Car Accidents and the Role of Negligence

If you have been injured in a car accident in New York, as the plaintiff, you may have to prove that the other driver was negligent in order to receive compensation for your losses. Negligence is a legal theory that serves as the basis in car accident as well as other personal injury lawsuits. So, what does negligence mean in the context of an auto accident?
When a person involved in a car crash is said to be “negligent,” it means that he or she acted in a manner that was careless, which resulted in the accident and/or injuries and fatalities. A driver may have been negligent by breaking the rules of the road such as failing to yield for a pedestrian, running a red light or failing to stop at a stop sign, etc. Drivers are required under the law to use a reasonable amount of care and avoid injuring other motorists, passengers or pedestrians. If a driver fails to exercise such care, he or she may be held liable or financially responsible for the injuries, damages and losses caused to the victim.

Key Elements of a Negligence Claim

In any personal injury lawsuit, including a car accident lawsuit, the burden of proof is on the plaintiff (the injured party filing the lawsuit) to show that the defendant (the one you are suing) was negligent. Here are the key elements to prove negligence in a car accident case:
• The law requires the motorist to exercise due care while operating a vehicle and toward a passenger, another motorist, pedestrian, bicyclist, motorcyclist, etc.
• The defendant breached or violated this standard of care. If the driver acted in a manner that shows he or she did not exercise reasonable care, then he or she may be deemed negligent. Examples of reasonable care shown by a driver includes, but is not limited to, stopping at a stop sign or red light, yielding the right of way to pedestrians, looking out for pedestrians even if a crosswalk is not present, not following vehicles too closely and driving at a speed that is safe.
• Plaintiffs must also establish that the defendant’s reckless or careless actions (the breach of his or her duty of care) caused the plaintiff’s injuries. For example, if you suffered head injuries in a car crash, then you must show that those injuries were due to or made worse by the crash.
• Plaintiffs must also show that they suffered their injuries and losses as a result of the defendant’s reckless or negligent actions. For example, plaintiffs must show evidence of injuries (doctor’s reports) and of monetary losses (receipts and invoices) in order to establish that the defendant’s negligence caused monetary losses.

What Steps Can You Take?

If you have been injured in a car accident in New York, there are a number of steps you can take in order to protect your rights. First, file a police report and obtain a copy for your records or your lawyer can get the police report for you. Collect as much evidence as possible from the scene including photographs, video, contact information for other involved parties and eyewitnesses, etc. Get prompt medical attention, treatment and care for your injuries. Preserve all receipts and invoices relating to your accident, treatment and care. Immediately contact an experienced New York car accident lawyer who will fight for your rights and help you prevent making any mistakes that may potentially jeopardize your car accident claim.

Contacting an Experienced Lawyer

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, or if you have lost a loved one in an auto accident caused by a negligent driver, the experienced New York personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm can help you better understand your legal rights and options, and also fight hard to recover just compensation for you.
For over 46 years, our skilled accident attorneys have established a proven track record of helping injured victims get fair compensation for their losses. Our law firm recently recovered $5,600,000 for a bicyclist who was hit by a van, and $2,550,000 for another victim of a truck accident, and $3,000,000 for a pedestrian who was hit by a car, and the full $1,000,000 insurance policy for a pedestrian who was hit by a truck, and $4,625,000 for a driver who was in a car and was hit by a van, and $2,500,000 for a man who fell through an improperly secured hole.
Please contact us TOLL FREE 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-WORK-4-YOU (1-800-967-5496). WE CAN EVEN COME TO YOU. There is no attorneys’ fee unless we recover money for you. We can also help with personal injury and medical malpractice cases in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, or Florida. If you have been seriously injured in any of the 50 U.S. states, please call us and we will try to help you with your case.
Other TOLL FREE phone numbers for us are:
1-800-RADIO-LAW, 1-888-WYPADEK, OR 1-800-LAS-LEYES
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