After a car accident occurs, it is crucial to determine liability so victims can recover compensation for their injury expenses and property damage. Unfortunately, the process of determining liability can be somewhat of a confusing one. Here, we want to examine how liability is determined after a car accident occurs in the Newnan area.
How is “Negligence” Defined After a Car Accident?
Recovering compensation after a car accident in Newnan involves showing that another party was negligent. You may think of negligence as having a specific meaning, but there are actually various elements that must be met in order for “negligence” to be proven after a car accident.
- Duty. The first element involved showing that the driver alleged to have caused the accident (the defendant) owed a duty of care to the injury victim (the plaintiff). The reality is that any person who gets behind the wheel of a vehicle in Georgia owes a duty of care to those around them. This duty of care requires them to operate their vehicle safely and to keep the vehicle in good working order.
- Breach. After showing that there was a duty of care owed by the defendant to the plaintiff, it must be shown that the defendant breached this duty of care. Drivers in Newnan can breach their duty of care in a wide variety of ways. This can include failing to adhere to basic traffic laws, such as not stopping at a stop sign or failing to yield the right of way. This can also include operating a vehicle while distracted or while impaired by alcohol or drugs.
- Causation. After establishing that the defendant did breach their duty of care, it must be shown that the breach of duty is what actually caused the accident and the plaintiff’s injuries or property damage. In some instances, a person can breach their duty of care but not actually be responsible for causing the injuries to a plaintiff. This could the issue if there are allegations of shared fault with others involved.
- Damages. The last step in this proves involves showing that the breach of duty led directly to the plaintiff’s monetary losses.
Gathering Evidence to Prove Negligence
Establishing the four elements of negligence involved gathering evidence. Much of this evidence will be gathered at the scene of an incident, but there may be an extended investigation depending on the severity of the incident or the clarity of wrongdoing. Some of the main types of evidence used to prove negligence after a car accident in the Newnan area includes:
- Photograph taken at the scene of the incident
- Video surveillance from cameras on buildings or dashcams
- Statements from any eyewitnesses, including bystanders or other passengers and drivers
- Vehicle black box data or mobile device data
- Police report information
Do You Need to Work With an Attorney?
Working with an attorney is not a requirement when moving forward with an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit against an at-fault driver, but these claims can become incredibly complex. Individuals working with a skilled Newnan injury attorney will have a better chance of recovering compensation for their losses. An attorney can investigate every aspect of the case and handle all communication with other parties involved.