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The Role of Negligence in Accident Cases

In accident cases, the concept of negligence often comes to bear. Contributing causes are evaluated to determine fault and compensation for damages and injuries. Vehicle operators may be found negligent if they did not exercise "reasonable care under the circumstances." Failure to do so is the foundation of most lawsuits involving vehicular accidents.

To determine driver negligence, courts look at: speed, impairment (DUI), weather/traffic conditions, traffic signs/signals and reckless driving conduct. But drivers aren't the only people that may be judged to be negligent in an accident. Automotive products or even a car mechanic also may be liable if their products or repairs resulted in injury.

If negligence was involved in your accident case, there are situation-specific items that are important to know:

  • Automobiles - generally, you should understand your rights as an injured party or your potential liability toward other accident victims.
  • Trucks - commercial trucks cause greater damages and injuries in accidents. Because truck drivers must have special training and are held to higher standards, claims may be brought against truck owners or companies responsible for hiring and training.
  • Motorcycles - injuries and safety issues are greater with motorcycles. Rider experience, road conditions, diminished visibility of your motorcycle and other factors determine the strength of your ability to be compensated for injuries and damages.
  • Bicycles - knowing and following laws regarding bicycle riding impact your ability to seek damages. Children are held to a somewhat reduced level of care, due to age and inexperience.
  • Bus/Subway/Trains - common carriers transport the public and are held to a higher standard of care. Negligence still is the primary legal principal, but liability may be restricted against government entities.
  • Pedestrians - yearly, thousands of pedestrians are killed or injured in accidents either involving vehicles or unsafe road or sidewalk conditions. Pedestrians can recover damages, if another was negligent and caused or contributed to the accident.
  • Work-Related - many factors affect injuries at work. From the facts of your employment and employer's action or inaction to prevent accidents to establishing accident conditions and injuries, complex legal issues come into play.
  • Accidental Death & Product Liability - from children's toys and cribs to household decorations and appliances, defective products have resulted in accidental death and injury for affected families.

The concepts of negligence and liability may appear to be straight forward, but as the situation unravels, the lines between cause and effect can become blurred. Experienced attorneys can help to establish liability and seek appropriate compensation for losses in these complex cases.