A small percentage of collisions are the result of factors truly outside of the control of motorists. Inclement weather, catastrophic vehicle component failure and outdated road design are among the crash causes that motorists largely cannot control.
However, a significant percentage of collisions occur because of bad driving habits or illegal actions at the wheel. There is a saying that bad drivers often cause the worst crashes, and that tends to be true in many cases. Those who engage in negligent behavior at the wheel put others at far more risk than those who pay attention and make safety their top priority.
Negligence involves a lack of proper care
One of the reasons that people find the idea of negligence confusing is that it seems to be subjective. Every person has a different amount of risk that they will readily accept when going about daily activities. Some people happily ride bicycles without a helmet, while others would never dream of doing so. Therefore, what seems negligent to one person might not seem negligent to the other party involved in a crash or members of a jury. Other types of intelligence, like texting while driving or getting behind the while after drinking, are very straightforward.
For those hoping to pursue a personal injury lawsuit after a crash, understanding what constitutes negligence in a court of law is a good starting point for evaluating their case. To prove that someone else was negligent on the road, someone filing a lawsuit would typically need to convince others that what they did would seem unsafe to any other reasonable person.
For example, most people recognize that there is a degree of risk involved in texting at the wheel and that it would be negligent to shave or put on makeup while also driving. Provided that there is evidence of what actions a motorist took immediately prior to the crash and that they fall outside of best practices for personal safety, it may be possible to convince the courts that the individual who caused the crash was negligent.
What if someone denies being negligent?
It is common for those who are obviously at fault for crashes to try to diminish their personal responsibility by lying about what they did or why they did it. Getting as much objective evidence as possible to support a claim of negligence can make a big difference for an individual pursuing a personal injury lawsuit after a crash. Traffic camera footage, cell phone records and even witness statements can help prove what really happened and develop a case for a negligence-based claim.
Ultimately, recognizing when a driver’s actions open them up to financial liability may help those worried about covering the costs of a recent car wreck caused by another’s actions or inactions.