In motor vehicle accidents, legal claims usually arise from allegations of negligence. Negligence typically refers to careless or irresponsible conduct that results in harm or damage. It can also be defined as doing something that a reasonably prudent person would not do under the same or similar circumstances or failing to do something that a reasonably prudent person would do under the same or similar circumstances. Generally speaking, a driver is negligent if he or she fails to use reasonable care to avoid foreseeable harm to another driver, automobile passenger, or pedestrian.
Negligence is a consistent factor occurring in the majority of motor vehicle accidents. In terms of vehicle accidents, negligence encompasses both active and passive faults; for example, forgetting to yield may result in the same consequences as intentionally running a stop sign. Additional examples of negligent driving faults include:
- Passing when it is unsafe to do so
- Failure to signal when turning
- Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
Recklessness is one type of negligence that can contribute to auto accidents. It is a conscious disregard for the possible consequences and safety of other motorists. Road rage often leads to reckless driving and is the cause of numerous auto accidents every year.
If negligence is proved, the guilty party may have to pay for damages or car accident injuries to persons or damaged property that resulted from his or her negligence. The injured party is known as the plaintiff and the alleged offender is called the defendant. Three things need to be proved in such a car accident lawsuit:
- That the defendant was negligent
- That the negligence was the cause of the accident
- That the accident was the cause of the plaintiff’s injuries or damages to the plaintiff’s property.
An auto accident lawyer can help you determine if negligence was the cause of your car accident injuries and advise you of your rights to recover compensation.