When it comes to car accidents and other personal injury claims, a case hinges upon being able to prove which driver was negligent and caused the other driver’s injuries. While this is not always an easy task, hiring an experienced personal injury attorney may help you prove your case. The following is an overview of how personal injury lawyers work to prove who caused the accident and should be liable for the other driver’s injuries and accident related expenses. If you have been hurt in a car accident, it may help you to speak with a DC personal injury lawyer for advice.
1. The Elements of a Personal Injury Case
Personal injury law requires the plaintiff to prove the other driver was at fault in an accident. If you are suspected of being at fault in an accident, the following elements must be proven before you can be found liable:
● You Had a Duty to Take Reasonable Steps to Avoid an Accident
● You Breached This Duty
● Your Actions Caused the Other Driver to Be Injured
● The Other Driver Suffered Monetary Damages from Your Negligence
The other driver must prove you did not meet your duty and caused the accident. Your attorney will use the facts of the case to prove you were not at fault.
2. You Were Negligent
Negligence or recklessness is the key to personal injury cases. While there are many different ways recklessness can cause accidents, some of the most common are:
● Driving Under the Influence
● Failing to Obey Traffic Signals and Signs
● Driving While Distracted
● Aggressive Driving or Road Rage
If these elements did not exist in your case, it is possible you will not be found liable for the other driver’s injuries under the law in your state. Your attorney will make every effort to prove that you were not negligent.
3. Was There a Presumption of Risk?
If the injured driver knew there was a risk and ignored it, you may not be found liable for his injuries under the law. This could apply if you and the other driver were engaging in dangerous activity such as street racing at the time of the crash.
4. Comparative Negligence Laws
Certain states have comparative negligence laws that may allow more than one driver to bear responsibility for the accident. This can greatly affect the amount an accident victim receives for a settlement. If you were both found to be 50 percent responsible for the accident, it would be a wash and you would not be required to pay anything more to the other driver.
5. Hiring Accident Investigators
If fault is in question in an accident, your lawyer may hire accident investigators to recreate the accident scene. Eyewitnesses to the accident may also provide information that sheds light on who was at fault.
Being involved in an accident is always stressful, especially if you are under suspicion for being negligent and causing the accident. Your attorney will use all of the resources available under the law to prove you are not guilty, so you can look forward to the future.
Thanks to our friends and contributors Cohen and Cohen, P.C. for their insight into proving fault.