Risky behavior of any sort while driving a car can inevitably lead to an accident. In Tampa, Florida, reckless driving incidents include speeding, driving while distracted by a mobile phone, driving aggressively, tailgating and others.
In the case of some car accidents determining Negligence by a driver is quite straightforward. For example, with read-end collisions, it is assumed that the driver behind was following too closely and struck the vehicle in front. However, it can be argued that the car in front did not have working brake lights, resulting in a rear-end accident.
For your Tampa car accident lawyer to claim that the other driver was negligent in an accident, four factors need to be considered. These are
- Duty of Care – “Duty of care” is a phrase that means that all drivers have a responsibility to not cause harm to others on the roads. It means that a driver must obey Florida’s traffic rules, not lose focus on their driving, and be considerate towards other motorists. If a driver is speeding and driving under the influence, he is negligent towards his Duty of Care.
- Breach of Duty- If there is a “breach of duty,” it means that a driver failed to follow their duty of care and acted in a manner that could harm another motorist. If a driver did not act reasonably and caused injuries or damage to another party, he or she has been negligent.
- Causation- Once a breach of duty is established, the next aspect to consider is “causation.” Did the “breach of duty” directly cause the accident? For example, A driver who was distracted by a phone call hit a tree that toppled over and damaged another car, or was this other car damaged because the driver was going too fast to stop when the tree fell?
- Damages- The losses incurred due to the car crash are labeled as damages. They could have both economic and non-economic implications. These include physical injuries, present and future wage loss, and mental suffering.
Here are the categories of Negligence in Florida:
- The most common category of Negligence is standard Negligence. It refers to a breach of the duty of care. If you can establish standard Negligence, you will be eligible for compensation in Florida.
- Gross Negligence is an action that was done to cause you to harm intentionally. You will need to prove that the other person caused damage through malicious intent to qualify for punitive damages.
- In Florida, comparative Negligence means that the injured victim was partly responsible and contributed to the accident. If a defendant can prove this, it will reduce your compensation by an amount equivalent to the degree of fault attributed to you.
- Vicarious Negligence means that someone else is liable for the actions of the driver that caused the accident. For example, the parent of a minor driving a car will be held responsible.
Proving and disproving Negligence need legal expertise. A Tampa car accident lawyer knows the categories of Negligence in the State of Florida and will help you navigate the process.