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Motor Vehicle Accidents—The Duties of Drivers

Motor Vehicle Accidents
August 31, 2020
Lee Law Firm , LLC

What Must a Driver Do to Exercise “Reasonable Care”?

In a civil lawsuit for injuries suffered in a motor vehicle accident, the legal principle of negligence usually applies. Under that theory, the injured party must prove that the defendant caused the accident by failing to use reasonable care. Statutes generally don’t specify the behaviors that constitute a failure to use appropriate care, but there are certain duties that juries consistently deem to be wrongful:

  • Failure to drive at a reasonable speed—In most instances, this means driving too fast, either in violation of posted speed limits or without due regard for the circumstances, such as inclement weather or construction. It also can mean driving too slowly—for example, traveling 10 miles per hour on an expressway may be unreasonable under certain circumstances.
  • Failure to monitor the road and traffic—Distracted driving is one of the leading causesof injury on the roads. Juries typically hold that a driver has a duty to be alert and monitor the roadway for other vehicles or hazards.
  • Failure to maintain control of the vehicle—It’s reasonable to expect a driver to maintain control of his or her car, employing proper turning, signal, acceleration, and braking actions.
  • Failure to maintain the vehicle—Drivers are expected to conduct routine maintenance on their vehicles to ensure that all components are in safe working order, including brakes, steering, lights, and tires.

It’s important to understand that there are no hard and fast rules about what constitutes a breach of the duty of care by a motor vehicle operator. It’s determined by the jury on a case-by-case basis.

Contact Our Office

At Lee Law Firm, we have extensive knowledge and experience successfully handling personal injury claims. We take all personal injury cases on a contingency basis—you won’t pay any attorney fees unless we recover compensation for your losses.

Call us at 973-315-9080 or contact us online to schedule an appointment. We are available to meet with you evenings and weekends, if necessary. We welcome all major credit cards. ¡Nosotros hablamos español!

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