Proving negligence or fault in a personal injury claim is essential. In car accident claims, this means you must establish that the primary responsibility for the accident rests with another individual. Even if you are partially at fault, in most cases you can still recover damages and receive compensation as long as you’re able to show the other driver was negligent in his or her actions.
Proving Negligence with Car Accidents
Car accident claims generally fall into two main categories:
- Driver error
- All other causes
Proving negligence in a driver error claim is usually easier. You simply need to show the driver was distracted, failed to act appropriately under the circumstances, or was impaired in some way from performing his or her car driver duties and responsibilities while operating a vehicle.
A driver talking on or texting with a cell phone or distracted by a child in the back seat are just a couple of examples of circumstances in which proving negligence may be fairly simple. This is especially true if there were witnesses or traffic camera footage of the accident.
Witnesses, accident reports, information from the scene, and other details obtained through photographs, observations, and interviews can all be useful in establishing negligence in all types of car accident cases.
Comparative and Contributory Negligence in Car Accidents
Whether you’re seeking damages from an insurance company or need to file as a lawsuit, you must establish negligence in order to win your argument and receive compensation. States laws dictate what system is used to determine negligence and decide if compensation is owed in a claim or lawsuit. There are three systems:
- Pure comparative negligence, which allows you to receive compensation even if you are significantly at fault for the accident
- Modified comparative negligence, which means you can share responsibility and still get compensation, as long as the other driver is primarily at fault for the accident
- Contributory negligence, which demands you hold no responsibility for the accident if you’re to receive compensation
Most states employ the modified comparative negligence rule, though Alabama, Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. use contributory negligence in determining car accident claims.
It’s important to understand comparative negligence is a complex argument to establish. It can affect not just whether you receive compensation but also how much you get. The money paid to you for your injuries is typically reduced by your degree of fault. Making a strong argument for negligence is therefore central to a successful claim.
How a Lawyer can Help Determine Negligence for a Car Accident Claim
A lawyer’s ability to analyze the elements of car accident negligence claims has a significant impact on the outcome of a claim. Establishing negligence means proving the other driver failed to exercise car driver duties under the law.
An attorney accustomed to handling car accident claims in your home state understands the laws and statutes that govern negligence. They know how to obtain the necessary information to prove the other driver’s liability for the accident. They can also help you establish a defense, since the other driver can make a case that influences whether you receive compensation and how much.