How to Prove Negligence in an Auto Accident
According to the Texas Department of Transportation, over 17,000 people were seriously injured in an auto accident in 2017. If you were a victim of an accident, you deserve compensation. However, insurance companies aren’t always willing to pay. If you hope to recover 100 percent of your losses, it is necessary to prove the other driver’s negligence.
No Doubt Liability
If an accident results in serious damage to a vehicle, injury, or death, you are required by the Texas Transportation Code to immediately report it to the authorities. An investigation of the accident and a police report will follow. There are certain types of accidents that are almost always ruled the other driver’s fault. These collisions are referred to as no-doubt liability and are generally easy to prove. Some examples of no-doubt liability include:
- Left turn accidents – A driver making a left turn is always at fault unless you broke traffic laws (usually speeding or failing to observe traffic lights) at the time of the accident.
- DUI crashes – Driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol is illegal in every state and will make you liable for any accident you are involved in.
- Rear-end collisions – Unless you contributed to the accident by breaking traffic laws or negligent car repair (your brake lights or turn signals aren’t working), the other driver is always at fault for a rear end collision.
The Components of Negligence
Most accidents are not that easy to prove. Since Texas is a Modified Comparative Negligence state, proving the negligence of the other driver is necessary for compensation. Modified comparative fault means that both parties will be investigated as having a percentage of fault in the accident. If you are found to be partly at fault, that percentage will be extracted from your claims. For example, if you were found to be 25 percent responsible for the accident, you would only recoup 75 percent of your losses that resulted from the accident. However, if you were found to be more than 50 percent responsible, you would receive no compensation.
If you had no fault in the accident, the other driver’s negligence must be proven by certain components.
- A duty of care: In the case of traffic accidents, a duty of care means all drivers are expected to obey all traffic laws.
- Breach of duty: It must be proven that the defendant breached the duty of care, by breaking traffic laws or other unsafe driving practices.
- Causation: Usually the most difficult to prove, causation means that the defendant’s specific breach of duty caused the damages to your property or person.
- Damages: The calculation of losses and costs of the plaintiff put into monetary amounts. The inability to calculate this could result in compensation being reduced or denied.
Proving these components may require evidence from different sources. Your legal team may examine the police report, question witnesses, and investigate the scene of the accident. It is important to retain all medical records and bills associated with the accident as well as receipts for vehicle repairs.
If you’ve been injured in an accident, it’s important to have an advocate with expertise in Texas injury laws. Contact the law office of Brett Cain to learn more about your rights to compensation. Another driver’s negligence shouldn’t become your financial burden. Contact Brett Cain today for a free consultation.