The Role of Negligence in Car Accident Lawsuits

By: Chuck Richardson On December 21, 2023
The role of negligence in car accident lawsuits

Understanding negligence is key in car accident lawsuits. When a car accident happens, it's often because someone didn't follow the rules of the road or wasn't paying attention. At Richardson Richardson Boudreaux, we specialize in dissecting these situations to find out who was at fault.

Our car accident lawyer can review your car accident claim with you. We fight for car accident victims, and we can assess if you have a valid injury claim as well. We can even engage in negotiations with the insurance company on your behalf.

Learn more about the role of negligence and reasonable care below. Then, contact us for a free consultation.

Defining Negligence in Car Accident Lawsuits

Negligence in car accidents refers to a driver not acting as carefully as they should. This can be something like texting while driving or not following traffic laws. Our lawyers at Richardson Richardson Boudreaux look at each case to see if the other driver was being careless. We use this information to build a strong case for you.

Elements of Negligence in a Car Accident Case

Duty of Care

Every driver must drive safely to avoid harming others. This includes following traffic laws and being aware of other drivers and pedestrians. Our team examined whether the other driver was fulfilling this duty. We show how their actions violated this basic responsibility.

Breach of Duty

If drivers break traffic laws or drive recklessly, they breach their duty of care. This might include speeding, running red lights, or driving under the influence. We prove that the other driver's actions weren't just a simple mistake but a failure to drive responsibly.


We must link the other driver's actions to the accident to win a car accident case. This means showing that their breach of duty directly caused the crash. We gather evidence to create a clear picture of how the accident happened and why it's their fault.


Damages encompass the injuries and losses you suffered from the accident. This includes medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. We aim to show how the accident impacted your life and why you deserve compensation.

Establishing Negligence in Car Accident Lawsuits

Establishing negligence in car accident lawsuits

Proving negligence in a car accident lawsuit requires a detailed look at the events leading up to the accident. We dive into the specifics of each case to demonstrate how the other driver was negligent. Our team uses all available evidence to build a strong argument on your behalf.

Duty of Care in Driving

  1. Standard of Care for Drivers: Every driver is expected to act to prevent harm to others. This involves obeying traffic laws and paying attention to the road. We look at the standard of care expected in each situation to determine if the other driver fell short.
  2. Examples of Breaches in Duty: Examples of breaching this duty include texting while driving, driving too fast for conditions, or not yielding the right of way. We use these examples to show how the other driver's actions were careless.

Proving Breach of Duty

  1. Violation of Traffic Laws: Breaking traffic laws is a clear sign of negligence. This can include speeding, running stop signs, or driving under the influence. We gather evidence, like police reports, to prove these violations.
  2. Reckless or Aggressive Driving: Actions like tailgating, weaving through traffic, or road rage are forms of reckless driving. We show how these dangerous behaviors led to your accident.
  3. Distracted Driving and Its Consequences: Distracted driving, like using a phone while driving, takes attention away from the road. We demonstrate how these distractions were a major factor in the accident.

Establishing Causation

  1. Linking the Defendant's Actions to the Accident: Our team works to connect the dots between the defendant's negligence and the accident. We use evidence to show that their actions directly led to the collision.
  2. Expert Testimony and Accident Reconstruction: Sometimes, we use experts to reconstruct the accident and offer testimony. This helps in proving that the defendant's actions were the main cause of the accident.

Demonstrating Damages

  1. Physical Injuries: We document all physical injuries you suffered from the accident. This can include broken bones, head injuries, or other trauma. Our aim is to show the extent and impact of these injuries.
  2. Emotional Distress: Car accidents can also bring about emotional distress, like anxiety or PTSD. We highlight these effects to show the accident's full impact on your life.
  3. Property Damage: The impact on your vehicle or other personal property is also important. We prove the value of these damages as part of your compensation claim.

Examples of Driver Negligence in Car Accidents

Texting While Driving

Texting while driving is a prevalent form of negligence. It takes the driver's attention away from the road, increasing the risk of an accident. Our team uses phone records and other evidence to prove that the driver was texting during the accident.

Following Too Closely

Tailgating or following too closely can easily lead to rear-end collisions. We show how the other driver's failure to maintain a safe distance caused the accident. This behavior is a clear breach of their duty to drive safely.

Running a Light

Running a red light or stop sign is dangerous and clearly violates traffic laws. We gather evidence, like traffic camera footage, to prove that the other driver ran a light and caused the accident.

Drunk Driving/DUI

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is not only prohibited but also highly negligent. We use police reports and test results to prove that the other driver was impaired, leading to the accident.

Road Rage

Road rage, such as aggressive driving or confrontations, can lead to serious accidents. We document instances of road rage to show how the other driver's behavior was reckless and dangerous.

Driving Tired

Driving while fatigued can be as unsafe as driving under the influence. We use evidence like the driver's work hours or witness statements to demonstrate that fatigue contributed to the accident.

Types of Evidence Proving Negligence in Car Accidents

Types of evidence proving negligence in car accidents

The right evidence is crucial in proving negligence in a car accident case. Our team at Richardson Richardson Boudreaux knows what to look for and how to use it effectively.

