How to Spot a Negligent Driver
After a car accident in Virginia, one of your main goals for recovery will be to prove that the other driver was negligent in causing the wreck. Negligence is the center of most personal injury claims and car accident lawsuits. This legal theory states that if someone neglects to fulfill the standards of care, and this causes an accident, the negligent person will be liable for damages. Spotting a negligent driver and learning how to prove negligence could help you recover compensation after a serious collision.
Broken Traffic Laws
A common example of driver negligence is breaking the roadway rules that are in place to keep everyone safe. These rules include speed limits, rights-of-way, traffic signs and requirements for proper vehicle maintenance. It is negligence if a driver carelessly or intentionally breaks a traffic law. If a broken law causes a car accident, the driver could be liable for damages.
- Drifting between lanes
- Following too closely
- Passing illegally
- Passing a school bus
- Running red lights and stop signs
- Ignoring rights-of-way
- Making unsafe turns
- Driving an unroadworthy vehicle
If someone sharing the road with you is guilty of any of these traffic infractions, he or she is negligent. Call the police after an accident with a driver who was breaking a roadway rule. The police can issue a citation against the driver, which could serve as proof of that driver’s negligence during your personal injury case later.
Dangerous or Reckless Driving
If a driver goes beyond breaking a simple traffic law and into behaviors that express a wanton disregard for the safety of others, that driver could be guilty of recklessness. Recklessness is a step further than negligence. A reckless driver may face criminal charges as well as civil liability for your car accident.
- Excessive speeding or racing
- Wrong-way driving
- Texting while driving
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Driving while fatigued
- Weaving through traffic
- Road-rage driving
Do your best to detect and steer clear of reckless drivers in Richmond. Keep a safe distance away from the reckless driver and call the police to report what you see. If a dangerous driver crashes into you and causes serious injuries, that driver may owe you compensation for your medical bills and property repairs. It will be up to you to bring a claim against the at-fault driver.
The 4 Elements of a Car Accident Case
If a negligent driver hit you, you may have the right to file an injury claim against that driver in pursuit of monetary recovery. First, find out whether you need to file a fault or no-fault claim. Virginia is an add-on no-fault state, meaning you can pay extra to purchase no-fault personal injury protection insurance. If you have this insurance, you may not have to prove the negligent driver’s fault to obtain benefits from your own company.
If you do not carry personal injury protection insurance, you or your lawyer will have to establish evidence of the four main elements of an injury claim. The first element is the duty to exercise reasonable care. Your lawyer must establish duties the at-fault driver owed you, such as a duty to pay attention to the road or obey traffic laws. The second element is negligence. You must have proof that the other driver was negligent in fulfilling the accepted duty of care.
The third element is direct cause between the negligent driver and your car accident. The driver will be liable if your accident would not have happened but for his or her negligence. The final element is damages you suffered because of the negligent driver. A Richmond car accident attorney can help you prove all four elements of a negligence claim. With a lawyer’s assistance, a negligent driver may have to pay to make you whole again.