Fault or negligence is what every lawsuit hinges on. Failure to prove negligence will result either in a case being thrown out or being ruled in favor of the other party. In the case of most motor vehicle accident lawsuits, auto accident attorneys will work to prove that the other driver acted negligently in order to win your case.
There are 3 main elements that need to be present in a case in order for a driver to be found negligent.
A Failure to Drive Carefully
Drivers have a responsibility to operate their vehicle carefully and responsibly. This duty is referred to as reasonable care. Although it is sometimes difficult to prove reasonable care, the driver’s behavior can be helpful. If the defendant’s actions are deemed as being careless, then they will be found negligent and liable for damages incurred.
In Tennessee, just like the rest of the country, all drivers are legally bound to abide by a “duty of reasonable care.” For more information on the duties that drivers have on the road, read our article “5 Core Responsibilities that Every Tennessee Driver Must Follow”.
When determining whether or not someone has been negligent, their behavior is compared to how a reasonable person would have acted in the same situation. For instance, stopping at a red light, checking for pedestrians crossing the road and following another car at a safe distance are examples of a reasonable person’s driving behavior.
The Plaintiff Suffered Injured and/or Damages
In order for a case to be taken to trial, the plaintiff in the case must have been injured, lost money (i.e. hospital bills and/or wages from their job) or suffered property damage. If they’ve incurred these kinds of losses, then there is suitable cause for a claim.
The plaintiff in the case is responsible for showing evidence of any injuries and/or damage to property caused by the accident. To provide the best proof, you should keep records of injuries (including the expense(s) of seeing a physician), lost wages and evidence of property damage (including photos).
Proof that the Injuries and/or Damages were the Direct Result of Negligence
Let’s face it, not everyone in the world is honest and some could pass preexisting injuries (or damage) off as new. Even if you are an honest person, you and your attorney will have to prove that your injuries and/or damage occurred because of the defendant’s negligence.
For tips on how to avoid being in an accident in the first place, read this recent article on defensive driving.
At Gilreath & Associates, our Tennessee car accident attorneys can lend a hand to help prove negligence in the event of a car accident. Contact us today for a free consultation.