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Car accident victims may incur thousands in expenses and decide to file a lawsuit against the driver who caused the accident. It’s necessary to prove the driver was negligent to win a case. Negligence means that their actions or inactions caused the accident because they didn’t show due care and attention to ensure safety while driving.
Negligence claims involve these components:
Let’s explore these components and how they relate to your accident case.
Every driver has a responsibility to operate in a way that ensures the safety of everyone using the road including other drivers, passengers, bicyclists, and pedestrians. They must use a reasonable standard of care and not act in a way likely to cause harm.
Examples of things drivers should not do:
Drivers may be negligent if they don’t do something they should do to ensure safety. Examples of things drivers should do:
Florida law requires drivers to remain at the accident scene. Staying at the location allows you to give law enforcement an account of the accident, which can help them to establish whether the other driver failed to exercise a duty of care.
Drivers’ actions are compared to the steps a “reasonable person” would take in the same situation. In personal injury cases, it’s crucial to prove that the at-fault driver disobeyed traffic laws or failed to act the way a reasonable person would have. Proving one or both of these things establishes that the driver could not exercise a reasonable standard of care.
A breach of duty occurs when drivers fail to exercise a reasonable standard of care. Proving a breach of duty helps build a case against the at-fault driver for negligence.
To successfully pursue a car accident claim against another driver, it’s necessary to prove that the driver’s breach of duty caused your injuries or property damage. Two types of causation can establish that the driver’s breach of duty caused your accident.
The driver’s breach of duty was directly responsible for the accident. Hitting a car with the right of way after running a red light is an example of cause-in-fact.
The driver’s breach of duty indirectly caused the accident. Suppose a drunk driver loses control of their vehicle, runs off the road, and hits a utility pole. The pole falls and hits another vehicle on the road, causing property damage and injuries. This is an example of a proximate cause.
Damages are the expenses and losses stemming from auto accidents. Damages fall under one of two categories.
Economic damages are verifiable expenses stemming from your accident. Examples include:
Non-economic damages encompass the accident’s toll on your life in non-economic ways. Examples include:
Acknowledging and assessing non-economic damages is crucial when determining how much compensation to seek. Almost 40% of car accident victims in the United States develop PTSD because of their accidents. PTSD can cause permanent symptoms affecting your quality of life by causing emotional detachment, insomnia, flashbacks, and anxiety.
Below are some examples of negligence establishing the defendant’s breach of duty of care.
Shared or comparative fault is when both parties share responsibility for the accident. In these cases, insurance companies assign a percentage of blame to each party. The percentage determines how much a driver pays or receives in damages.
No matter who’s responsible for the accident, your insurance company will issue no-fault payouts to cover the costs of medical care. Accident victims in no-fault states can only file a lawsuit if the accident caused permanent injuries, scarring, or someone’s death.
Related: What to Do If You’ve Been Rear-Ended in a Car Accident in Tampa, FL
Car accident lawyers help accident victims pursue fair compensation. Call the Tampa car accident lawyers at Jack Bernstein Injury Attorneys for a free consultation. Jack Bernstein has represented car accident victims for over 36 years, and he’ll provide an expert opinion about your case. He uses his knowledge and experience to help every accident victim he represents as they navigate the legal process and seek compensation.
Call 813-333-6666 today to speak with Jack about your case.
Driver Medical Fitness for Duty. (2022).
The 2022 Florida Statutes. (2022).
Tull, Matthew. (2019). The Risk of PTSD After a Car Accident.