4 Elements of a Car Accident Claim

Categories: Car Accidents

accident with three cars

When you file a claim for compensation after a car accident, you bear the burden of proving your case. In order to win, you need to be able to establish liability.  If you fail to do so, the insurance company will be fully justified in denying your claim.

In the vast majority of cases, this means proving that another driver was at fault in the accident. In legal terms, this is referred to as “negligence.” There are four elements to a negligence claim under law, and you need to prove all four in order to win just compensation.

Proving Negligence in a Car Accident

1. Duty

First, you must prove that the person who injured you owed you a “duty of care.” In car accident cases, this is typically easier than it sounds. This is because all drivers owe a duty to act reasonably on ‘s public roads. If you can prove that you were injured in a collision with another vehicle on a street or highway, you will likely have satisfied the first element of your claim for compensation.

2. Breach

Next, you must prove that the driver who hit you “breached” his or her duty of care. There are a number of ways to do this, both in terms of the type of breach and the various forms of evidence available. Yet, insurance companies will often dispute accident victims’ allegations that their policyholders are to blame. In fact, in many cases they will accuse the victim of causing (or at least contributing to) his or her own injuries. Some common examples of breaches that can be proven with evidence from the scene of the accident (or other evidence, such as cell records) include:

  • Distracted driving
  • Drunk driving
  • Following too closely (tailgating)
  • Merging without looking
  • Running red lights and stop signs
  • Speeding
  • Violating other rules of the road

3. Causation

Third, you must prove that the other driver’s breach caused the accident. If the accident would have occurred regardless of the other driver’s breach, you are not entitled to compensation. This, too, is an element that the insurance companies like to dispute. So in order to recover compensation you will need to be able to overcome the insurance company’s attempts to create uncertainty regarding the cause of the collision.

4. Harm

Finally, you must be able to prove that the accident caused you harm. This starts, but does not end, with your physical injuries. Seeking a prompt medical diagnosis is critical – you do not want to give the insurance company room to argue that you sustained your injuries after the accident occurred.

Along with medical bills, the harm from a car accident will frequently include loss of income, pain and suffering, scarring and disfigurement, emotional trauma, and loss of enjoyment of life. Learn more the most-common types of financial and non-financial harm resulting from accident-related injuries.

Speak with a Palm Beach County Car Accident Injury Lawyer for Free

Were you injured in a car accident in Palm Beach County? If so, I encourage you to Brian D. Guralnick Injury Lawyers for a free consultation. To speak with me, Brian D. Guralnick, personally your case, please call 561.202.MORE(6673) now.

Disclaimer: The information in this blog is not intended, and must not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. If you need advice on specific legal issues, please consult with a licensed Personal Injury attorney.