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Liability in Car Accidents

Liability in a San Francisco car accident will rest with the driver who was negligent. Negligence is a legal concept that means someone acted carelessly or recklessly. For accident victims, it is crucial to determine which driver was liable in order to hold that party responsible for paying compensation to injured victims. When trying to establish liability in car accidents, victims must establish four elements of proof. A San Francisco car accident lawyer can uncover certain types of evidence to help establish liability so accident victims can claim the compensation they need.

The Four Elements of Proof

Like in all personal injury cases, there are four elements of proof accident victims must establish after a car crash. These include:

  • The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care: This element is fairly easy to prove in car accident cases. Every person owes everyone else around them a certain duty of care. This means that every driver must act in a reasonable manner to keep others safe.
  • The defendant breached that duty of care: Proving that someone breached his or her duty of care is proving negligence, which is one of the most difficult elements to prove in a personal injury claim.
  • Causation: Even when a driver acts negligently, if those actions did not cause the accident, the driver is not liable for the accident.
  • Damages: Personal injury claims are meant to compensate accident victims for their losses, or damages. Even when someone’s negligent actions cause an accident, if there are no damages, there is no basis for a personal injury claim.

When accident victims can prove each of these four elements, they can pursue a valid personal injury claim with the help of car accident attorney in San Francisco.

The Use of Police Reports

Any time there is a car accident in San Francisco that results in injury, death, or significant property damage, those involved are required by law to report the accident. After an accident is reported, the police will create and file an accident report. This accident report can prove helpful in a personal injury claim.

Within their report, the police officers who visited the scene will indicate which party was at fault for the accident. This can prove to be crucial in a personal injury claim because the courts will generally agree with the police report. This is particularly true when the at-fault driver was charged with drunk driving or reckless driving, as it can help prove liability.

Although an accident victims and his or her San Francisco car accident lawyer will need to collect more evidence than just the police report, it is a useful tool in a personal injury claim.

Were You in an Accident?

If you have been involved in a car accident, you will quickly learn that proving liability is one of the most difficult aspects of any case. At Willoughby Brod, LLP, a car accident attorney in San Francisco can help. We know how to conduct investigations and collect evidence that can prove fault and help you claim the full amount of compensation you need. If you are hurt, call us today at (800) 427-7020 for your free consultation so we can start reviewing your case.

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