Receiving injury in a car wreck is about more than just the physical pain and suffering. You probably already understand that surviving a car accident usually involves hefty medical bills and lingering emotional trauma. Perhaps the most frustrating thing about this is that you were not even at fault for the accident. But how can you prove the other driver was at fault?
Proving that the other driver was at fault involves demonstrating that he or she was negligent. While it might seem obvious to you, there are specific criteria that one's behavior has to meet before you can get the compensation you need. Here is how proving negligence works during a personal injury claim in Kentucky.
Duty of care
In order to achieve compensation for your injuries, you have to show that the other driver had a legal duty of care toward you. In terms of car accidents, this usually means that drivers have a duty of care to act safely behind the wheel. Doctors also have a duty of care toward their patients.
After showing that duty existed, you then have to prove that he or she breached that duty. This is not always straightforward. To show that the driver breached that care of duty, you have to prove that the average person in his or her situation would have done something different. An example could be a driver texting behind the wheel or ignoring the posted speed limit.
Causation and compensation
You will also need to show that his or her negligence actually caused your accident. Simply demonstrating that he or she was driving negligently might not be enough. For instance, can you show that the other driver's behavior -- such as cell phone use -- caused your wreck, and not something else? The other driver might try to argue that an act of nature or other random occurrence caused the accident.
Once you have established a duty, a breach of duty and causation, you still need one more element -- damages. To hold the other driver responsible for your injuries, a court must be able to order compensation for those injuries.
What if I'm not sure about things?
The period of time following a car accident can be extremely confusing. Your focus may have been on getting the right medical care rather than gathering all of the possible facts about the collision. This is completely understandable, as your first priority should be your safety and well-being.
However, it can make it difficult when you are ready to pursue compensation from a personal injury claim. This does not mean getting the compensation you deserve for your car accident is impossible. A Kentucky attorney experienced in these types of matters can help explain your options for moving forward.