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Proving negligence key to successful car accident cases

On Behalf of | Sep 10, 2014 | Car Accidents, Firm News |


Driving in one’s car is an everyday activity for most residents of the Erie area, yet is also one of the most dangerous things people must do on a regular basis. Families affected by car accidents understand all too well the emotional and financial implications of a damaging crash, let alone those caused by a fatal collision. When it comes to the legal courses of action that are possible after an accident, demonstrating negligence is key to eventually obtaining the


to which one is entitled.

There are several elements in demonstrating negligence, which Erie, Pennsylvania car accident attorneys are extremely familiar with. In general, there are five common components of negligence. These include duty, breach of duty, factual cause, proximate cause and damages. The first, duty, involves one person or other entity, such as a business, having some sort of duty towards another. On Pennsylvania roadways, drivers have a duty to obey the rules of the road and operate their vehicle with reasonable caution.

Breach of duty means that someone, such as a negligent driver, violated the duty. Cause in fact means the violation of that duty caused someone else to get hurt, such as in the case of a speeding driver who doesn’t slow in time, rear-ends another car and causes serious injury. Northwestern Pennsylvania car accident attorneys have extensive experience with the multitudes of duties that exist on the roads, as well as the factual implications when those duties aren’t followed.

The element of proximate causation can be more complicated, but often involves a type of damage that may not have been directly or immediately caused by another’s negligence. For instance, if a car crash causes someone to drive to a faraway medical center to get specialized treatment, and the injured person slips on a wet floor in that building, a negligence case can question whether that damage was caused by the original negligent act. Attorneys skilled in personal injury can help injured parties understand what does and does not fall under cause in fact or proximate causation regarding their particular case.

The final element of negligence is damages. An auto accident can scatter cause damage in multiple areas of a victim’s life, from injury to lost wages to property damage. Finding out who is liable for these damages, and ensuring that party is held responsible is the domain of

Erie, PA trial attorneys