A common legal theory often used to prove fault in auto accident cases is negligence. Many people who are considering suing someone for their injuries and damages may hear the term used when they visit a McAllen accident law firm to learn more about their legal rights, but they may not fully understand what negligence means and how it can help them in their effort to obtain just compensation for their injuries.
In general, when an individual is negligent, he or she has acted in a careless or thoughtless way which has resulted in someone else’s injury or harm. People can be negligent by either doing something they should not have done or by neglecting to do something they should have done. With respect to operating an automobile, it is important to note that drivers are required to use care to avoid hurting other drivers or individuals they may encounter on the roadway.
A Driver’s Responsibilities on the Road
Most drivers are well aware there are rules and laws they must abide by when traveling on state roads and highway. While it is true that every state has its own set of specific laws that govern how drivers must behave on the roadway, there are many common rules that every driver should follow.
For instance, all drivers should operate their vehicles at a reasonable speed based on the current conditions. Drivers are always encouraged to drive the posted speed limit; however, there may be times when it is necessary to drive slower, particularly if the weather conditions call for a slower speed.
Additionally, drivers should always remain alert and maintain proper control of the vehicle at all times. Drivers should always lookout for others, to include other motor vehicles, pedestrians and possible road hazards.
What Must Be Proven in Your Negligence Claim?
When pursing a claim, the injured or harmed individual (known as the plaintiff) must prove that the person being sued (known as the defendant) was negligent.
What this means is the plaintiff must demonstrate several elements to potentially recover compensation for the injuries sustained. One of the first things that must be demonstrated is that the defendant was required to act reasonably careful under the law. In automobile accident cases, all drivers are expected and required to be careful when driving. This is commonly referred to as having a “duty of reasonable care.”
The next thing that must be shown is the defendant violated or breached that duty of care by not being careful. When determining whether someone was adequately careful, courts will consider a comparison of the driver’s conduct with that of a “reasonable person” driving in a similar set of circumstances.
The plaintiff must also show the defendant’s conduct caused the injuries and/or losses the plaintiff suffered. Simply put, the plaintiff must be able to show that his or her injuries were caused by the accident involving the defendant and not by some other event or accident. Additionally, the plaintiff must have sustained provable injuries and/or monetary losses in order to recover.
Anyone who has been involved in a motor vehicle accident is encouraged to work with an accident law firm that will work hard to help you obtain the just compensation you deserve. Contact the Tijerina Law Group, P.C. as soon as possible to learn more about your legal rights.