How to Prove Negligence in a Car Accident Claim
Posted On behalf of Schmidt Kramer on May 30, 2017 in Car Accidents
If you were injured a car accident in Pennsylvania, you may be able to file a claim to recover compensation for medical bills and any lost wages as a result of your injury.
However, in order to file a claim you will need to prove the other driver’s negligence directly resulted in causing your traffic collision.
Proving negligence in a car accident claim can be difficult and will require you to collect enough evidence to build a viable case against the at-fault party.
To do this, you should consult Schmidt Kramer’s auto accident attorneys to determine how you can prove the at-fault party’s negligence caused your injuries.
Elements of a Negligence Claim
The most important factor needed to bring a successful claim against the at-fault party in a car accident is showing that his or her negligence caused your pain and suffering.
Negligence is a term used to describe reckless disregard for human life and the well-being of others.
In a car accident injury claim, the at-fault party will be considered legally liable for causing your injury if he or she is found guilty of negligence.
There are four elements that define negligence that must have been present at the time of your car accident in order to recover damages from the at-fault party.
Your first step in proving negligence is to show the at-fault party had a duty to ensure your safety and the safety of other motorists and pedestrians sharing the roadway.
This is referred to as the “duty of reasonable care,” which obligates every motorist in Pennsylvania to follow the state’s traffic laws and drive in a safe and reasonable manner.
2. Breach of Duty
A breach of duty refers to any action that does not reflect the behavior or decisions of a reasonably prudent person under similar circumstances.
In cases of negligence, a reasonably prudent person is a legal term used to describe an individual whose actions are responsible and considerate of others’ safety.
Proving a breach of duty will require you to show that a reasonably prudent person would have behaved differently than the at-fault driver and would not have resulted in causing you harm.
In a car accident claim, a breach of duty would occur when a motorist operates a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol and runs a red light, causing a traffic collision.
In this instance, the motorist failed to uphold his or her obligation to drive sober and follow the state’s traffic laws, and as a result, crashed into another vehicle.
The third element needed to establish negligence is to prove causation, meaning the at-fault driver’s actions directly caused your injury.
This will require you to show that the at-fault driver’s negligence is the only reason you suffered injury or damages, and that this would not have occurred had he or she behaved as a reasonably prudent person would.
For instance, causation can be established when a motorist runs a red light and crashes into your vehicle as you cross the intersection. Had the motorist followed the law and stopped when the traffic light turned red, your collision would not have occurred.
The final factor that must exist in your car accident claim is that you suffered “actual damages” because of the at-fault driver’s failure to exercise reasonable care.
Actual damages refer to any financially measureable loss you suffered during and after the accident. You must be able to prove that you were either physically injured or that you suffered property damage in order to file a car accident claim.
This can include damage to your vehicle or personal property, medical expenses, or lost wages if your injury prevents you from working.
Contact our Car Accident Attorneys for a Free Consultation
The effects a car accident can have on a victim and his or her family are severe and only made worse when the collision is caused by another’s negligence.
At Schmidt Kramer, our Harrisburg car accident lawyers are proficient in proving negligence and may be able to help you establish liability against the at-fault party in your traffic collision. We can begin our review of your claim during a free, no obligation consultation.
We understand the difficult situation car accident victims are placed in, which is why we provide our services on a contingency fee basis. This means you do not have to pay our attorneys any upfront legal fees and are only required to pay if we recover damages for your claim.
Call (888) 476-0807 if you were injured by a negligent driver.