Understanding the Duty of Care in a West Virginia Accident Case
One of the aspects that will guide you through your personal injury claim is what is known as the “duty of care.” Without being able to show that another party owed you a duty of care and breached this duty of care to you when they caused your injuries, you would not have a claim. Today, we would like to focus on the duty of care, what it entails, and how you can prove your claim.
The Duty of Care in Your Personal Injury Lawsuit
Every person in the U.S., from the moment that they obtain their license, must abide by a certain duty of care when they are sharing the roads so that they can keep others safe from harm. When somebody does not uphold this duty of care and you are injured or a loved one is taken from you, there is a chance that your or your family members could hold a party liable for their negligent acts. For example, if somebody does not stop at an intersection and instead plows through without stopping even though they have a red light, they could be held liable for their wrongful actions. This is due to the fact that a reasonable driver would not plow through an intersection without paying close attention to the lights.
The duty of care applies to every person who shares our roads. However, it also applies to those who have to abide by a higher standard of duty, such as those who are common carrier drivers. For instance, those who drive our buses, airplanes, and trains are held to a higher standard in many cases due to the fact that they have promised to safely get passengers from one place to another for a fee. If they do not abide by this duty of care, they have acted with extreme negligence and could be held liable. On the same hand, children are owed a high duty of care due to the fact that they are some of the most vulnerable parties on our roads.
As you can see, there are many ways that the duty of care can apply to situations on our roads and many circumstances that can break this duty of care, leading to a West Virginia negligence lawsuit.
When a Party Breaches Their Duty of Care
When there is a breach in the duty of care, this is when a lawsuit typically comes into play. You, as the plaintiff, who has been injured, or the family of a loved one whose life was taken, must be able to show four elements, including the duty of care, a breach in this duty, actual damages, and causation, if you want to be successful in your injury lawsuit.
If you want to show that a duty was breached, you must first be able to show that a duty existed in the first place. From there, it will be easy to show that a driver did not abide by the laws of the road or acted in a way that was outright negligent and risked lives on the roadways.
Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit in West Virginia
If you believe that another party has acted in a negligent fashion, you have the right to move forward with a personal injury claim for compensation, as the damages might continue to pile up against you. Showing that another person breached their duty of care to you and that this led to a negligent car accident can be one of the most difficult things that you will ever have to face on your own, which is why it is imperative to have a skilled attorney on your side to protect your rights. Please contact us at Katz, Kantor, Stonestreet & Buckner at 304-431-4050 for more information on how we can assist you.