When you suffer bodily harm or property damage in a car accident, you have the right to seek compensation for your losses.
However, as the party filing the claim, you are responsible for proving the other person’s negligence.
The components of negligence
Proving negligence in a personal injury case means providing evidence to support the four components of negligence in an auto accident:
- The other driver owed you a duty of care, meaning their actions should reflect reasonable attempts to drive safely.
- The other driver breached the duty of care, likely by violating a road law.
- The violation resulted in the collision.
- The collision caused your injuries and damages.
Without damages, there is no cause for a personal injury claim. The purpose of tort law is to provide compensation for losses. Therefore, without losses, you do not need to seek compensation.
Understanding shared negligence
Every state determines how to govern cases of shared fault. When you file a claim against the other driver, they will likely respond with their own allegations. If they claim you are partially responsible, and the court determines that is true, you could still recover a portion of damages according to Connecticut’s modified comparative negligence rule.
For example, if you are 30% liable and your total damages equal $10,000, you can still recover $7,000, which reflects the defendant’s 70% liability. Unfortunately, if you are more than 50% responsible, you will not be eligible for damages.
Most auto accident cases settle before ever reaching the trial phase.