The turbulent times after a serious car accident could be very stressful. You will be confused with questions and concerns regarding what to do next. Of course, the first thing to do in this situation is not to panic. Stay calm and try to figure things out one at a time. One of the best things that could relieve you is knowing that you can claim compensation for the harm caused. You are fully protected regardless of the location or type of accident you happened to be in. Below is a discussion of the ways in which you can assert the negligence of the other party in a car accident.
Asserting Liability in a Car Accident
Proving guilt in a car accident requires you to fulfill the criteria of negligence. These are a duty of care, a breach of duty, causation, and damages.
- Duty of Care – The duty of care in the context of car accidents is the sense of responsibility that the drivers have towards their surroundings as well as others who are also traveling on the same road. This also includes respect for fellow drivers.
- Breach of Duty – A breach of duty is used to refer to any action that fails to perform the duty of care. A driver who violates a red-light signal and crashes against another car is clearly breaching the duty. Similarly, a driver who is distracted by using a mobile phone instead of paying attention to the road to cause a rear-end collision is also guilty of the same.
- The Element of Causation – The element of causation is referred to those factors that could have avoided the accident. This includes things that could have been foreseen in any circumstance. Although this sounds simple, this could get quite tricky sometimes. For instance, an accident could be caused by the negligence of two or more parties involved in an accident. This means that there is more than one cause for the accident. Consider an accident in which a driver drove through an intersection and hit a speeding driver who failed to come to a stop. In this case, one could argue that the second driver was also responsible for the accident as he/she was traveling too fast. In such cases, pure comparative negligence system is applied in the state of California. This determines the percentage of responsibility that each party has in the accident and penalizes them accordingly.
- Damages Caused –The final element required to prove guilt is the extent of damages caused. This necessitates you to prove all the economic as well as non-economic damages that were brought about in the accident. You can take the help of a car accident lawyer in this case to compile all the legal documents, eyewitnesses, and expert testimonies required to prove the same.