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Proving negligence after a car accident

On Behalf of | Mar 28, 2022 | motor vehicle accidents

If you have been involved in a car accident in Ohio, you may be suffering from physical injuries and emotional distress. If you are unable to work during your recovery, you may find it difficult to support yourself and your family. Filing a personal injury claim against the driver responsible for your accident is one way to recover damages to cover some or all of your accident-related expenses. To file a successful claim, you will likely need to show that the other driver’s negligence contributed to or caused your car accident.

How can I prove negligence?

If you decide to go forward with a negligence claim against the other driver, it is important you have evidence to prove each element of the claim. The four elements of negligence include:

  • Duty: The other driver had a legal duty to drive in a safe and responsible manner.
  • Breach of duty: The other driver breached their duty by driving negligently or recklessly.
  • Causation: The other driver’s negligence behind the wheel directly and proximately caused your accident.
  • Damages: The accident caused you to suffer injuries and/or damages.

Evidence of negligence comes in many forms. Your attorney will gather all the evidence needed to establish the four elements listed above. This evidence may include:

  • Police reports: A police report from the scene of the accident may provide details of the incident, including a description of the scene, statements from parties at the scene, officer observations, and/or citations given out at the scene.
  • Photos/videos: Photos and videos from the scene of the crash.
  • Witness testimony: Statements from witnesses that observed the accident or were present at the scene.
  • Documentation: Medical records, paystubs, income statements, and other documentation can establish damages suffered.
  • Expert testimony: Medical experts and accident reconstructionists can often attest to the nature and extent of the injuries caused by the accident, if any.

Your attorney has a responsibility to establish, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the other driver’s negligence played a role in your accident. Consulting with an attorney as soon as possible after an accident can be helpful, so they can start collecting evidence, contacting witnesses, and preparing your case.