What Is Negligence in a Car Accident?

Any St Augustine resident who has been involved in a car accident understands the traumatic experience it can be. The adrenaline that shoots through the bloodstream during the event can leave one feeling absolutely drained afterwards, and that’s disregarding any actual injuries suffered in the crash. Attempting to make sense of it is difficult, especially if serious injuries resulted. The question of “why me” can be even more pronounced if the accident was caused by someone else’s negligence.

Many of us have heard the term negligence in common parlance, but it is important to understand that it has a very specific meaning when it comes to legal issues. It is generally a civil cause of action, or tort, and consists of several parts, or elements. It is these elements that have to be shown to have been present in order to generally hold someone else responsible for a victim’s car accident injuries.

The elements of a negligence claim basically have to do with how a hypothetical ‘reasonable person’ would have acted given the same circumstances as occurred to cause the accident. The first element is that of duty. The individual responsible for the crash must have had a legal duty to act, or not act, a certain way vis-à-vis the victim. He or she also must have been shown to have breached this duty. Further, the breach of that legal duty must have caused the injury in question, both directly (cause in-fact) and foreseeably (proximate cause). Finally, there must have been some cognizable injury to the person looking to recover.

While these elements are not always easy to prove, in cases where an individual has been injured by a drunk driver, the negligence may be assumed from the mere fact of having operated the vehicle while under the influence. Breaking the law in other ways, such as texting while driving, may also lead to a finding of negligence. St Augustine residents who have been injured in such accidents may wish to consider consulting experienced St. Augustine, Florida, Drunk And Distracted Driving Injury Lawyers.


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