The Role of Negligence in Car Accidents
The theory of negligence can often be the basis of car accident lawsuits. In some cases, negligence can easily be presumed because a driver may have been driving under the influence or may have broken a traffic law and thus caused an accident. However, in other cases, a victim may have to prove that a driver acted negligently.
The Theory of Negligence
Negligence is a term that is often used as a legal theory to pursue a personal injury claim. When a person acts negligently, he or she has failed to exercise a level of care that an ordinary person, under similar circumstances, would have exercised. Furthermore, negligence can be a product of a person's actions or inactions. To file a personal injury lawsuit under the legal theory of negligence, the plaintiff (victim) must show that the defendant's (person being sued) conduct meets the following elements:
- The driver owed a duty of care to the victim;
- The driver breached this duty of care;
- The driver's conduct caused the plaintiff's injuries; and
- The plaintiff sustained injuries or damage due to the driver's conduct.
Generally, Wisconsin law expects drivers to adhere to certain road rules such as driving within posted speed limits, remaining control over the vehicle, avoiding distracted driving, and maintaining the vehicle so that it is in a safe working condition. Failure to follow any of these rules may result in a breach of duty. Therefore, a driver who causes a car accident can be held liable for negligence.
Statute of Limitations
It is important to note that Wisconsin law imposes a time limit on when a lawsuit for negligence can be filed after a car accident. The victim of a car accident has three years from the date of the accident to file suit against the defendant or the victim will be barred from recovering any damages for his or her injuries.
Contact an Experienced Wisconsin Car Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one has been the victim of a car accident, contact one of our knowledgeable Green Bay car accident lawyers or Appleton car accident lawyers at Herrling Clark Law Firm Ltd. We are located throughout the Wisconsin area and have offices in Oshkosh, Appleton, Green Bay and New London. We will carefully evaluate the facts surrounding your case and help you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Contact us today for a free consultation.