While car accidents are usually unintentional and not deliberately staged, the surviving family members and loved ones of those who get injured or perished from the incident experience the most grief and sadness.
But according to a Virginia Beach personal injury lawyer, a large percentage of these fatal road crashes are the result of negligence and serves as the legal theory behind car accident lawsuits.
Let’s face it, one or more persons have been negligent of their duties and responsibilities that could have resulted to car accidents, be it a driver who was operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, a tire lug not secured properly during a routine tire check, a brake mechanism that wore off due to lack of maintenance checks, etc.
Situations and conditions like these are what a Virginia Beach personal injury attorney would refer to as a result of negligence and is something worth seriously considering to seek redress for damages or loss incurred that has been caused by accidents such as road crashes.
How negligence is defined
A Virginia Beach personal injury lawyer pointed out that a person is considered negligent if he or she has behaved in a careless or thoughtless manner that resulted in harm or injury to another person. Negligence can be action or inaction done that caused loss or damage, for instance, over-speeding or running a red light that resulted in a road crash, as well as failing to stop for a pedestrian or failed to turn on the car’s headlights when driving at night.
In short, drivers need to exercise due care and caution when operating a motor vehicle to avoid causing harm or death to other motorists, pedestrians, and passengers.
Important elements of a negligence claim in a car accident
In order for a negligence claim to process, a complainant, also known as the plaintiff, needs to file a negligent case against a defendant responsible for the car accident or road crash.
The plaintiff needs to prove that the defendant was indeed negligent based on the following elements;
The defendant has been required by law to be reasonably careful
For car accident cases, drivers are required by law to exercise extreme care and caution when meeting anyone on the road, be it pedestrians, vehicle passengers, or people in other vehicles. This is also known as the “duty of reasonable care” and is a standard expectation mandated by law.
The defendant did not exercise caution
This is when the plaintiff specifies that the defendant has breached the “duty of care” that caused the accident, wherein the defendant was found to have acted unreasonably.
For instance, car accidents that were caused by a person for failing to stop at a red light and hit a pedestrian in the process, failed to watch the road carefully for passing pedestrians and hit one, or caused a crash after being unable to apply the brakes for failing to follow another vehicle from a safe distance.
The defendant was responsible for the injuries or damages
A road crash investigation would be able to help determine the cause of the accident, and this can be done with the help of a Virginia Beach personal injury lawyer providing legal advice and handling the case.
The plaintiff suffered a loss due to injuries incurred
Such losses may include loss of earning capacity, damage to property, pain, and suffering, just to name a few. Without any of these, it would be useless to file a claim unless there was a monetary loss or provable injuries that were incurred as a result of the accident.