Many car accident lawsuits – and personal injury claims, in general – are filed on the legal basis of negligence. In fact, the phrases “negligent driving” or “negligence” in reference to a car accident are used commonly. In this blog post, we’ll review the elements of a negligent driver claim.

Proving a Negligent Driver Claim

In order to be successful in a negligent driver claim, you need to prove four elements of negligence. 

Proving Negligence: Legal Duty of Care

The first element of negligence is to show the defendant owed you some legal duty of care for your safety. Drivers owe other drivers, their passengers and pedestrians a duty to act with reasonable care and follow traffic laws. Typically, this element is easy to prove if you are filing a claim against another driver. If you are planning a third-party claim against a manufacturer or commercial entity to recover compensation, proving the legal duty of care may be more complicated. 

Proving Negligence: Breach of Duty

In this element of proving negligence, you must be able to prove that the average person, given the circumstance and knowledge that the defendant had at the time, would have known that someone might have been injured as a result of his or her actions, And furthermore, the average person then would have acted differently than the defendant did in that situation. For example, the average person likely knows that drunk driving is cause for many injuries. Other examples of negligent driving include:

  • Speeding
  • Failure to yield the right of way
  • Distracted driving
  • Operating under the influence of prescription or OTC drugs
  • Unintentionally failing to provide a safe environment for other drivers and pedestrians

Proving Negligence: Causation

To prove causation, you need to show that the other party’s breach of duty is what caused your injuries. Courts look at whether the defendant’s actions produced foreseeable consequences. A negligent driver claim example would be a driver who fails to yield the right of way and causes an accident, which thus caused your injuries.

Proving Negligence: Damages

Once you establish the defendant had a legal duty, that duty was breached, and the breach of duty was the cause of your injuries, you need to show damages. Damages often come in the form of medical bills and lost wages but can also include things like pain and suffering. When you’re seriously injured, it’s also important to recover future lost earnings or medical care that may be expected down the line. 

Can You Sue a Negligent Driver?

Many times, yes you may be able to file an injury claim or lawsuit against another driver, if that driver’s negligence resulted in an injury accident. Drivers owe a ‘duty of care’ to other drivers, passengers, pedestrians and cyclists to operate their vehicle in a safe manner. When a negligent driver fails in this duty of care and causes an accident, you may be able to file a personal injury claim and seek compensation for your losses due to the accident.

Compensation for Negligent Driver Claims

New Jersey and New York are both no-fault insurance states, which means that your own personal injury protection insurance (PIP) is the first or primary source for insurance claims after an accident. That doesn’t mean that getting fair compensation for your injuries and medical treatment is easy. And, in the case of serious injury, you may also be able to file a claim against the negligent drivers policy. Compensation could include:

  • Medical bills
  • Rehabilitation expenses
  • Medications
  • Medical devices
  • Lost income
  • Future earning capacity
  • Intangible losses, like pain and suffering

Pre-existing conditions, insurance adjuster denial tactics and other factors can sometimes make it difficult to get the compensation you deserve from the insurance company. Consult with a skilled, experienced car accident lawyer to understand your options.

Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law, Can Help

If you’ve been injured in a car accident caused by a negligent driver, don’t go it alone. An experienced car accident lawyer can advocate for your best interest and pursue fair compensation for your damages. At Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law, you can count on us to work tirelessly for your quality of life. We’ve helped people just like you move forward after sustaining an injury that was caused by another’s negligence. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Posted by: Brandon J. Bro…
Date: Wed, 06/29/2022 - 13:50

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