Car Accident Laws, also commonly referred to as 'traffic laws,' are rules which govern automotive movement on public and private roads. Traffic laws are meant to ensure safety on the road.

No matter where you're from, if you're in a car accident, the burden of proof is always on you. You must prove four essential elements to recover compensation for your injuries: duty breached, causation, and harm. Regarding duty, drivers have a legal obligation to obey the rules of the road.

This means they must operate their vehicle reasonably to drive safely, including driving at a safe speed, maintaining control, exercising awareness, observing traffic signals, and using blinkers and headlights. Drivers are also required to act in a way that does not endanger othersfor example, by not driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Breach of duty means that the driver did not follow these duties. Therefore, for a car accident victim to recover compensation, she must prove that the driver violated their duty. This can be difficult to prove because accidents happen quickly and often without witnesses that can testify as to what exactly happened.

After establishing duty and breach, a car accident victim must prove that the accident caused her injuries. This is called causation. Finally, she must prove that the injuries she sustained (the harm) were caused by accident.

The existence of a duty is typically accepted without much argument. By contrast, the plaintiff will usually be required to offer evidence that the defendant breached that duty by, for example, speeding, failing to stop for a stop sign, or driving while under the influence.

Just because the defendant was negligent in operating their vehicle in a particular manner, and the plaintiff was harmed due to those actions doesn't mean the court will automatically find the defendant responsible or that the plaintiff will prevail. The plaintiff must prove that their actions caused the accident and that the accident caused their injuries. In-car accident cases, this is done through medical testimony demonstrating that the injuries are consistent with the nature of the crash and that they did not exist beforehand.

Finally, the plaintiffs must prove both duty and breach. No matter how egregious the other driver's conduct was behind the wheel, the plaintiffs cannot bring a negligence lawsuit unless the conduct harmed the plaintiff's person or vehicle. "Near miss" cases will not qualify as they lack duty and breach elements. Once harm is shown, the plaintiffs may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, pain and grief, lost wages, and more.

Following the accident, there are several steps you should take. The following list will help you make sure that you take all of the necessary steps to ensure that your injury case has a good chance of succeeding:
  1. Call the police and ask for a copy of the accident report. If they refuse, ask if you can submit a freedom of information request to obtain it.
  2. Go to a doctor or hospital as soon as possible to document your injuries and keep a record.
  3. Keep copies of all medical records, bills, and important information.
  4. Photograph the damage to your vehicle.
  5. Take photographs of your injuries, both inside and outside.
  6. Document the medical treatment you receive, including records of all appointments and medications.
  7. Notify your insurance company of the accident.
  8. Notify your insurer of the accident.
  9. Do not talk to the other party's insurance company.
  10. Do not sign any document without first consulting a personal injury attorney.

The most important rule after an accident is to remain silent about who is at fault. It is the most common mistake potential litigants make in the moments following a crash and one that could have serious repercussions.

Under traditional rules of evidence, out-of-court statements (a.k.a. hearsay evidence) are generally prohibited. That's the general rule. However, one narrow exception permits the admission of certain statements in connection with insurance claims. Even a simple apology could potentially hurt your odds of obtaining compensation.

Making notes of anything the other driver says to you after an accident is essential. If another driver involved in an accident is waiting for you to report to their insurance company, it is an absolute must that you attempt to get their insurance information regardless of whether they have provided it to you.
Evidence should be gathered, if possible, shortly after the accident. This evidence includes witness contact information, descriptions of the road, traffic, weather conditions, and photographs of the vehicles. If your cell phone or camera can record video, use it.

Video recording can get close-up and distant shots of the scene. Take photos of traffic signs, crosswalks, and nearby businesses to help bolster your claim.

If police officers are working the accident, get their names and badge numbers so it will be easier to get their reports later.

Never ignore getting immediate help if you experience any pain after a car accident. Neck and back pain can be horrible, as it can cause whiplash injuries that worsen as time passes. You do not want an insurance company to question the severity of your injuries based on the idea that you did not immediately seek treatment.
Consulting an attorney will significantly impact everything that can be done after suffering an injury in a car accident in terms of preserving your right to compensation. If you've suffered injuries in an accident, you must consult with an attorney before signing anything with the insurance company. By dealing with an attorney, you will be protected and able to speak up for your rights. The adjuster will likely try to pressure you to accept an unfair settlement or waive certain rights.