What is Negligence?

Negligence is when a person behaves in a careless or reckless manner. Drivers are required to use reasonable care when driving to avoid causing injury to other motorists, passengers, and pedestrians. Failure to do so can cause injury or even death which can then result in the driver and their insurance company becoming financially liable for that person’s injuries and losses.

What legal duties are required of a driver?

Every driver is expected to meet certain standards while operating a vehicle. When you obtain a driver’s license, you take responsibility as an individual that is given the privilege of operating a motor vehicle. This includes safely operating a vehicle and ensuring the safety of others.

  • Driving at a reasonable speed. Driving at a safe, reasonable speed in light of traffic, weather, visibility, and road conditions is a standard that drivers must meet. Certain conditions can influence what “reasonable” means under certain circumstances (weather conditions, visibility, etc.).
  • Vigilance and keeping a proper lookout. Remaining alert and aware of their surroundings at all times is another duty of a responsible driver. This includes exercising caution, slowing down, and remaining extra vigilant under certain circumstances.
  • Maintain control at all times. A driver must be able to maintain control of their vehicle at all times. If necessary, drivers are required to be able to swerve or stop quickly without losing control of their vehicle.
  • Ensure routine maintenance and upkeep of the vehicle. If the driver has failed to keep up with their vehicles required maintenance and it in result causes an accident, they can be considered negligent.

State Imposed Driver Duties

Each state has laws in addition to these duties required to ensure safety. In Nebraska, some additions include, but are not limited to:

  • Yielding to pedestrians
  • Reducing speed in construction areas and school zones
  • Never operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • No cellphone use while driving
  • Stop for passing emergency vehicles
  • Abiding by no passing zones

When a driver breaches their duty of care.

When the duty of care is breached, negligent drivers put others at risk of injury and death. If a driver causes an accident they can be found negligent in a car accident personal injury claim. Failure to follow the rules of the road is sufficient cause for pursuing a personal injury claim. Many people breach the duty of care in minor and major ways every day. 

Examples of Driver Negligence

  • Running a red light
  • Reckless driving
  • Distracted driving
  • Speeding
  • Following too closely
  • Not following posted signs and signals
  • Improper lane changes or passing
  • Failing to yield

How to claim driver negligence

Claiming and proving another driver’s negligence is a key step in earning fair compensation for victims in car accidents. To make the case as strong as it can be, compiling evidence that supports negligence of the defendant is vital. This can include photos of the scene, a police report, information of all parties involved, medical bills, and any other relevant evidence. The better documented the accident, the more likely negligence can be proven.

Negligence is a very important aspect of any car accident claim, but it can be difficult to understand. An experienced personal injury attorney will be able to assist you during your process and help ensure that you receive the compensation owed to you.