Car accident laws are the legal statutes that help determine who is liable for the personal and property damages in an automobile accident. Car accident law is an area of tort law concerning negligence and liability in personal injury cases. Generally, car accident laws are governed by the state where the accident occurred.
Four Components of Negligence
Most states share the requirement of proof of the four elements of negligence to recover compensation for a car accident. These elements include the duty of care, breach of that duty, causation of an accident, and harm because of that accident.
Drivers are legally obliged to follow the rules of the road. Reasonably operating their vehicle means they drive at a safe speed, keep control, are aware of their surroundings, and obey all traffic and safety laws. Negligent drivers can be held responsible when they drive with reckless abandon.
If the plaintiff wants to recover damages, then they`re required to use evidence that demonstrates how the defendant breached their duty. For example, eyewitness testimony, traffic surveillance video, an admission of fault, skid marks, paint smudges, or blood alcohol readings have all be used in the past to demonstrate negligence.
The plaintiff is also charged with the burden of proving the element of causation. In past car accident claims, plaintiffs have used medical testimony to show that their injuries are consistent with the nature of the crash in which they were involved.
Lastly, the plaintiff must prove harm in their accident. The plaintiff cannot bring a negligence lawsuit unless the conduct produced damages. Once harm is properly shown, the plaintiff could be entitled to compensation for their medical expenses, pain and suffering, property damages, lost wages, and more.
Following The Law After An Accident
Each state has different requirements after an accident. However, some require that you call the police after an accident. Personal injury law experts suggest that you remain silent about who is to blame for the incident until you speak with the police. Admitting fault is a common mistake many victims make after a crash.
Steps to Take After A Car Accident
It can also be vital to your future claim if you gather witness contact information, descriptions of the road, traffic and weather conditions, and photographs of the vehicles. You should also record videos of the accident scene at different angles, showing the location of traffic lights and other signals, crosswalks, and other pertinent information from the accident scene.
Also, be sure to write down the names of the responding officers and their badge numbers. This can make it easier to get copies of the police report for your accident.
It`s of utmost importance to seek medical attention if you`re involved in an accident. Traumatic brain injuries, whiplash, and other injuries caused by your car accident could produce injuries that only appear later on.
Contacting a personal injury attorney could have a tremendous impact on the outcome of your claim. Click to learn more about the importance of legal counsel and the tactics insurance companies use to take advantage of your vulnerability.
Before making any statements to opposing counsel, or insurance companies, speak with a car accident lawyer. They understand the laws in your state that will affect your accident and have the necessary experience and knowledge to defend your claim successfully.