Every time we leave our homes, we unconsciously hope to return unscathed and healthy. Unfortunately, car accidents are an all too common reality that can cause serious injury or death; the worst part is that many of these incidents could have been avoided if someone had not acted carelessly or recklessly. Under the law, this type of conduct constitutes negligence – a legal term for behavior which leads to severe injuries and losses due to an avoidable incident.
At Beharry Law Firm, we make it our mission to ensure accident victims obtain the compensation they deserve. We are steadfast in refusing any lowball offers and will fight tooth-and-nail for maximum recompense - even if that means going all the way to trial!
Proving Who Is Liable in A Car Accident Claim
In order to establish who was responsible for the car accident, the victim must take action and prove that the other driver was liable. There will be times when both drivers share some blame, so a thorough examination of all evidence is required by the court in order to accurately assign degrees of fault among them.
Indiana's comparative negligence laws enable individuals to be compensated for their losses, even if they are partly responsible. For example, one driver could be completely at fault (100%), while the other is not accountable at all (0%). Alternately, perhaps someone was 30% liable and another 70%. As long as a person is 50% or less responsible for an accident, then that individual can still recover damages - albeit reduced by his/her degree of responsibility.
Collecting the necessary evidence and employing an attorney to present your case in court is imperative for demonstrating fault convincingly. The more skillfully you can demonstrate the other party’s negligence (and your innocence), while simultaneously boosting the likelihood of achieving a higher settlement.
When trying to determine who is at fault, there are several pieces of evidence you can use as proof. These include:
- Accident reports
- Witness testimonies
- Knowledge of state and local ordinances
- Traffic video surveillance
- Photos of the accident scene
- Weather reports
- Expert testimonies (i.e. from accident reconstructionists or highway safety managers)
Understanding Four Elements Needed to Prove Negligence in Car Accident Cases
Determining fault for negligence hinges upon proving the four elements of duty of care, breach of duty, causation and damages. Should these components be shown to exist then legal action should be taken against any person or organization that did not act with reasonable caution. Establishing each element is paramount in producing a persuasive argument which can hold an individual responsible for repaying any harm suffered by victims.
Duty of Care
Establishing negligence begins by affirming that the defendant had a duty of care they neglected. Duty of care is known as the legal responsibility an individual has towards others to use reasonable caution and attentiveness in order to protect them from harm. Every motorist on public roads is legally required to adhere to this duty, providing safety for themselves and all other drivers around them.
Breach of Duty
After establishing that the defendant held a responsibility of care towards you, it is necessary to demonstrate how this duty was neglected. This will depend on the details surrounding your accident. The most common breach of care in driving scenarios involve operating under the influence or disregarding traffic signals (such as running red lights). Both these factors - Duty of Care and Breach of Duty - are integral elements to any negligence case. The compilation of evidence emphatically shows that the defendant was culpable for their negligence, thus placing them in a position of legal accountability for any consequent damages.
In order to concretely prove the defendant is liable, we must demonstrate that their breach of duty was a direct and proximate cause of your injury as well as any losses you incurred. The stronger this link between negligence and harm, the more solid your case for compensation becomes. Therefore, it's crucial to show that if not for the actions taken by them, you would have never experienced these injuries or endured such pain in the first place.
Evidence of Damages
The last piece of the puzzle is to demonstrate that you endured some type of monetary, emotional, or physical harm as a result of the defendant's behavior. This means providing proof for your injuries and other losses such as:
- Lost wages
- Lost capacity to work and lost work promotions
- Future medical bills
- Medical aides and transportation expenses
- The cost of hiring someone to do household tasks you normally would perform
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Disfigurement or permanent disability
- The negative impact the accident had on your social, professional and family life
By confirming these damages and their extent, you will have successfully established how much compensation should be owed to you due to another party’s misconduct.
Reach Out To Our Experienced Car Accident Lawyer Today
While it may appear to be a straightforward process to prove negligence in the case of an intoxicated driver, car accident claims tend to have many more complexities than meet the eye. Insurance companies are always looking for ways out and seeking methods that will reduce their overall financial loses; because of this, proving negligence is anything but easy.
The Beharry Law Firm is dedicated to providing clients with the proof and evidence needed to develop a powerful case of negligence and fault. We have our customers' best interests at heart, so rest assured that we will do everything within our power for you to get the most favorable result possible. Now's your chance - book an appointment with us today!