Being allowed to operate a motor vehicle is a privilege, not a right. With
this privilege comes responsibility. In legal terms this responsibility
is called a duty. It is the duty to operate the vehicle as would any other
responsible and prudent driver so that harm does not needlessly come to
other persons on the road. An
experienced Poughkeepsie car accident attorney understands this duty and knows how to apply it in a court of law if a
motorist has negligently caused you harm.
One basic way to adhere to the motorists’ duty of care is to see
what there is to be seen when driving on roadways. This may seem obvious, but many
car accidents could have been avoided had the offending driver been alert to his or
Anything that can be seen should be seen. Once perceived, the motorist
should respond accordingly in a reasonable and prudent manner. That is,
one should make use of his or her senses such as vision and hearing so
that he or she may adjust to roadway conditions and traffic signs and signals.
Civil liability arises when one fails to look for dangers and signage when
there was an opportunity to do so. Attorneys are aware of this and will
ask a judge to instruct a jury to consider negligence when a motorist
has harmed someone by failing to use his or her senses while driving.
Juries will be asked to consider whether the motorist who caused the
car accident looked out for stop signs, yield signs, and speed limit signs. If the
sign could have been seen and wasn’t seen, negligence arises if
someone is injured. Failing to hear another motorist’s horn, a pedestrian
yelling, or the sound of an oncoming train, could also be negligence if
a reasonable and prudent motorist would have perceived such sounds. Therefore,
a motorist cannot successfully use the excuse that he or she did not see
or hear something. Civil liability will arise if other reasonable drivers
would have seen or heard the warning signs.
Successfully winning a negligence case requires more than a bare claim
that the other driver failed to see and adhere to traffic signs or roadway dangers.
Experienced attorneys know that proof of such a failure must have been the proximate cause of
your injuries. Additionally, your damages must be pleaded and proved.
In sum, a successful negligence case requires proof that the defendant
was under a duty, the duty was owed to the plaintiff, proof of injury
and that the harm was proximately caused by a breach of the duty, and
a showing of damages. The standard of proof in a negligence case is a
preponderance of evidence. That is, it was more likely than not that the
defendant negligently cause the plaintiff’s injuries.
Are you interested in learning more about car accidents and the various duties?
Visit our latest article here covering these details here and return each day this week for more information.
Our car accident attorneys at
Mainetti, Mainetti, and O’Connor, P.C. have over 100 years of combined experience working with victims of personal
injury accidents throughout New York. We understand how to effectively
represent clients who have been injured in serious personal injury accidents,
particularly throughout the Mid-Hudson Valley region in Kingston, Poughkeepsie,
and Newburgh where we have offices. Hear
what our clients are saying about us here and learn about just some of our
successful results here. If you or a loved one has been injured in a personal injury accident,
please do not hesitate to contact us by calling 845-340-HURT (4878) or
toll free at 866-440-4452, or by using the
convenient contact form here.