What is driver negligence?

Frank S. Clowney III

In California, car accident victims may recover damages for their accident-related injuries by filing a lawsuit against the parties who were at fault. Most car accident claims involve establishing that the driver of another vehicle operated their vehicle negligently and therefore caused the accident.

What is driver negligence?

Motorists have a legal duty to adhere to all state driving regulations and operate their vehicles safely. Driver negligence occurs when a driver breaches this duty and operates their vehicle in a reckless or irresponsible manner. Some common forms of driver negligence include:

  • Following too closely behind another vehicle
  • Driving at an unreasonable rate of speed
  • Changing lanes when it is unsafe to do so
  • Texting while driving, or driving while otherwise distracted
  • Drunk driving or driving under the influence of drugs
  • Running a stop sign or red light
  • Failing to yield the right-of-way

Proving driver negligence

Generally, a police report is the first step in proving driver negligence, particularly if the officer issued a citation for violating a traffic law.

In addition to proving that the driver was negligent, you will need to show that the driver’s negligence caused the accident in question. Expert testimony is typically the best way to prove causation. An accident reconstruction specialist can provide insight as to how the accident occurred and whether the driver’s negligence could have caused the accident.

Filing a negligence claim after a car accident can be challenging without a personal injury attorney to guide you through the process. Your attorney can help collect and present the evidence necessary to prove your case.