How can a car accident victim establish negligence?

Negligence is a legal term that often appears in personal injury cases. In many of these suits, the victim needs to establish that the person responsible for the injury was negligent. Establishing negligence generally requires that the victim meet four specific elements:

  • Duty. The victim must show that the person responsible for the injuries owed a duty of care. This is often present in car accident cases, as drivers are expected to operate their vehicle with care and observe traffic laws.
  • Breach. Next, the victim must establish that the person in question failed to meet this duty.
  • Causation. This element involves showing that the breach caused the accident.
  • Damage. Finally, that the accident resulted in harm to the victim. Examples include physical injuries, property damage and lost wages.

A victim must generally establish all four elements to have a successful case. The evidence needed to build this case will vary depending on the details of the accident. Expert testimony, a copy of the police report and medical records are common examples.

It is also important to note that the laws that govern these cases are often applied at the state level. In California, this means that the doctrine of comparative negligence applies. Essentially, comparative negligence allows for the victim to hold the responsible party for a percentage of the damages that result from the accident.

These are just two of the considerations to take into account when building a case for negligence. Many additional considerations may be present. As such, those who are attempting to navigate this process are wise to seek legal counsel.

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