There are only a few reasons for a side-impact collision to ever occur. The vast majority of these causes are of the common sense variety and will necessarily involve a high degree of negligence on behalf of at least one of the drivers involved. The most recurring reasons for side-impact collisions are:
- Distracted driving
- Drunk driving
- Failure to yield
Let’s consider a few examples. What if, for example, a driver fails to follow road rules related to right of way while at a four way stop sign? He or she then enters the intersection at the same time as a vehicle to its right and ends up slamming into that car. In this case, the driver who was impacted by the driver who failed to respect right of way laws will have the option of filing a personal injury lawsuit.
The point of the previous example is to illustrate the fact that negligence often plays a significant role in the majority of all side-impact collisions. However, there are other factors at play. A plaintiff who chooses to bring a personal injury lawsuit against a negligent driver will also bear the burden of proving that the other driver’s negligence was indeed the direct cause for the side-impact collision.
In order to actually prove negligence, a victim’s car accident lawyer must demonstrate that the offending driver violated his or her duty of avoiding risk of harming another driver by a reckless or negligent action.
In sum, to prevail against a defendant, a plaintiff must prove that:
- Defendant breached his or her duty of care.
- The breach caused harm to Plaintiff.
- Plaintiff suffered damages.
What exactly is a duty of care? In short, all drivers have the responsibility to act prudently and safely while behind the wheel. Any action or inaction that violates this responsibility, whether intentionally or not, can constitute a violation of one’s duty of care.