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How to Prove That You Have Legitimate Claims of Negligence Against the Other Driver
How do we know whether or not we have a successful personal injury case against a negligent driver-defendant who should reimburse us for our injuries? All true accident victims are successful in collecting damages by proving the four elements of a car accident claim. Since you will be the one asking for compensation, the burden to you, the injured plaintiff, is to prove you are owed these damages by the defendant(s) whose only legal obligation is to deny your claim.
There are four elements to proving injuries against a defendant in any personal injury case. You must clearly – and sequentially – demonstrate your charges are true. They are first: duty, then breach, followed by causation, and finally damages. A brief overview of each is below: More on this website
Duty: All defendants owe you a duty of care to exercise an appropriate level of caution to ensure that you would not get hurt. Texas Civil Codes and Procedures set the level of duty that a person or organization owes to another depending on the circumstances of the situation that are considered, within the relationship of the parties involved at the time. Proving that the defendant owed you at least some duty of care will probably be fairly uncomplicated since nearly all drivers owe each other the general duty to drive reasonably in order to keep others safe. Unless there are unusual circumstances, and there are a few, the chances are that a general “reasonable person standard” applies to the defendant (or defendants) in your case.
Breach: In the vast majority of personal injury cases, plaintiffs and their attorneys need to clearly show that the defendant drove in a way that a reasonable person would not have driven. If the defendant in your case drives unreasonably only for the moments immediately leading up to your car wreck, he can be held responsible for the consequences of his negligent actions that caused you harm. Successfully proving that the defendant breached his duty of care is done when you and your attorney present evidence to remove any doubt that what the defendant did (or failed to reasonably do) caused the car wreck. The jurors in your case will consider your charges of the breach along with additional evidence that clearly illustrates the defendant’s actions (and malicious intent if it was present). Then during their deliberations, they rule the defendant behaved either reasonably or unreasonably. Offenses such as speeding, recklessness, driving at night without headlights, running through red lights, driving while intoxicated, and more can constitute a breach of the defendant’s duty of care, even if they may not have been legally charged for these offenses in criminal court.
Causation: You must now demonstrate that the defendant breached his duty of care through negligence. But simply showing that this person might have been negligent isn’t always enough to win. Because in his attempts to deny causation, a defendant will often argue “unforeseeable circumstances” such as other drivers, pedestrians, or even you, caused the wreck instead. This is the last resort for an accident defendant to wiggle out of liability for your injuries. So expect them to swing from the floor and claim anything from a homeless person stepping in their way and forcing them to hit your vehicle, to their toddler throwing a bottle of apple juice at the driver. Maybe it happened, maybe it didn’t. But how do you disprove the defense? So you and your auto accident injury lawyer must thwart their excuses, or the happy defendant is able to evade liability and their compensatory obligation. It’s terribly important to have sufficient evidence to prove any defense that is thrown at you and nail down the defendant’s conduct that seriously injured you or your family member.
Damages: It’s now time to establish the amount of money you are entitled to collect from the defendant and hand him the bill. The term “damages” is the sum total of an injured victim’s financial losses; the actual amount of money they must recover in an insurance claim or civil lawsuit.
Put our years of experience to work for you. If you want to know what your rights are, how to proceed with your claim, and how much compensation you can secure from your auto accident case, call our Law Firm now for a free consultation and find out how we can help you.