  1. Medical Records: Your medical records are key in showing the extent of your injuries from the accident. We use these records to link your injuries directly to the crash.
  2. Police Accident Reports: Police reports can objectively view the accident. They often include crucial details like the other driver's actions and any traffic law violations.
  3. Accident Scene Photos and Video Footage: Photos and videos from the accident scene can be powerful evidence. They help reconstruct the accident and show what happened.
  4. Surveillance, Traffic Camera, or Dashcam Footage: Footage from nearby cameras or dashcams can capture the accident as it happened. This can be invaluable in proving the other driver's negligence.
  5. Eyewitness Statements: Statements from people who saw the accident can support your claim. Witnesses can provide details that you may not remember or didn't see.

The Legal Duties of a Driver

Every driver has certain legal duties when they're on the road. These duties are part of being a responsible and safe driver.

Driving at a Reasonable Speed

Drivers must drive at a safe speed for the conditions. This means following speed limits and slowing down when necessary, like in bad weather. We looked at the other driver's speed to see if it was appropriate.

Vigilance and Maintaining a Proper Lookout

Drivers need to be vigilant and keep a proper lookout. This means paying attention to the road, other vehicles, and pedestrians. We will check if the other driver was being attentive or if they were distracted.

Maintaining Control of the Vehicle

Drivers must keep control of their vehicles at all times. This includes handling the car safely and being prepared for unexpected situations. We examine if the other driver lost control and why.

Maintenance and Proper Use of Vehicle Equipment

Vehicles must be properly maintained and their equipment used correctly. This includes things like using headlights at night and keeping brakes in good working order. We will investigate if poor maintenance or misuse of equipment contributed to the accident.

Role of Expert Witnesses in Proving Negligence

Role of expert witnesses in proving negligence

Expert witnesses can play a decisive role in proving negligence in a car accident case. These experts, including accident reconstruction specialists or medical professionals, provide detailed insights that strengthen your case. They can explain complex details in a way that's easy to understand.

Comparative Negligence in Car Accidents and Its Effects

Comparative negligence can affect your compensation in a car accident case. This legal concept means that if you were partly blamed for the crash, your compensation could be reduced. For example, if you're found to be 30% at fault, your compensation could be cut by 30%. 

The Impact of Negligence on Compensation Claims

Negligence directly impacts the amount of compensation you can claim in a car accident lawsuit. The more clearly we can prove the other driver's negligence, the stronger your compensation claim becomes.

The size of the award hinges on proving the other driver's negligence and the extent of your damages. At Richardson Richardson Boudreaux, we meticulously document your catastrophic injuries and losses to ensure you get the full compensation you deserve. We understand the importance of proving negligence and its role in securing just compensation for our clients.

Damages You Can Claim in a Car Accident Lawsuit

When you submit a car accident lawsuit, you can claim various types of damages. They are meant to compensate you for the losses you've suffered due to the accident. Our team at Richardson Richardson Boudreaux helps you understand what damages you can claim and works to maximize your recovery.

Economic Damages

Economic damages cover tangible financial losses like medical expenses, lost pay, and the cost of long-term rehabilitation. We gather all relevant documentation to ensure your claim fully accounts for these losses.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages compensate for the non-monetary effects of the accident. These include the loss of enjoyment, chronic pain, and emotional distress. We work to quantify these damages and ensure you're compensated for the accident's full impact on your life.

Punitive Damages

In certain situations, punitive damages may be granted. These deter similar actions in the future. While not common in car accident cases, our team assesses if punitive damages could be applicable in your case.

Defenses of Negligence in a Car Accident Case

The defendant may use various defenses against a negligence claim in a car accident case. Our lawyers at Richardson Richardson Boudreaux are prepared to counter these defenses and protect your rights.

  1. Statute of Limitations: The defendant could claim the statute of limitations has expired. We ensure your case is filed timely to avoid this defense.
  2. Sudden Emergency: If the defendant claims a sudden emergency caused the accident, we examine the validity of this claim and provide evidence to the contrary.
  3. Superseding Cause: We counter claims that an unforeseeable event was the true cause of the accident, not the defendant's actions.
  4. No Duty of Care: We establish the defendant's duty of care as a driver, countering any claims that they owed no such duty.
  5. Accident Is Unavoidable: If the defendant claims the accident was unavoidable, we use evidence to show it could have been prevented with reasonable care.

How Our Car Accident Lawyers Can Help You

How our car accident lawyers can help you

Our car accident lawyers at Richardson Richardson Boudreaux offer comprehensive legal assistance to ensure you get the best outcome in your case.

  • We provide an initial consultation to understand your case and guide you on the best legal path.
  • Our team conducts a thorough case evaluation and investigation, gathering all necessary evidence and information.
  • We offer strong legal representation and advocacy, defending your rights throughout the legal process.
  • Our negotiation skills with insurance companies ensure you receive fair compensation.
  • If necessary, we file a lawsuit and represent you in court, prepared to fight for your rights.

Call Us Today and Schedule an Initial Consultation With Our Car Accident Lawyer at Richardson Richardson Boudreaux

Call us today and schedule an initial consultation with our car accident lawyer

If you've been in a car accident, it's time to get the legal help you need. Contact Richardson Richardson Boudreaux today to schedule an initial consultation. You don't have to face the aftermath of a car accident alone. Call us now and take the first step towards securing the compensation you deserve. Schedule your consultation today, and let us help you on the road to recovery.

chevron-down linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram