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Establishing Negligence After a Car Accident

While most car accidents are the result of negligence, proving negligence is not always as straightforward as it may seem. Is one person to blame, or more than one person? How do you show the other party (or parties) acted negligently? What makes someone negligent?

To establish negligence, lawyers look at factors such as:

  • Duty
  • Breach
  • Injury
  • Cause — cause in fact and proximate cause

All four of these elements must be present in order for an attorney to argue a party was acting negligently when they caused another person harm. The absence of even one element may make it impossible to file a personal injury lawsuit, even if you were harmed by a negligent party.

Proving injury

Proving an injury is the result of a car accident is one of the more complex elements of establishing negligence. Photographs of property damage to your car are helpful, but it is not enough to simply show up in court with a broken arm — the injured person and their lawyer must be able to clearly show the injury in question is the direct result of the auto accident they were involved in with the defendant. To that end, the plaintiff should seek medical attention as soon as possible after their accident so they have proof from a doctor that their injury was indeed caused by the accident.

When multiple parties are negligent

Indiana’s modified comparative fault system allows plaintiffs to seek compensation even if they were partially at fault for an accident as long as they are not more than 50 percent at fault. This makes being able to establish negligence even more important to a case, since plaintiffs are barred from recovery if they exceed this threshold.

For more information on proving injury and the other elements of negligence, reach out to a knowledgeable auto accident lawyer. Theodoros & Rooth’s attorneys have more than 100 years of combined experience handling injury cases and can review the various aspects of your case and evaluate whether you have sufficient evidence to file suit against another person.