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Car accident: How is negligence established?

Whenever an injured victim of any type of accident pursues recovery of damages by filing a personal injury lawsuit in a British Columbia civil court, that person must establish negligence. However, understanding the concept of negligence and how to go about proving it is important. If an individual fails to take reasonable care while driving, and a car accident follows, that person may typically be held liable for damages.

Reasonable care is the care any ordinary, prudent person would take in similar circumstances. To establish whether negligence applies, the court will determine whether there was a duty of care to the accident victim and whether the defendant failed to take due care. Once established, it will also be necessary to prove that the documented negligence caused injuries that resulted in financial losses.

An individual's failure to take reasonable action can also constitute negligence. For example, if a host fails to stop serving alcohol to a person who then causes an accident with injuries, that host could be deemed negligent. In contrast, if a person overindulges at a "bring your own booze" party, the host cannot be held responsible for providing the alcohol, and the driver may be the only one deemed negligent. However, each case is different and rises or falls depending on the specific facts.

The most challenging part of any personal injury lawsuit after a British Columbia car accident may be the proof of negligence. Fortunately, injured victims need not pursue recovery of damages on their own. The support and guidance of skilled personal injury lawyers are available. An experienced lawyer can launch an investigation to determine all the facts of the case to establish negligence before the court. The successful presentation of such a claim may lead to a monetary judgment in favour of the plaintiff.

Source: FindLaw Canada, "What is negligence?", Accessed on Feb. 3, 2017

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