Drivers who are concerned about negligence in car accidents should consider the factors that determine whether a driver is at fault for a crash. Negligence has a precise legal definition that may be different from how it is defined in casual conversation. Understanding how negligence is defined can help the victim of a car accident determine whether he or she has a case against the driver who is believed to have caused the accident.
First, there needs to be evidence that there was a loss or personal injury that resulted from the driver’s actions. For instance, while a driver may have failed to keep his or her vehicle in good condition, the lack of proper maintenance on the vehicle needs to have directly caused the collision for the court to consider it negligence. As an example, if the other driver’s vehicle had broken headlights, that might lead to the court determining the driver was at fault but only if the accident happened at night or in inclement weather that reduced visibility.
For a driver to be determined negligent, there also needs to be evidence that he or she did not exercise reasonable care. An example of failure to exercise reasonable care can include swerving, texting while driving or failing a Breathalyzer test. Other examples of failure to exercise reasonable care are speeding, following too closely and failing to adhere to traffic laws.
If a driver or passenger suffers an injury as a result of a car accident and believes the other driver is at fault, he or she may consider consulting an attorney with experience in personal injury and motor vehicle crashes. Determining fault can be a complicated issue, but a qualified attorney may be able to help a victim decide if the case is worth pursuing in court.