Negligence is simply a legal theory that’s the basis for most vehicle accident cases. If you were involved in a traffic accident and you intend to sue the other driver or you’re being sued, the chances are that you have heard the word ‘negligence.’ However, what does negligence mean, and how do you prove it? Here is everything you need to know.
According to MG Law, when an entity is negligent, it means that they have behaved in a careless or thoughtless manner, which caused the incident resulting in injuries and other damages. An entity can be negligent by making choices that they shouldn’t have done (like speeding or running a red light) or by not doing something that they should have done (like stop for a pedestrian or failing to yield).
Generally, negligence is a legal theory commonly used in traffic accident lawsuits. Drivers must be careful to prevent incidents that could harm other drivers, pedestrians, or passengers. If you are not reasonably careful and your actions cause injuries to someone, you may be held responsible for the incident and the consequential damages.
Important elements of negligence
The plaintiff or a person who brings the lawsuit should prove that the defendant was negligent. Here are the essential elements of a negligence claim that you must prove.
The law required the accused to be reasonably careful: In traffic accident lawsuits, the law requires every driver to exercise caution when encountering other road users. This is commonly known as the “duty of reasonable care.’
The accused wasn’t careful: That means the defendant breached or violated the duty of care. When it comes to determining whether a driver was sufficiently cautious, the law compares the accused’s conduct with the conduct expected from a reasonable driver. For instance, it is expected that a reasonable driver shouldn’t run a red light, should always watch for crossing pedestrians, and follow the vehicle in front at the recommended safe distance.
The accused’s conduct resulted in the plaintiff’s injuries: The plaintiff should also prove that the accused’s misconduct caused the injuries. For instance, if the defendant was over speeding and crashed into your car, there is a high chance that their actions were the direct cause of your injuries.
The victim of the accident suffered losses or injuries: The plaintiff in a traffic accident case is entitled to compensation for lost wages, loss of earning capacity, injuries, pain & suffering, and any form of property damage. If there were no provable injuries or monetary losses, the plaintiff could not recover any form of compensation.
Seek legal help
Proving these elements of negligence claims is more challenging than most people think. Keep in mind that failure to prove any of these elements could result in denial of your claim. This is the main reason you should seek the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer who can protect your interest and fight for your rights.