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What is Negligence in a Car Accident Injury Claim?

Posted on in Personal Injury

In the world of personal injury law, proving that another party was negligent is a critical component of nearly any claim. Although many people understand the dictionary definition of negligence, it can be far more complex a sa legal theory. In this blog, our New York personal injury attorneys discuss the elements of negligence as it applies to car accident cases.

How is Negligence Defined?

When another driver is negligent behind the wheel of a car, truck, or other vehicle, they have essentially acted in a way which is careless or reckless. Typically, this will include any action that should not have been taken, such as speeding excessively, as well as actions which were not taken but should have been, such as stopping at marked intersection. Drivers in New York have a responsibility to use reasonable care or caution while driving, and failure to act in this way can potentially be negligence.

How is Negligence Proven?

While negligence is a fairly easy concept to understand, proving that another driver acted negligently in court is an entirely different issue. There are four basic elements of proving a negligence claim:

  1. You must prove that the other driver was legally required to act responsibly or reasonably careful. Typically, this can be relatively easy for your New York car accident lawyer to prove, as the responsibilities of a driver are laid out clearly in the NYS driver’s manual. For example, all drivers have a responsibility to stop at a red light.
  2. You must prove that the other driver was not careful. Once you’ve proven that the driver was required to act in a certain way, you then must prove that they didnot act in that way at the time of an accident. Actions like running a red light are obvious breaches of this “duty of care,” but other situations aren’t so straightforward. In those cases, your attorney must prove that the driver did not act in the same way that a normal,reasonably prudent individual would act in the same circumstances.
  3. You must prove that the other driver caused your injuries. Unsurprisingly, you must prove that a party actually injured you before you can get compensation from them. This is often done through expert testimony from doctors and other medical specialists, as well as with your personal medical records.
  4. You must prove that your injuries are eligible for compensation. Your New York car accident attorney can rely on medical records/bills,property damage estimates, and expert testimony to prove that you actually did suffer injuries which are eligible for recovery.

Pursue Justice For Your Injuries

If you’ve suffered serious injuries due to someone else’s negligent driving, you owe it to yourself and your family to pursue fair compensation.At Ivey, Barnum & O'Mara, LLC, we believe that you’ve suffered enough after a major crash - you shouldn’t be responsible for the high cost of medical treatment, rehabilitation, and property damage as well. When you retain our firm, you can expect skilled representation from an attorney who is truly committed to your best interests.

Don’t settle for less than you deserve. Call our firm today at 203-661-6000 to schedule your free consultation.

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