There are many reasons why someone might be involved in a car accident, but when that crash is caused by someone else, it can be especially frustrating. It means that regardless of how carefully one drives, they still rely on others to follow traffic safety rules and when they do not, serious injuries can occur, through no fault of the accident victim. However, knowing that someone caused a motor vehicle accident and proving it are two different matters. When it comes to the legal concept of fault, there are certain elements that must be proven before the driver in question can be held accountable.
New York residents may not know that accountability stems from statutes and common law. Common law recognizes negligence, which means a duty of care is owed from one party to the other, and the duty is breached. There should be a connection between the breach and the harm and foreseeability of the harm. Lastly, damages should have arisen from the conduct. For example, drivers owe a duty of care to halt at a stop sign and running it can be construed a breach of duty and the driver may be held accountable if an injury resulted.
Statutes also codify common law, which is why many of the cause of actions can be similar. States have enacted statutes regulating the use of public roads and violating the statute can create a presumption of negligence. In this instance, fault can be established just by demonstrating that a law was broken.
Understanding where a cause of action originates from and how to prove another driver was at fault for causing an avoidable accident can be overwhelming for someone who is trying to recover from his or her injuries. Consulting an experienced and knowledgeable attorney to discuss one’s options may be one way to move forward with one’s claim.