Were You Hit by a Negligent Driver?
Were You Hit by a Negligent Driver? Thousands of auto accidents occur in Louisiana each year due to the negligence of drivers. These collisions often result in serious injuries and fatalities, impacting motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists alike. If you have been hit by a negligent driver, it’s crucial to gather the necessary information to understand your rights, establish liability, and pursue compensation for your injuries.
Determining Negligence in Car Accidents
Proving that another driver is negligent may not always be a straightforward process, even when you are certain that their actions caused the collision. Negligence is defined as the failure to exercise the degree of care that a reasonable and prudent person would under similar circumstances, resulting in injury or damage to others. In car accident cases, all drivers are expected to act with a level of care that a reasonable driver would consider appropriate.
Examples of negligent driving in Louisiana can include:
- Drunk driving
- Driving under the influence of drugs
- Running red lights or stop signs
- Distracted driving (texting, talking on the phone, etc.)
- Reckless driving
- Fatigued driving
- Failure to maintain the vehicle properly
- Ignoring recalls or known mechanical issues
To determine negligence, you can ask whether a reasonable driver would have acted differently under the circumstances or if the driver appeared careless in their actions.
Options After Being Hit by a Negligent Driver
If you’ve been injured in a collision caused by a negligent driver, you have several options to seek compensation for your losses. The process often starts with filing an auto insurance claim. Louisiana follows the “pure comparative fault” rule, which means that your own negligence will not bar you from seeking compensation. However, your damages award may be reduced based on your percentage of fault.
Proving Negligence in a Lawsuit
To succeed in a car accident negligence claim, you need to prove the following elements:
- Duty of Care: The driver owed you a duty of care (commonly applicable to all drivers).
- Breach of Duty: The driver acted negligently or failed to act reasonably, breaching the duty of care.
- Causation: The driver’s negligence directly caused your injuries.
- Damages: You suffered actual damages (medical bills, lost wages, pain, and suffering) as a result of the driver’s negligence.
Evidence that can help prove negligence includes witness statements, photographs from the accident scene, police reports, cell phone data (if distracted driving was involved), breathalyzer or chemical test results (in case of drunk driving), and traffic surveillance cameras.
Importance of Prompt Action
Since Louisiana has a one-year statute of limitations for car accident lawsuits, it’s essential to act promptly. The clock starts ticking from the date of the accident, and you must initiate your lawsuit within this time frame. Delaying the process may result in lost evidence or a time-barred claim.
Consult with our Louisiana Auto Accident Lawyers
Navigating the legal process after a car accident can be overwhelming. An experienced auto accident lawyer in Louisiana can help you understand your rights, gather evidence, and build a strong case to seek fair compensation. At Lee Hoffoss Law Firm, we are dedicated to supporting our clients every step of the way and ensuring their rights are protected. If you have been hit by a negligent driver in Louisiana, contact us today for a free consultation. We serve clients in Lake Charles and throughout Louisiana.