What Does Negligence Mean in a Car Accident?

What Does Negligence Mean in a Car Accident

Have you been involved in a car accident that was not your fault that has left you with medical bills and property damage? Are you unsure what you have to do in order to prove that you were not at fault in your motor vehicle crash? Working with an experienced car accident lawyer can help you to overcome these difficulties and get the financial compensation you truly deserve. Learn more about proving negligence below:

What Is Negligence In a Car Accident Lawsuit?

A lawsuit which involves negligence in a car accident is generally based on the legal theory that the injured party has losses that they can recover from. As previously mentioned, negligence does not involve intentional acts; it is not common that someone intends to get into a car accident.

In order to succeed in a car accident lawsuit based on negligence, it must be legally proven that the other party involved in the accident was indeed at fault. Because of this, negligence claims generally involve complex analysis in order to determine whether the defendant failed to follow their duty of safety.

Some of the most common examples of negligent driving include, but may not be limited to:

Failing to Obey Traffic Laws: This can include running stop lights or red lights; failing to yield when required to do so; speeding, or driving too slowly; and, stopping over the line at an intersection;

Failing to Be Vigilant Behind the Wheel: This specific type of negligence refers to failing to maintain a reasonable level of vigilance or alertness while driving, in order to be prepared for any unexpected occurrences on the road around you. The most common and especially dangerous example of failing to be vigilant behind the wheel would be using a cell phone while driving;

Failing to Maintain Control of the Vehicle: Failing to maintain control of the vehicle refers to instances such as sudden stops, stopping over the line at an intersection, and swerving; and

Failing to Properly Use the Vehicle’s Equipment: An example of this would be failing to use the vehicle’s turn signal when turning. Two other examples include failure to dim high beams when necessary, or failing to engage hazard lights when necessary. It is important to note that failing to maintain parts in working order, such as having broken brake lights, is included in the definition of failure to properly use the vehicle’s equipment.

Because of the highly dangerous nature of drunk driving, it is not considered to be negligent. Rather, it has its own category of laws. Drunk driving is generally considered to be a criminal offense, while negligence is a civil violation. It is important to note that both criminal and civil charges can be brought against the same defendant for the same incident.

What this means is that a drunk driver can be criminally charged for driving while intoxicated, and then also have a civil lawsuit brought against them for the damages they caused while drunk driving.


How Is Negligence Proven In Car Accident Lawsuits?

As previously discussed, there are four elements that must all be met in order for negligence to be proven. In terms of proving negligence in a car accident lawsuit, those four elements can be further explained:

Duty Of Care: To reiterate, a duty of care is owed to another person in any situation when they could possibly and foreseeably be harmed by your actions. All drivers owe other drivers a duty to drive safely, as well as a duty to obey all traffic laws at all times. The standard of care that is owed is generally determined by what a reasonably prudent person would do;

Breach Of Duty: It must be shown that the defendant breached their duty to drive safely. An example of this would be if the defendant failed to obey visible traffic signs. Once again, breaches occur when a person does not act as reasonably or as prudent as any other person would under the same circumstances;

Causation: The plaintiff must prove that the defendant’s breach is what actually caused their injuries. If the defendant’s actions did not actually cause the plaintiff’s injuries, it is unlikely that the defendant would be held liable for negligence; and

Damages: Additionally, the plaintiff must be able to calculate the losses and costs associated with the injury, and put this into quantifiable monetary amounts. If they cannot do so, the damages awarded to them may be reduced or even denied. Damage awards may be physical, economical, and/or financial.

Remedies for negligence in a car accident generally include damages being awarded to the injured party, which are made by the negligent party. Damages include costs such as:

  • Hospital bills;
  • Mechanic repair fees; and
  • Lost wages.

The negligent party may have their driver’s license privileges temporarily suspended. In more serious or repeated offenses, their driver’s license could be completely revoked.


Spanish Speaking Personal Injury Lawyer in Houston

Spanish-speaking Houstonians can have a more complex of a time seeking justice in their personal injury cases due to language barriers. This causes them to not take action against those who have left them with financial devastation and physical trauma. At the Law Office of Beverly R. Caruthers, our team refuses to let a language barrier affect your right to justice and compensation. If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident and is in need of Spanish-speaking legal advice, our team is here for you.

We make it simple for individuals who have been injured due to the actions of others to navigate the legal system in order to get the results they need to continue on in their lives. Schedule your no-obligation car accident consultation with Attorney Caruthers today. Our team will work with you every step of the way to ensure your needs are being met and that you are getting the treatment you deserve in your car accident case. Don’t hesitate, the sooner you call the more we can do to get you results.


Houston Car Accident Attorney

If you or someone you love has suffered an injury, experienced loss of income, or are unable to work due to a car accident, you can benefit from the services of a Houston car accident expert in your personal injury case. Whether you missed work due to an injury or due to not having access to a vehicle, Attorney Beverly R. Caruthers can help you!

Our team works hard to bring the most efficient and practical solutions to your car accident case. Beverly R. Caruthers proudly serves and defends the Greater Houston area including but not limited to Baytown, Conroe, Crosby, Humble, Huntsville, Lake Jackson, Missouri City, Pasadena, Spring, Tomball.



Beverly R Caruthers Law Office
Address: 4141 Southwest Fwy, Suite 620
Houston, TX 77027
(713) 526-9557
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