When you get into a car accident, figuring out what to do next can be confusing. If you have been injured in a collision, you can file a personal injury claim to recover expenses related to medical bills, lost wages, and other damages. In order to file a claim, you must prove negligence, which consists of four elements: duty of care, breach of duty of care, causation, and damages.
1. Duty of Care
The first element you must prove in a car accident personal injury claim is the duty of care that the other driver had on the road. The duty of care is the agreement that every driver makes to operate their vehicle in a safe manner by obeying all traffic laws and other precautions used to protect drivers. Examples of duty of care include:
- Driving within the speed limit
- Yielding when necessary
- Stopping at red lights and stop signs
- Watching the road
- Avoiding distractions, like texting or talking on the phone
- Using turn signals
2. Breach of Duty of Care
One of the most important elements of a car accident personal injury claim is proving that the driver breached their duty of care. This basically means that you must prove that the driver disobeyed traffic laws or otherwise acted in a way that caused undue danger to other drivers.
3 & 4. Causation and Damages
These two elements should be discussed together, because you must prove that the damages that you suffered were a result of the other driver’s negligence. There are two types of causation: cause-in-fact and proximate cause. Cause-in-fact is the breach of duty of care that is the actual and direct cause of a certain damage. Proximate cause refers to a breach of duty of care that did not necessarily cause the damages directly, but without the negligence on the part of the liable party, the damages would not have occurred.
Damages can include a variety of elements, including:
- Physical harm to your person
- Damage to your property
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages or earning capacity
Contact a Kane County Car Accident Attorney
If you have been in a car accident and have suffered injuries or damages as a result, you need the help of an experienced Aurora personal injury lawyer. Car accident personal injury claims can be difficult and confusing to navigate, and the attorneys of Kinnally Flaherty Krentz Loran Hodge & Masur P.C. can discuss your options and help you determine how to get the compensation you deserve. Call our office at 630-907-0909 to schedule a free consultation.