The majority of vehicle accidents are caused by the negligence of one or more drivers. Most are caused by unintentional errors (hence the term "accident"), and in these situations you will need to establish a case for negligence.
To prove negligence, you must demonstrate four things:
- The defendant driver had a duty to drive in a reasonable manner.
Drivers are under a duty to operate vehicles in a reasonable manner to prevent injuries to others. Traffic regulations exist to impose this duty. Accidents usually occur as a result of traffic law violations, such as driving over the speed limit or ignoring red lights.
If there is no traffic violation, a driver still has a responsibility to use ordinary care. This means conducting yourself as a normal person would under similar driving circumstances.
- The driver did not conduct himself/herself in such a reasonable manner.
Breaking a traffic regulation automatically amounts to a breach of duty simply because the law established the duty. However, some circumstances provide defenses to the defendant, such as colliding with another car while swerving to avoid an unexpected hazard like a falling tree.
- The driver caused injuries because he or she did not driver reasonably.
To prove negligence, there must be a close connection between the driver's conduct and your damages or injuries. If the accident is not the driver's fault, but was caused by a defect in the vehicle unknown to the driver, you will have difficulty proving the driver was negligent.
- You actually were injured or suffered damages.
Finally, there must be actual damage, typically bodily injury to you or to your vehicle. Even if there is a collision, without any injury or property damage, there is no negligence.
If you or someone you love has been injured as a result of an accident, our Texas personal injury attorneys have the experience and resources to help you through this difficult time and obtain just compensation for your injuries. Please call 800-248-6000 or contact us for a free consultation.