When pursuing a personal injury claim after an auto accident, it is generally based on the claim that the person who caused the accident acted negligently. Negligence is the failure to behave with a level of care that any reasonable person would have exercised under the same circumstances. Drivers are required by law to exercise care in the operation of their vehicle and owe a duty of care to passengers, other motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians alike. When a driver’s behavior behind the wheel breaches this duty of care, they may be considered negligent if they caused a wreck.
What actions or behaviors are considered negligent when operating a motor vehicle? Here are a few examples:
This list is by no means exhaustive of driving behaviors and actions that could be considered negligent.
An injured person in an auto accident is entitled to recover compensation for damages from the at-fault party, but they must prove that the defendant’s negligent actions actually caused their injuries. If the injury was present before the wreck or was caused in a separate incident after the wreck, you aren’t able to seek compensation for injuries.
Many of the behaviors listed above that could be considered negligent are also the top causes of auto accidents in the United States.
Accidents involving commercial vehicles, such as 18-wheelers and garbage trucks, share many of the same causes. However, other causes such as improperly secured loads are more apt to occur with commercial vehicles. Find out more in our blog post: What are the common causes of commercial vehicle accidents?
What do these common causes of auto accidents have in common? They are all preventable and caused by human choices. Reasonably careful people operating automobiles do not speed, drive drunk, drive distracted, or drive recklessly. Negligent drivers that cause injuries to other motorists should be held accountable and liable for injured victims and the damages they suffered.
In many accident cases, fault is not cut and dry. A defendant can be found negligent in an accident (due to speeding, for example) but the plaintiff (who was jaywalking across a street) may be assigned some of the fault due to their actions as well. In many states, including Texas, the comparative fault model is followed, which means that a defendant’s liability can be reduced according to how at-fault the plaintiff was in the accident that caused their injury.
Learn more about contributory and comparative fault rules in our blog post: What if I am partially to blame for my injuries caused by another person?
In addition, it may not be immediately apparent that an act of negligence took place in the aftermath of a car wreck. Auto accidents are traumatic events that unfold in a blink of an eye and are accompanied by confusion, frustration, and pain. This highlights the importance of retaining an attorney after being injured in an accident. An experienced auto accident attorney will investigate your accident, find how the at-fault party was negligent, and explore all possible means of recovery.
If you or a loved one have been injured in an auto accident, call Thomas J. Henry. Our accident lawyers are available 24/7, nights and weekends to take your call and evaluate your claim. We can provide you with a free legal consultation and help you pursue a personal injury claim. You deserve compensation for your injuries, lost wages, and medical expenses. Contact us today for your free case review.