Whether it is a fender-bender or a five-car pileup on a Baton Rouge highway, a motor vehicle accident is likely caused by the negligence of one or more parties. These parties may include:
- The driver of a vehicle
- The owner of a vehicle
- The employer of the driver, if the driver was on-the-job at the time of the accident
- The mechanic responsible for maintenance on the vehicle (particularly commercial trucks)
Elements of driver negligence
When a driver breaches his or her duty to another party, they have acted negligently. The negligence of one or more of the drivers involved will be proven by establishing four elements:
- Duty – Drivers owe a duty to others to operate their vehicles in a safe manner
- Breach – Drivers may breach the duty owed to others by failing to abide by traffic laws (e.g. speeding, running a red light) or otherwise behaving recklessly behind the wheel.
- Causation – The driver’s breach of duty directly and proximately caused the accident.
- Damages – The accident resulted in injuries or damages.
Establishing driver negligence
In order to prove these elements, accident victims, with help from their attorneys, may have to present physical evidence, as well as witness and expert testimony. Physical evidence may include medical records, photos and videos from the scene of the crash, and photos of the injuries. Expert testimony may be provided by accident reconstructionists, physicians, and other professionals who can testify as to why the accident occurred and the nature and severity of the injuries.
Building a personal injury case after an accident is not easy, but if your suit is successful, you can recover damages for your medical expenses, lost wages, and emotional trauma. An attorney with experience handling accidents can help you with every step of the process.