Lafayette, LA – The concept of negligence is very important to car accident lawsuits and most civil lawsuits in general. Because civil lawsuits are usually related to mistakes rather than intentional acts, the defendant is sued for negligent behavior rather than intentional tort. Negligence cases can have some complexity, so it is important for any accident victim to get a lawyer to assist with their case. 

Outlining a negligence case

Negligence has four basic elements, although laws vary slightly by state. This includes a standard duty of care related to the activity in question, a breach of the duty of care, causation between the breach of duty and injury, and damages or losses. In order for the plaintiff to prevail in the lawsuit, all four elements must be present and proven through evidence, otherwise the jury is instructed to find in favor of the defendant. 

Examples of negligent driving

As a general rule, negligence is based around the defendant failing to be careful while driving and failing to exercise the level of care expected of any reasonable driver. This is commonly referred to as the reasonable person standard. 

Things that may be considered negligent driving are actually fairly common behaviors. This can include cell phone use, driving while drinking or using drugs, not obeying road signs and speed limits, improper lane changes, going through red lights, and various distractions in the vehicle from things like passengers or the car stereo. Improper maintenance or problems with the vehicle itself can also be considered negligence, even if the actual party at fault was a mechanic or manufacturer that is attached to the lawsuit. 

If the driver actually receives a traffic citation for their behavior immediately before the collision, this can be strong evidence of negligence, as it shows that the defendant violated a traffic law when they caused the accident. 

Consequences of negligence

A negligent driver may be sued to pay for all or some of the victim’s losses, even if they have car insurance. There are limits of what an insurance company will pay for, and any damages awarded in excess of these amounts can result in personal liability for the driver. If the accident is serious, the defendant can be on the hook for medical bills, lost wages, emotional trauma and pain, and other losses that are associated with the collision. The calculation of damages is actually one of the most complex aspects of a negligence case. 

Injury lawyers in the Lafayette area

Miller, Hampton, and Hilgendorf help people with all kinds of injury, negligence, and accident cases in the Lafayette area. Anyone who needs assistance from a licensed attorney can schedule the firm to contact a meeting. 

Firm contact info:

Miller, Hampton, and Hilgendorf

3960 Government St., Baton Rouge, LA 70806


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