The legal theory of negligence forms the basis of many car accident suits. If a person is in an auto accident and is suing someone, or they’re on the receiving end of a lawsuit, there’s a high likelihood that negligence has been mentioned. As common as the term is, many don’t know what negligence is or how it is proven. Below is a brief explanation of the use of negligence as a reason for recovery in an accident case.
The Definition of Negligence
When someone is negligent, it simply means that they have behaved in a careless or thoughtless manner that causes injury to another person. People can be negligent when they do things they shouldn’t have done (such as speeding or running a stop sign), or by not doing something they should’ve done (such as stopping for pedestrians or driving with lights on when it’s raining).
The Elements of Negligence
A person bringing a negligence suit (the plaintiff) must prove that the defendant (the person facing the lawsuit) was negligent. A plaintiff must prove the following elements for a successful claim:
1. The defendant had a duty of care to other people. In accident cases, laws require drivers to exercise reasonable care toward others on the road.
2. The defendant failed in that regard. This is referred to as a breach of the driver’s duty of care. In determining a motorist’s level of negligence, laws compare that person’s behavior with that of a reasonable person. Laws ask whether a prudent, reasonable person would have behaved similarly in like circumstances.
3. The behavior of the defendant caused injury to the plaintiff. It must be proven that the injuries were caused by the defendant’s behavior.
4. The injury actually occurred. Accident victims can get compensation for lost wages and injuries, as well as property damage and pain and suffering; however, if injuries aren’t able to be valued or proven, there can be no recovery. The plaintiff must show proof of losses: it’s important for them to keep detailed records of expenses, damages and injuries.
Car accidents can be overwhelming, frightening experiences, but getting just compensation doesn’t have to be. If someone is involved in a car accident, they should visit us to speak to a wrongful death lawyer in Boston, MA right away. A wrongful death lawyer in Boston, MA can help clients in the courtroom, and they can ensure that they get a fair settlement.
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