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Understanding What The Law Means By Negligence
When a car accident happens, you will begin to hear the word “negligence” used a lot when referring to the cause of the accident. By legal definition, negligence is an action or inaction taken by a person that resulted in causing an accident.
For example, a negligent action in a car accident scenario would be texting while driving, leading to an accident. An example of inaction is a person driving a vehicle failing to stop at a stop sign that leads to an accident.
When an accident happens, the police will establish fault for the event. It is important that the negligent party is established so that the insurance company of that party can cover the expenses of the accident. This applies in all states, even if your state is considered a no-fault state.
The Four Factors Of A Negligence Claim
When you file a lawsuit against someone for negligence, it will be your responsibility as the Plaintiff to prove the following four factors to have a successful claim. Using a car accident as an example, a Plaintiff would have to show:
- The negligent party was required by law to act in a reasonable and careful manner. This is generally called a “duty” to others. In relation to car accidents, this means that you would have to show that there are laws that must be followed when operating a vehicle.
- You will need to show that the negligent party did not act carefully. In relation to a car accident, you would need to show that a law was broken, such as running a red light or texting while driving.
- The Plaintiff will then need to show the Court that the negligent action is what caused your accident and injuries. This will be established in the police report and backed up by the information gathered by your attorney.
- The injuries you received have caused you to suffer financial and other losses. This is the part where you make your claim for compensation. Your attorney will have a claim demand prepared on your behalf based on the actual losses associated with your claim.
After an accident, working with an attorney will help you establish and prove each of these four factors for a successful negligence claim.
What Are The Duties That Drivers Have When Operating A Vehicle?
All drivers are required to use care when operating a vehicle on the roadways. All drivers are expected to follow road rules and laws. Part of getting a driver’s license is accepting these responsibilities.
All drivers are expected to:
- Follow the speed limit and reduce speed when weather or other road hazards require speeds to decrease for safety
- Remain focused on the road while the vehicle is moving. Distracted driving includes actions such as texting and driving, using a handheld device, or even eating while operating your vehicle
- Operate the vehicle in a safe manner. This means avoiding such things as tailgating, improper lane changes, and improper turns
- Keep your vehicle in safe operational order. Keeping your vehicle safe not only protects you, but it also protects those around you
- never operate a vehicle under the influence of alcohol, drugs, and certain prescription medications. All of these things can inhibit your ability to operate a vehicle safely
When a driver does not follow these rules, it becomes negligence, and an accident often happens.