A Jargon-Free Guide to Negligence and How It Affects Your Truck Case
If you’ve been in a truck wreck and begun looking into your legal rights and options, you’ve likely come across the word “negligence” quite a few times. You probably know that proving negligence is essential for any personal injury claim, but what does that mean?
In this article, we’ll explain negligence without all the legal jargon you find on other sites and discuss how this essential element affects your truck wreck case.
Understanding Negligence With Jargon-Free Definitions
Legal dictionaries define negligence as a failure to behave (through actions or inactions) with the degree of care that someone of ordinary prudence could have been expected to exercise under the same circumstances. But we promised you a jargon-free guide, so for this article we’ll define negligence as a failure to act with the expected degree of reasonable care.
The 3 Elements of Negligence in Your Truck Wreck Case
The elements of determining whether negligence exists in a personal injury case are generally the same from case to case. However, since we’re talking about truck crashes specifically, we’ll provide more specific definitions of the three elements of negligence.
For you to have a personal injury truck crash case, you and your attorney will need to prove that there was a:
- Duty of Care: The truck driver had the duty to operate his vehicle safely, ensuring the wellbeing of the public. This element is typically a given in truck wreck cases.
- Breach of Duty: The truck driver failed to uphold that duty through action or inaction. If the driver was texting or not properly monitoring the road, they weren’t upholding their duty.
- Injury Sustained: That breach of duty resulted in your physical or psychological injuries. This element means that you have injuries for which the truck driver is responsible.
How Does Washington Handle Negligence?
Now that we’ve described negligence and how it is determined in a truck wreck case, we’ll take things one step further and explain how negligence is handled in the state of Washington.
Each state has the authority to rule and define negligence. Our state follows the law of comparative negligence, which is based on the concept of contributory fault.
The legal definition of contributory fault is the responsibility for aiding in the execution of your injury. In plain speech, contributory fault is the idea that in addition to a negligent party, the victim also played a part in causing their own injuries.
Under comparative negligence laws, if a judge determines that you contributed to the truck wreck, they will decrease your compensation (the money owed to you by the responsible parties). The amount decreased is related (comparative) to your level of contributory fault.
An Example of Fault and Comparative Negligence in Washington
Let’s say a judge rules that a victim was 20% responsible for the crash because they were speeding (contributory fault), and that the truck driver is 80% responsible for texting while driving. If the victim would have stood to gain $100,000 in compensation, they would now only gain $80,000 because 20% of the crash was allegedly their own fault (comparative negligence).
Comparative negligence is one of the reasons it is so crucial to work with an experienced truck attorney for your claim. Building a strong case is the best way to ensure that you receive all the compensation you deserve and that the negligent party doesn’t get away with placing the blame on you.
Seattle Truck Law Helps Clients Prove Negligence
At Seattle Truck Law, our experienced truck accident attorneys help clients prove the responsible parties negligent for their truck crash. We work to get clients the full compensation they deserve for their injuries and keep them updated on case progress every step of the way.
Speak with an attorney today about your truck wreck, especially if you believe the negligent parties will attempt to decrease your compensation through contributory fault. Please call (866) 580-HURT or complete this brief contact form to schedule your free consultation.
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.