When injured in a motor vehicle accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. However, obtaining such compensation requires support under the law. Nothing is automatic. You must demonstrate that the facts of your claim satisfy a recognized cause of action. By far, the most common theory for recovery is negligence.
Duty of Care
Negligence requires that the claimant demonstrate that the target defendant owes a duty of care, that he breached such duty, that such breach caused injury, and damages or the value of the injuries.
All drivers are held to a duty of care to operate their vehicle in a reasonably safe manner. This duty is owed to all people whom may be foreseeably injured by a driver’s actions. This duty includes being properly licensed, obeying the traffic laws, having the physical capacity to operate a vehicle, and most importantly, to be alert and attentive while driving. Basically, the duty of care is that of a reasonable person.
Breach of Duty
A breach of duty occurs when the driver’s operation of his vehicle falls below that of a reasonable person. For example, if a driver fails to recognize that the ahead traffic has stopped and he continues forward and crashes into the rear end of a stopped vehicle, this is typically a breach of the duty of care.
Element of Causation
The element of causation has two parts. First, it must be shown that the breaching conduct is the actual cause of injury. In other words, but for the party’s negligent operation of his vehicle, the accident would not have occurred. Second, proximate cause must be established. This is essentially showing that the injury sustained is a foreseeable result of the defendant’s negligent conduct. Additionally, that there is not an independent superseding intervening force that causes the injury, and thus breaking the causal chain of an event from the defendant’s negligent conduct and the harmful result.
Finally, the claimant must establish all his damages. For instance, the medical care must be shown to have been necessary to treat the claimant’s injuries. That the amount of treatment and the cost of such treatment is customary to the local community.
The above is a basic outline provide an elementary foundation to the elements of a negligence claim. If you have been injured in a traffic accident and need an attorney, please call the Law Office of Rodney K. Okano at (702) 566-3600 for a free initial consultation.
Law Offices of Rodney K. Okano
6069 S Fort Apache Rd #100,
Las Vegas, NV 89148, USA