroundings, or not properly maintaining a vehicle.
Causation requires that you show that the defendant’s actions caused your accident or injury. For example, if you are suing for a neck injury resulting from your accident, you must show that the defendant’s conduct caused the neck injury. In order to this, if you can show that the accident was due to the fact that the defendant ran a red light and that the accident caused your neck injury, you have established causation.
Finally, you must be able to show that you suffered some form of damages from the alleged negligence. Damages could be anything from actual property damage to pain and suffering from the accident. However, if you got into an accident and cannot show that you suffered any injury or any property loss, you cannot establish any damages. Because you must be able to show damages, it is important to keep track of any and all documentation that may be able to support your claim. Some examples of evidence of damages would be accident reports, damage estimates, or medical records.
Proving negligence can sometimes be a hard task. In order to have the best chance at succeeding in your car accident claim, you should contact an experienced attorney who is capable of advocating on your behalf. Contact us now at Minick Law for a free consultation on your car accident claim.
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James Minick is a criminal defense attorney in Asheville, NC and is the owner of Minick Law, P.C.