Driver negligence is the cause for many car accidents. A driver is considered negligent if he or she drives carelessly, resulting in harm to another person or damage to property. There are many ways in which a person could drive negligently. Most states have laws that define the “rules of the road.” Should a driver violate any of these rules, he or she would have been negligent and responsible for any damage that results from this negligence. For example, most drivers have a duty to drive at a reasonable, prudent speed. This means that not only must drivers drive according to posted speed limits; drivers must also drive in a reasonable manner given the existing road and weather conditions. Drivers must also avoid distracted driving. This means that engaging in activities such as texting while driving would be failing to exercise reasonable care while driving. Similarly, driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol are both against the law, and would result in liability for the offending driver.
If you are injured in a car accident caused by another driver and you believe that that driver was negligent, the negligent driver may be liable to you for damages in a personal injury lawsuit. To prevail, you must first show that the driver had a duty to you to drive with care. Because most state laws requires drivers to operate their vehicles in a “careful and prudent manner” so as to not cause harm to others, then all drivers have a duty to other drivers.
Furthermore, you must show that the driver’s negligence caused your injuries and that you suffered damages. For example, if you sue to recover damages based on a back injury, you must show that you sustained the back injury in the car accident and that you did not hurt your back in a fall two days prior to the accident. Your medical records will provide key evidence as to the injuries that you sustained in the car accident. The negligent driver may have to pay for your emergency room visit, surgery, rehabilitation, visits to the doctor, medication, assistive equipment and future related medical expenses. In addition, the negligent driver may be liable for other economic losses you sustained such as lost wages or loss of earning capacity. The negligent driver may also have to compensate you for damage to your property, such as the damage to your vehicle. A court may also award you non-economic damages such as pain and suffering or punitive damages.