July 19, 2024

Legal BUX

Law Blog

Elements of Negligence in a Car Accident

Inattentive conduct that ends up causing harm to another person is called negligence. In the case of a car accident, negligence involves a failure to do something the driver is lawfully expected to do, like waiting for pedestrians or turning headlights in the dark. It also consists in doing something he should not do, like rash driving, speeding, driving under the influence, etc.

After the accident, the injured person holds the right to file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver or seek financial compensation from their insurance company. A Tacoma car accident attorney guides you through the available legal options and helps to gather and prepare evidence as well as testimonies to be represented in court. However, to strengthen a claim, one must ensure that it complies with all the elements of negligence. 

Elements of negligence: Explained!

  • Duty of care

To prove that the defendant (the driver at fault) acted negligently, the first thing to be assessed is whether he owed the plaintiff a legal duty of care. The driver is legally required to drive so that no harm is caused to others, and he is mindfully driving his vehicle. He should not operate in a manner likely to cause injury to others and obey traffic rules.

  • Breach of duty of care

 The court next checks if the defendant breached that duty by doing something that an average reasonable man would not do in a similar situation. Acts of negligence may involve failure to stop at a red light, driving under the influence, speeding, tailgating, or not using turn signals.

  • Causation

The third element of negligence requires proof of harm caused to the plaintiff by the defendant. It is integral as failure to prove this would make the defendant unreliable, and the plaintiff would be denied compensation for the damages. Therefore, it is necessary to have proper proof of the losses to consolidate the case’s validity and prove that the driver’s breach of duty is the proximate cause of the harm.

  • Damages

This is the last element of negligence. It requires the court to compensate for the damages incurred by the plaintiff. The plaintiff is entitled to monetary compensation for medical assistance and property repair expenses.

All the elements of negligence play a vital role in this case. In order to win a negligent driving claim, all four elements must be proven. Your attorney in Tacoma can help you prove negligence and ensure you get the deserving compensation.