When people talk about car crashes and lawsuits seeking damages, the word “negligence” will almost inevitably come up. This is because most claims filed in the aftermath of a motor vehicle accident are against a driver or other party accused of being negligent.
From the context, you likely understand that negligence has something to do with dangerous behaviors. However, if you are going to file a lawsuit, specificity is crucial. With this in mind, readers should understand some of the finer points of negligence and how they relate to a legal claim.
A duty must exist
In order for a driver to be considered negligent, he or she must owe a duty of care to the injured party. This duty is a legal obligation to use reasonable care to prevent harmful situations. Any driver on Texas roads owes a duty to other motorists.
Someone must have breached that duty
A driver is negligent if he or she breaches the duty to exercise reasonable care. This can include drinking and driving, speeding, running through red lights, using a cellphone while driving, and virtually any other behavior that strays from reasonable care to prevent harm.
The breach caused foreseeable harms
The breach of duty must be the cause of injuries reasonably foreseeable by the defendant. If the cause of injuries is more remote or were not foreseeable, a negligence claim may not be supported.
The conduct in question must have caused damages
If no one is injured as a result of unsafe conduct, a negligence claim would not be filed.
The importance of each element
As you can see, the legal concept of negligence is more nuanced than you might expect, and you will need to establish each element in order for a claim to be successful.
With all this in mind, we urge readers to take seriously their option to consult a personal injury attorney after a serious car accident. There could be significant damages on the line, and without a legal background and experience, you could wind up making costly mistakes and missing out on a successful claim.