Proving negligence, assessing damages: Things to know after a crash

By |2022-01-06T18:37:55+00:00June 14th, 2017|

It’s an understatement to say it can be challenging at times to navigate busy California roadways. Many areas are traffic-laden every day and not every driver is alert and acting with caution behind the wheel. In fact, some are downright reckless. Accidents caused by distracted drivers are on the rise throughout the nation. A major culprit leading to such incidents is texting while driving.

If you’re involved in a collision that someone else caused, you may be entitled to significantly more compensation than the insurance company initially offers. However, you will need a strong case to prove the other driver’s negligence, as well as the extent of your injuries and their cost. Here are some important things to understand about negligence and motor vehicle accidents.

Careless behavior contributing to the injury of another

Any time someone’s actions cause another person injury, there may be questions of negligence or recklessness on the part of the at-fault party. Following are basic facts regarding how to determine if another person was negligent in the accident that caused your injury:

  • With regard to driving, every motorist is obligated to ensure, as much as reasonably possible, the safety of those who share the road. This means each driver owes a duty to the others. Whether a defendant owed a duty to a plaintiff is a main question the court considers when determining whether negligence exists.
  • Since you know another driver has a duty to you, the next question is whether the other driver breached that duty.
  • If the person who hit you was drunk, distracted or reckless (among other things), it’s plausible to say that your injuries wouldn’t have occurred if he or she had not chosen to engage in a risky or dangerous behavior. This is known as a “but for” clause and is necessary to prove negligence.
  • If you suffer emotional, physical or economic damages, you may receive a monetary judgment if you prove those damages to the court’s satisfaction once it rules that the other party was negligent.

Assessing the full cost of the accident

Recovering from an automobile accident can be arduous and challenging in many ways. Perhaps your job is at risk because you couldn’t return to your duties because of your injuries. You might struggle to make ends meet when medical bills start rolling in. Those who suffer full or permanent disability must adapt to lives that will likely never be the same post-recovery. All of these things may need to be considered to determine the full cost of an injury resulting from a motor vehicle accident.

If you have been injured by a distracted driver, your recovery is most important. While you recover, though, it may be difficult to cover all of the legal bases to ensure that you receive full and fair compensation. An experienced personal injury lawyer can handle these matters, including all correspondence with the insurance company, while you focus on healing.


About the Author:

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Doug Easton has practiced law since 1971. After 20 years of practicing with various large litigation firms, he founded the Law Offices of W. Douglas Easton in 1991 as a solo practitioner. In the years that followed, Doug’s sons Brian and Matt joined him in the practice and helped build the firm into a powerful force to help right the wrongs done to their clients. Much of their success over the years has stemmed from the dynamic created by the familial nature of the firm and how harmoniously they all work together, each of their individual strengths complementing and fortifying the group as a whole. Accordingly, the firm changed its name to Easton & Easton, LLP in 2014 to better reflect the true dynamic of the firm and Doug now serves as Managing Partner of Easton & Easton. In 2015, Doug was selected as a Top 100 Litigation Lawyer in California by The American Society of Legal Advocates. In addition, Doug is listed in Strathmore’s Who’s Who, and in 2008 was named its “Professional of the Year” in Medical Malpractice.
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