Car Accident Info Center
Car Accidents Info Center

Negligence

Negligence is a legal term and it is often a misunderstood concept by victims of car accidents in Florida. Based in Jacksonville, Florida, car accident attorney David Wolf has devoted his entire legal career to the protection and enforcement of the legal rights of injury victims who have been injured as a result of the fault or "negligence" of others. It should be noted that just because there is a car accident does not mean that another driver was negligent or at fault for the crash. Negligence is actually a concept with four essential elements to prove as follows: 1. Duty; 2. Breach of Duty; 3. Causation; and 4. Damages. Each car accident case requires an analysis to determine if the legal requirements can be met or proven. There is also a practical side to the handling of personal injury case. Even if each of the four elements can be established, there is still a need to determine if it is practical and in the best interests of the client to pursue a case or claim for personal injuries.

Let's discuss a common accident type to illustrate how both the legal and practical considerations are applied to a car accident case or a negligence case. John Jones is stopped at a stop light on a clear sunny day. Traffic is light. Visibility is clear. The roads were dry. Mary Smith, who reached down to grab her mobile phone, crashes into the rear end of Mr. Jones' vehicle. Mr. Jones was wearing his seatbelt but still felt the jolt of the crash. He immediately felt pain and tightness to his neck and back. Both the police and fire rescue were called to the scene. A traffic citation was issued to Mary Smith for "Careless Driving" and John Jones was transported to the local emergency room for evaluation and care. There are other facts to cover but let's go through the four elements now to show how negligence cases like car accident cases.

Duty. Mary Smith had a duty to operate her vehicle in a safe and reasonable manner. She also had a duty to refrain from following or driving too closely to another motor vehicle. There is a law in the State of Florida that prohibits the use of a mobile device as to reading e-mails, texts, etc. . . . Mary was merely reaching for her phone so it is not clear if she violated this Florida law. Certainly, when Mary Smith got in her vehicle and operated her motor vehicle, she had a duty to drive in a safe and reasonable manner. Like other drivers in the State of Florida, the element of duty can be easily established in most every automobile accident case.

Breach of Duty. The element of "breach of duty" is a bit more involved than the element of "duty". It appears from the rear end car accident described above that Mary was following too closely, failed to observe traffic, and failed to otherwise operate her motor vehicle in a safe and reasonable manner. It should be noted that the issuance of a traffic citation is not required to pursue a case or claim for negligence and personal injuries. It is often helpful to have this fact or factor in place but the issuance of a traffic citation is not required to pursue and obtain compensation for personal injuries. It should also be noted that the issuance of a traffic citation cannot in most cases be used as evidence in a civil trial. As such, even in car accidents in which a traffic citation is issued, the driver, who was issued the citation, can still defend the case and argue that he or she was not at fault for the car accident.

Causation. This is often the most confusing element in a case. There must be a link between the breach of duty and the injuries. This is referred to as "causation" or "proximate cause". Many automobile insurance companies will argue that the element of "causation" was not met in cases involving a low speed crash, a victim with prior medical issues, a victim who receives limited medical care, and a victim who is elderly. In other words, the automobile insurance companies will argue that the accident at issue was not the proximate cause of the personal injuries claimed by the victim even though the insured driver may have been at fault,

Damages. This refers to the injuries sustained and claimed by the victim. In the above example, the facts as presented above only revealed that John went to the emergency room. As such, based on these facts alone, the extent of the damages or personal injuries are a bit unknown without having more facts available. If John went to the emergency room and that was the extent of the medical treatment, the case or claim will have a very limited value. Let's say that John went on to have follow up care and he was diagnosed with disc injuries to his neck and back that required surgery. Certainly, the damage aspect of the case would be much different than the case involving the one-time emergency room visit.

Attorney David Wolf understands and handles personal injury cases . . .

David Wolf understands the intricacies of personal injury cases including those involving an automobile accident as well as accidents involving a truck, bicycle, pedestrian, and motorcycle. Beyond the evaluation of the four essential elements of a "negligence" claim, David Wolf also uses his experience, work ethic, and analytical skills to evaluate the practical considerations of the case. For example, in most personal injury cases involving a car accident, the practical issue and consideration of available automobile insurance is vital. David Wolf immediately obtains insurance information for his clients and then discusses the practicalities of such coverage. In the State of Florida, a registered motor vehicle owner only has a duty to obtain minimal insurance coverage in the form of Personal injury Protection and Property Damage. As such, if the at fault driver and the victim only have minimal insurance, this can lead an attorney to turn down a case that otherwise can clearly establish the four elements of negligence to pursue a legal case or claim for personal injuries and compensation.

Contact David Wolf to get a real attorney with real experience in place today. David Wolf will serve as your guide, mentor, and, yes, your attorney to pursue justice in obtaining compensation for your personal injuries and related damages in the aftermath of a car accident. David Wolf firmly believes in Giving a Voice to Car Accident Victims and Their Families. Get D Wolf On Your Side - At Your Side.

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David Wolf has provided legal advice and representation to me on a variety of issues. I have referred family members and friends to him as well. Whenever a legal issue arises, he is the first person I contact because I am always provided prompt and practical legal advice. I know that I am not David’s only client but he sure does his best to make me and others feel that way. Jill Kestner
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