Driver negligence is a very broad term and is often used to describe a driver that did not obey the laws while they were behind the wheel. It can be anything from speeding or running a stop sign to failing to yield (to a car or pedestrian) or having brake-lights that are not working properly.
Distracted driving also falls under the umbrella of driver negligence and includes texting while driving, driving under the influence, eating or drinking, putting on makeup, checking a GPS and even changing music.
To sum it up simply, if a driver is not careful and does something that causes an accident (and possibly injuries as well), they could be held liable and would be named as a “negligent driver” in the auto accident case.
Get Informed About Negligent Drivers in Indianapolis, Indiana
If you have gotten into a car accident where driver negligence is involved, you may be unsure of whether you have a right to seek compensation. In most cases, there is a clear indicator of which driver is at fault, however no two car wrecks are the same. Even rear end collision, which are commonly thought to always be the rear driver’s fault, could result in both driver’s being found partially responsible.
That is why it is important to never cast blame or assume fault at the scene of an accident involving driver negligence. Instead, reach out to an Indianapolis car accident lawyer as soon as possible to share the details of your case. Based on your statement, your attorney will let you know whether contributory or comparative negligence will factor into your case and how that can affect the amount of compensation you are able to receive.
Contributory negligence is used in a case that a person conducted him or herself in a way that unreasonably puts them in danger. In short, it is a human being’s own responsibility to behave in a way that is reasonable, safe and responsible.
An example of contributory negligence is a bicycle rider who is not wearing a helmet and sustains a head injury in an accident. Indiana has no law regarding the use of helmets for bicycle riders, but a bicycle rider’s lack of helmet could easily be considered contributory negligence as the cyclist should have known that using a helmet could protect his/her head.
In other words, you helped contribute to your own injury by not taking the proper precautions to protect yourself.
Comparative Negligence is broken down into two categories.
Pure Comparative Negligence: The plaintiff’s damages are determined and tallied. From that amount, that plaintiff’s percentage of responsibility is subtracted to determine an award for their incurred damages.
Modified Comparative Negligence: The plaintiff will not receive compensation if he/she is found to be half or more than half responsible for his/her injuries. If they are found to be less than half at fault, they can then receive an award for damages.
Modified comparative negligence is the most common law for most states, including Indiana. It also often comes into play in car accident cases that don’t involve driver negligence.
The details of modified negligence cases can get confusing, so getting an experienced attorney who is knowledgeable about driver’s negligence cases can help determine the involved parties precise percentage fault and help you to get a favorable outcome.
If You Are in an Accident Where Negligent Driving May Have Occurred
- Assess any injuries. If you or someone else involved in the accident needs help, call 9-1-1 immediately.
- If you need a police report, request that an officer be sent to the scene to file a police report.
- Take notes. The time of the accident along with any witness accounts are very important to your case. Ask witnesses for their names and contact information.
- Take pictures. Getting placement of the cars involved can help your case if you were not at fault.
- Talk to the other drivers involved. Ask the other drivers for their proof of insurance, name, telephone number and address. If you don’t have a pen and paper handy, simply snap a photo for your records and email it to yourself so you’ll always have it on record.
- Keep consistent records. If you experience any symptoms after your accident, like headaches, neck or back problems, be sure to take note, inform your insurance company and schedule an appointment with your doctor so you can get the proper care you need.
Reach Out to an Indianapolis Car Accident Lawyer to Discuss Driver Negligence
If your accident was caused by someone else’s negligence, you are entitled to fair compensation for your damages. Contact Rowe & Hamilton today to learn more about how we can help you win that fight for compensation.