How To (and Can) You Sue Someone for Negligent Driving?


Negligence legally refers to failure in exercising reasonable care, resulting in an injury or damage to another individual. The first step is to know what to do if you’re involved in an accident. Lawsuits that involve negligence in a car accident apply when the negligent actions of a car driver result in injury or damage to other motorists, passengers, or pedestrians. To succeed in any lawsuit that is based on negligence, the victim needs to legally prove that the other party in the car accident was negligent. Let’s look at how do (and can) you sue someone for negligent driving.

1) How do you prove negligence in a car accident lawsuit?

Car accidents can end up costing the victim in terms of repairs, medical bills and so on. Contacting a lawyer for advice may also be a good idea. For example, if you are involved in a car accident in Chicago, you can contact Dave Abels Chicago to advise on your lawsuit. There are four legal points to consider when it comes to a negligence claim. These are:

a) Breach of duty:

You must prove that the defendant breached their duty of driving safely. For example, the defendant may not have obeyed traffic signs that resulted in the accident. A breach occurs when an individual doesn’t act as prudently or reasonably as other persons would in the same circumstances.

b) Duty of care:

Persons have a duty of care that they owe to other persons in situations involving the possibility that their actions could harm others. All car drivers owe other drivers a duty to obey traffic laws and drive safely. 

c) Causation:

In a negligent car accident lawsuit, the plaintiff is responsible for proving that the defendant’s breach caused the plaintiff’s injuries. If they cannot prove this beyond a reasonable doubt, or if the defendant’s actual actions didn’t cause the plaintiff’s injuries, it’s unlikely that the defendant in the lawsuit will be held liable for the car accident. The majority of car accident lawsuits revolve around causation. Defendants typically argue that they were not responsible for injuries caused to the plaintiff.

d) Damages

A plaintiff in a car accident is responsible for calculating the costs and losses due to any injury caused in the accident and putting it into a monetary amount. If they can’t determine the amount in actual numbers, any damages that may be awarded to them might be denied or reduced. Damages may be economic, financial, and/or physical.

2) How do you prove a driver’s negligence?

Driver negligence comes into play when the fault for a car accident has to be determined. If you are the plaintiff in a car accident lawsuit, you should be able to establish all of the following successfully:

a) The defendant’s conduct caused your injuries

You should be able to prove that injuries you’ve suffered are due to the defendant’s conduct. For example, suppose you sustained a neck injury when another driver rear-ended your car. In that case, you need to prove that the injury was a direct result of the car accident, not any other event.

b) The defendant was careless

The law compares a driver’s conduct with the conduct that is expected from a “reasonable person.” Examples of the conduct expected from a reasonable car driver would be following a vehicle at a safe distance, stopping at red lights and stop signs, and watching for any pedestrians crossing the road.

c) Losses suffered by a plaintiff are measurable

By law, victims of car accidents are entitled to compensation due to lost wages, injuries, vehicle damage, pain, and suffering. It is a given that any plaintiff in a car accident case needs to prove losses that they suffer due to the accident. Hence, if you are a plaintiff in a car accident, you should keep detailed and complete records of any medical expenses, property damage, and injuries caused due to the car accident.