Don’t Underestimate the Defendant in Your Car Accident Claim

 

If you were injured in by another driver’s negligent actions, you might imagine a clear path toward recovering compensation. In practice, however, each element of a car accident claim (duty, breach, causation, damages) might be hotly contested.

Elements of a Negligence Claim

Duty is the most straightforward element of a personal injury lawsuit to understand. For drivers, this is the duty to abide by applicable traffic laws and operate the motor vehicle in accordance with how a reasonable person would act. A breach is a deviation from that standard of care; causation is a preponderance of evidence showing that the breach resulted in the plaintiff’s injuries; damages is a quantification of the compensation sought by the plaintiff.

 

Challenges in Establishing Liability

You might think that breach would be similarly easy to define, but in practice, the negligent driver’s insurance company may attempt to assign partial fault to the victim. This is a smart strategy for the defense because Georgia is a comparative negligence state. A victim’s recovery will be reduced by the percent he or she was at fault, and recovery is barred if that percentage if 50 percent or more. This percentage is a question of fact for the jury.

Types of Evidence Used to Establish Liability

As a law firm that focuses on personal injury law, we have experienced many attempts by defendants to shift blame to a crash victim. Fortunately, a persuasive attorney can cut through these tactics to the underlying evidence. This evidence may include crash reconstruction reports, expert testimony, video footage from traffic cameras, witness testimony, skid marks, or photographic evidence.

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