The Burden Of Proving Negligence In A Car Accident Case

24 July 2015
 Categories: Law, Blog

If you have been injured in a car accident, you can be saddled with some pretty hefty medical bills. If you believe someone else was at fault for the accident, you still might not be able to claim damages from the guilty person. Instead, you will have to prove that they were at fault for the accident, and this is where the legal theory of negligence comes into play.

What Is Negligence?

Anytime you sit behind the wheel of a car, you assume the responsibility to handle the car in such a way that it will not prove a threat to you, your passengers, and to other people on the road. If you do anything that can impair your ability to drive or to handle a car in a safe way, you have breached your responsibility and can be found guilty of negligence. 

Proving Negligence

In any legal setting, you have to be able to back up a claim with abundant evidence. To demonstrate how this works, I will use the following example: you were rear-ended by someone who was texting. If you take this case to court with nothing but your word to back up your claim, you will have a hard time winning your case. On the other hand, if you have multiple eye-witnesses who saw the defendant (the person you are accusing of negligence) texting, and you have the time stamp on their phone showing that they were texting at the time of the accident, you should have enough evidence to support your claim.

Making a Claim

When you go to court, you can't just throw your evidence on the table and say, "See, this person is guilty." Instead, you need to weave the evidence into a coherent case. If you are trying to prove negligence, then you must consider what about texting constitutes a breach of responsible driving. Taking one's eyes off the road even momentarily can cause a person to miss a flash of brake lights, a piece of debris, etc. Thus, you must show that texting while driving led to inattentive driving, which in turn impaired the defendant's ability to respond when you braked. 

Building a legal case requires an understanding of legal concepts, gathering evidence, and using that evidence to build a case. If you doubt your ability to make a case and/or your ability to make your case in court, you should call on the assistance of a lawyer (like those at the firm of Gibbs and Parnell) to help you.