Car accident law refers to those legal underpinnings and guidelines that help determine who is at fault in a car accident and the extent to which such damages can be compensated in the event of a car accident. This field of law confines itself to the principles of negligence as they are applicable to specific personal injury cases that may be brought to the court for determination. Just like other cases that deal with or invoke negligence law, litigation involving car accidents is entirely covered by the state law.
The state law requires that accident victims prove the four basic elements, including duty, causation, breach, and harm. Duty means that drivers are legally bound to obey the traffic rules and operate their cars in a manner that is reasonable. This has to do with the driver ensuring that he or she drives safely without speeding, maintaining control, observing traffic signals and laws, as well as exercising awareness and care.
The existence of a duty of care is usually accepted widely since every person who takes on driving a vehicle takes the duty in his or her hands. Therefore, there is no doubt that such a person ought to accept the obligation or owes a duty of care to the passengers and other road users. However, the plaintiff will be expected to provide evidence that the defendant breached the duty bestowed on him or her.
On the other hand, a breach can be established by evidence provided by statements by eyewitnesses, traffic surveillance video as well as the admission of fault by the defendant. In other cases, the plaintiff may fall back to circumstantial evidence, such as blood alcohol record, skid marks and such other evidence that can prove his or her case.
However, the fact that the defendant was undoubtedly under duty does not mean that he or she breached that duty and that such led to the harm. This means that the plaintiff must prove the most critical element of causation. When such a time comes, medical testimony or reports that are consistent with the nature of the accident will come in handy to demonstrate the cause-effect existing between the breach and the injuries sustained. The plaintiff will need to show that such injuries never existed before the occurrence of the accident.
Finally, the plaintiff must prove harm. No matter how reckless the defendant was while behind the wheels, the plaintiff does not have an express permission to or green light to bring a negligence lawsuit unless it is proven that such conduct caused damage or injuries. In other words, “near miss” cases do not stand the test of law. This means that you cannot say that you escaped death by a whisker and that you should be compensated on that basis. Once the plaintiff establishes that there was harm, he or she is entitled to compensation for the expenses, lost incomes, pain, anguish, and pain arising out of the defendant’s lack of duty of care.
You Need a Car Accident Lawyer to Prove Your Case
Demonstrating that you are entitled to compensation by proving the four critical elements can be a tricky affair, especially if you do not have any legal background. For this reason, it is important to hire a car accident lawyer to help prosecute your case if you have to win and obtain a favorable compensation.