Being involved in a car accident can be very scary, even if there are no serious injuries. The truth is, no two car accident cases are the same, but most involve the same basic legal elements.
Every driver on the road has an obligation to operate his or her vehicle with reasonable care. Negligence is a legal term that refers to the degree of care expected of another party. Failure to comply with this degree of care, which results in injury or harm is considered negligence.
In relation to car accidents, negligence often refers to driving carelessly or recklessly. Negligence occurs when a driver fails to operate his or her vehicle with reasonable care.
5 Common Examples of Negligence
Some common examples of negligence include:
- Ignoring, failing to notice, or deliberately disobeying traffic signals and signs
- Driving above (or below) the speed limit
- Driving in a manner that is not consistent with current weather or traffic conditions
- Failing to signal before turning or switching lanes
- Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
If the driver violates the obligation to drive with reasonable care and causes an accident, then they may face legal liability. Legal liability includes paying for damages that arose from the accident, including property damage to the vehicle and medical expenses for any physical harm another person suffered.
4 Elements of a Car Accident Case
Virtually all car accident cases include the same elements. The injured party must prove these elements in order to obtain compensation.
- The duty of care
The injured party must show that the driver owed the victim a duty of care. As a rule, all drivers owe this duty to all other drivers and passengers on the road.
They also owe this duty to other people who may be on the road, like pedestrians or bicyclists. This duty includes not driving in a negligent manner.
- Breach of the duty
The second element is a breach of the duty. The duty has to exist, and then the other driver must have breached this duty. That is, the other driver did not drive in a way that would fulfill his or her duty of care.
The driver must have caused the damage involved in the accident. Said another way, the other driver should have caused the accident and the damage related to that accident.
The accident must have compensable damages. You cannot have a legal claim without some type of damage. This can include damage to your vehicle, damage to your passengers, or damage to yourself. It can be both physical and emotional damages.
Each car accident case is unique. Although these elements should be present in all cases, they will very slightly in each case. Be sure to speak with an experienced Port St Lucie car accident attorney as soon as possible if you think you may have a legal claim.