What is Car Accident Law? This subset of personal injury law deals with legal claims that arise when compensable injuries and/or property damages are sustained in a car accident. A car accident is defined as “a road traffic collision which includes a road vehicle and either another road user or a stationary roadside object.”
Establishing negligence is key in a car accident lawsuit since it usually determines who is at fault, and therefore who is liable (legally responsible). Negligence may be found when an individual failed to use reasonable care and this action or failure to act resulted in injury or harm to another individual. This legal theory is an essential element for a successful car accident injury claim. Negligence can include acting carelessly or thoughtlessly, such as speeding or running a red light, or failing to act in an acceptable, necessary manner, such as leaving car lights off while driving at night or not stopping for a pedestrian. The law requires a “duty of reasonable care” from drivers. This means the driver is responsible for using necessary care when operating a motor vehicle to avoid harming his/her passengers, other drivers and anyone else he/she meets on the road. If the driver fails to use due care and this results in injury and/or damages, the driver will be found liable, which means he/she is legally responsible for the accident.
Once liability is established the injured or damaged party may seek compensation, which can include payments for medical expenses, property damage, pain and suffering and lost wages or earning capacity. Even with a determination of liability, most often at issue is the amount of damages to be awarded.