Regardless of where your car accident takes place, the person who caused someone else a personal injury may be liable. This is especially the case if they are considered to be negligent under the law. Negligence has a very specific definition, however, it is crucial that anyone involved in a car accident understands that if they were not driving as they should have been they may be found liable.
State of California and Negligence
The California Civil Code, particularly section 1714 says that everyone is responsible not just for the result of their acts but also for any injury that has been caused to another person. This is the case if they were found wanting of skill or care when they were driving their vehicle.
This section gives someone a legal right to file a lawsuit or a tort against someone who does not undertake the amount of care they were required to.
A failure to undertake this amount of care is known as negligence. Civil lawsuits can be brought against the individual who caused the accident. This individual is also known as the ‘Defendant’, and the type of lawsuit that is brought against them is known as a negligence tort.
As negligence can make an individual liable it’s vital that they understand how a court may act if an individual is found to be negligent in a claim that involves a car accident.
How to Define Negligence
The general and legal definition of negligence is not the same, and they are typically used in different contexts. Proving that someone has been legally negligent means that a lawyer will have to prove that they had to exercise care, to begin with, and that care was breached. In other words, when you’re driving you have what is known as a ‘Duty of care’ to the other drivers on the road and your passengers too. This ultimately means that you will need to make safe decisions.
As there is a range of duties that exists a range of standards has been created to make judging negligence easier. For example, in the event of a car accident that may involve negligence, something known as an ‘Objective reasonable person test’ can be used. Basically, the judge and maybe a jury will determine whether a reasonable person would have acted in the same manner as you.
The very first part of any negligence case involves working out the duty that a driver had to the other drivers and what that duty was. Once this has been determined the court can decide whether the driver breached their duty and was therefore negligent.
An Objective Reasonable Person
In a regular negligence case such as a car accident one, there will be a test to determine whether someone else, an ordinary person may have driven more carefully. At this stage of the case the defendant’s driving history, abilities, age, or mental condition are not taken into consideration. Rather, the defendant will be judged based on what the jury consider to be normal.
A driver who causes an injury or fatality while they are drunk or they are under the influence of drugs may have criminal charges brought against them. However, there are a few exceptions to this rule, and they are applied when a young child commits an act. The act in question will be based upon what a jury thinks someone of exactly the same age may have done. When this exception is not applied, and when it is concluded that a reasonable person would not have acted in the same way, that is, they were more careful, the defendant is likely to face a negligence charge.
Different Negligence Rules
This article has considered negligence when it has been applied to car accidents. Negligence may be ruled as a result of an individual injuring or killing another person as a result of their actions. You should be aware that the purpose of using negligence in court is to hold a person responsible when they act in a way that breaks social codes and laws. Without any negligence laws a victim of another person’s behavior would have to deal with the emotional and financial burdens of the negligence, rather than receiving compensation.
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