The majority of vehicle accidents are caused by the negligence of one or more drivers. Most are caused by unintentional errors, 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
- The driver did not conduct himself/herself in such a reasonable manner
- The driver caused injuries because he or she did not drive reasonably
- You were injured or suffered damages
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.
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.
Finally, there must be actual damage, typically bodily injury to you or damage to your vehicle. Even if there is a collision, without any injury or property damage, there is no cause of action.
Remember that Texas has a statute of limitations on how long you have to file a personal injury claim after you are involved in an accident. The time limit in Texas is two years from the date of the accident. The statute of limitations applies only to filing a lawsuit; it does not apply to claims filed with an insurance company.
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.