What is a Breach of Duty in a Car Accident Case?

Written by AskTheLawyers.com™ on behalf of Gregory H. Herrman with Herrman & Herrman, P.L.L.C..

What is a Breach of Duty in a Car Accident Case?

Car accidents are stressful, dangerous, and often expensive. It can be difficult to know where to start in building a case against the driver who caused the accident in order to seek compensation for damages, but a good place to start is by proving that a breach of duty of care occurred. A breach of duty of care, or more simply a “breach of duty” is a term often used in legal situations, and refers to the failure of one party to behave in a reasonably responsible manner, resulting in injury to another party. In a car accident case, this generally refers to one driver failing to follow traffic rules or exercising blatant disregard for the safety of the people sharing the road with them, resulting in a car accident in which one or both parties are injured.

In a successful car accident case, four important things must be proven:

  1. Duty of care: The injured party must be able to prove that the other driver owed them a duty of care. In other words, the injured party must show that the other party had a reasonable responsibility to act in a way that would have prevented injury to the victim.
  2. Breach of duty of care: The injured party must then prove that there was a breach of that duty of care. In other words, this means there was a failure to act with responsible responsibility, whether intentional or through sheer negligence, that resulted in an injury that could otherwise have been prevented.
  3. Causation: This refers to the need for the injured party to provide evidence proving that the accused party truly was responsible for the accident that injured them.
  4. Damages: The damages in a car accident case refer to the economic and non-economic loss suffered by the victim in a car accident. Similar to the causation, the damages in a car accident will also need to be substantiated before compensation can be offered.

It can be difficult to prove that a breach of duty occurred, which is why it’s a good idea to seek legal counsel after a car accident.

Evidence such as pictures and videos of both vehicles, surroundings, injuries, as well as witness information and testimonies are important elements to proving and supporting a victim’s case; these types of evidence can often be gathered at the scene of the accident by either the victim themself or a family member or friend if the car accident victim is too injured to do so. However, experienced car accident attorneys have other resources available to them which they can use to prove a driver’s duty of care, breach of duty of care, and causation, as well as helping a car accident victim calculate their damages both financial and otherwise. Additionally, a car accident attorney may have access to sources of evidence that the average person does not. Examples of this include surveillance footage from local businesses who might have caught the accident on tape, and law enforcement records regarding traffic and the accident itself. If you or a loved one were injured in a car accident and want to learn more about the duty of care owed by the other driver, or simply to learn more about this subject, seek legal counsel.


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