Car accidents can often be deadly. If you have a loved one who has passed tragically in a car accident, you may be considering taking legal action against the driver responsible for causing the accident.
In order to ensure that your case is successful, you will need to prove that the driver was negligent. Understanding how negligence relates to an auto accident case will allow you to more effectively pursue legal action following the loss of your loved one.
What is negligence?
The law defines negligence as any action that is careless enough to breach a duty of care. A standard used by the court to determine negligence can be the reasonableness standard. Asking if a reasonable person would have acted in the same manner can help determine if actions were negligent.
For example, if your loved one's fatal auto accident was caused by a driver who ran a red light or got behind the wheel while intoxicated, those actions were not the ones a reasonable person would have taken. Therefore, negligence played a part in the death of your loved one.
How is negligence proven?
Negligence can be used as the basis of a lawsuit involving a fatal car accident because a clear duty of care exists. Drivers are responsible for operating their vehicles in a manner that is safe and in compliance with all traffic laws.
In order to prove negligence, you must be able to clearly prove that the driver at-fault for causing your loved one's fatal accident knowingly breached his or her duty of care.
How are losses calculated?
Most people pursue legal action following a fatal car accident to try and recoup some of the losses that they suffered as a result of their loved one's death. These losses can be difficult to quantify, but they typically include actual monetary loss and emotional loss.
Monetary losses can be things like the lost wages of the deceased if his or her income supported your household, medical expenses for the treatment of injuries prior to death, and the cost of replacing a damaged vehicle. Emotional loss is more difficult to define, but the pain and suffering associated with the premature death of a loved one can be assigned a monetary value by the court.
When negligent actions lead to the death of your loved one in an auto accident, don't be afraid to partner with a reputable personal injury attorney to take legal action. Contact a firm, like Hoffman Richard D Law Offices of, for more help.