Every day, a number of people in Florida and throughout the United States get into car accidents. While some are minor fender benders, others have serious and long-term consequences. When you are injured due to the carelessness of another driver, you may be able to recover compensation for your injuries by filing a personal injury claim. Personal injury lawsuits are rooted in the theory of negligence. Negligence is a broad area of law, and establishing liability can be very tricky. This is precisely why it is important to seek the guidance of an experienced Miami injury attorney if you think you have a claim.
Negligence is the failure to use reasonable care in one’s actions or omissions. Reasonable care is defined as how a prudent driver would act in the same or similar circumstances. It is important to note that negligence does not involve intentional acts by the defendant. Regardless of intent, however, one party is typically at fault in car accident cases. In Florida, the following elements must be established to show negligence: i) the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty to exercise reasonable care while driving; ii) the defendant breached this duty of care; iii) the defendant’s breach was the direct cause of the car accident; and iv) the plaintiff suffered quantifiable harm as a result.
In most personal injury lawsuits, causation is the trickiest element to prove. The defendant will usually claim that his or her actions were not the direct cause of the accident and the plaintiff’s resulting injuries. This is where facts are extremely important to show that the defendant violated the duty of care.
Some common examples of negligent driving include:
- Failing to obey traffic laws: For example, excessively speeding, swerving, running stop signs or traffic lights, tailgating, and failing to yield when required to do so are all actions that breach the duty to exercise reasonable care when driving.
- Failing to pay attention behind the wheel: For example, texting while driving, talking on the phone while driving, fidgeting with GPS, eating or drinking, smoking, or putting on makeup would all be considered distracted driving.
- Failing to maintain control of the car: For example, sudden stops, swerving, or other instances of not being able to control the vehicle effectively could cause an accident.
- Failing to use the car’s features properly: For instance, failure to signal, failure to dim high beams, failure to use hazard lights properly, and failure to use the brakes properly can all contribute to an accident.
While driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs undoubtedly violates the duty to exercise reasonable care, this offense is not a civil violation rooted in negligence. Instead, it is a much more serious violation and is considered a criminal offense.
If you or someone you know has been injured in a car accident, it is imperative to seek the help and guidance of a qualified Miami car accident attorney. At the Law Offices of Robert Dixon, we proudly represent clients throughout South Florida. To learn more, contact us online or call us today at 1-877-499-HURT (4878) for a free, confidential consultation.
More Blog Posts:
Negligent Supervision of Children in Florida, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blawg, March 19, 2015
Documents Prepared in Anticipation of Litigation Not Discoverable in Florida Premises Liability Case, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blawg, March 9, 2015
Chain Reaction Accidents in Florida, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blawg, March 9, 2015