If you have been hurt in a car accident that was someone else’s fault, you are probably considering filing a personal injury lawsuit against the person who caused the accident. The world of personal injury and civil lawsuits can be overwhelming, particularly if this is your first time being involved in the court system. You may already be overwhelmed just reading up on personal injury lawsuits and reading words like “complaint,” “damages,” and “negligence.” The best person to answer your questions about your potential case and also about the legal process of filing a case is a qualified personal injury attorney who specializes in car accident cases. However, this article seeks to address one of the most common questions that plaintiff’s have in civil lawsuits: What is negligence?
In civil court, negligence is one of the things you have to prove to succeed in your personal injury lawsuit against the person who caused your injury. Very basically, negligence occurs when someone was supposed to act a certain way and failed to do so. In the context of car accidents, it means that another driver was supposed to take a certain amount of care while driving not to hurt others or cause and accident and that driver did not.
In some states, if another driver violated a traffic law, he or she is automatically considered negligent by the court. This means that if another driver runs a red light and hits you causing you to be injured, the other driver was almost certainly driving negligently. In another example, if a driver was going over the speed limit when he or she caused the accident, it is likely that the driver was acting negligently at the time of the accident. Other examples of cases where another driver can be found negligent include if the other driver was driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, if the other driver rear-ended your vehicle, or if the other driver was distracted while driving by looking at a cellphone, playing with the radio, or arguing with a passenger.
To prove negligence, you must offer evidence. Evidence comes in many different forms and may be your own testimony about what you saw at the time of the accident, testimony from other eyewitnesses, and testimony from the responding police officer. Evidence may also come in the form of photographs taken at the scene, skid marks on the road, damage patterns in your vehicle, and the police report.
Even if you are able to prove that the other driver in the accident was negligent, you are not home free. You will also need to prove that the driver’s negligence was the cause of your injury, and you will need to prove the extent of your injury. To prove these other elements, you must also offer evidence to the court which may come in the form of testimony, medical records, or other documents.
The legal system is complicated and it is best navigated with the help of a qualified and experienced attorney who specializes in representing plaintiffs who were injured in car accidents. Reach out to an auto accident lawyer Charlottesville, VA trusts today to get started.
Thanks to MartinWren, P.C. for their insight into personal injury law and negligence in car accidents.