If you have been injured, or have injured someone, due to ‘negligent driving ’ you may be wondering what exactly that means. Here we talk you through what negligent driving is, your legal responsibilities and rights around being injured by a negligent driver.
What is negligent driving?
Negligent driving is doing or failing to do something that a ‘reasonable person’ would (or would not) do in the circumstances and causing loss or injury as a result.
Generally, for negligence to be established, each of the following must be met:
(a) a duty of care was owed; and
(b) that duty of care was breached.
What is duty of care?
All road users, whether you are a driver, cyclist, pedestrian, or passenger, owe a duty of care to other road users.
The standard of care which must be exercised is ‘reasonable care to avoid causing injury or harm to other road users’.
As all road users owe a duty of care to others road users, the biggest factor in motor vehicle accident claims and determining if negligent driving was at play, is whether that duty of care was breached, and by who.
Negligent driving examples:
– not maintaining adequate stopping distance between your vehicle and the vehicle in front
– failing to adapt your speed to the conditions notwithstanding the speed limit
– breaking heavily or changing lanes without adequate warning to other road users
– Not stopping at a stop sign
One thing to note, is that you could have contributed to your own injury or loss. This is known as contributory negligence.
What is contributory negligence?
Contributory negligence is where the injured person themself is deemed to have partly caused their injury or loss by failing to uphold the duty of care they owe to themself.
An example of contributory negligence could be getting into a vehicle with a driver you know to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Even if you are found to be partly at fault, you can still make a claim, however, your right to compensation is reduced by the percentage to which you were at fault.
Must I be injured in a vehicle to make a claim?
You do not have to be driving a vehicle to make a claim. In other words, if you sustained injuries as a cyclist, pedestrian or passenger and those injuries were caused by the negligent driving of another person, whether wholly or partly, you might still have a claim.
Contact our motor vehicle accident claim experts today
Need legal advice after a road accident? Contact our experienced personal injury lawyers for a free initial consultation to find out your rights and entitlements.
You can find out more about what to do following a car accident here.