largerMVApicEvery driver on the road has a duty to use reasonable care while driving. “Reasonable Care” has a legally significant meaning and is the initial element of proof in any motor vehicle accident. Essentially what it boils down to is that every person has a responsibility to operate his or her vehicle without negligence so as to abstain from injuring any other driver or their property. See, for example, Bewley v. Riggs (1968) 262 Cal.App.2d 188, 194.

What is “reasonable”, however, is determined by each set of particular facts (weather, road, conditions, speed limit, time of day, etc.). A vehicle owner may also be liable for negligent entrustment if they lend their vehicle to another person knowing that that person was incompetent or unfit to drive. If a driver injures others or property because they are not exercising reasonable care, they can be held responsible for all harm that they cause as a result of their careless conduct. All harm means actual out-of-pocket damages (e.g. medical care, property damages, lost income) as well as non-economic damages such as pain and suffering, anxiety, and stress.

It is always important to carry adequate liability insurance because recovery may be limited when a driver is operating a vehicle without adequate insurance, even if they are not at fault. There may also be some limitation on damages, or in fact punitive liability if alcohol or drugs are involved. Many people attempt to negotiate settlements with insurance companies on their own. Although this is possible, it’s not advisable. Insurance companies and their adjusters deal with adverse events all the time. They have computer programs that spit out values of cases, regardless of injuries or treatments and are in business to make the most profit for their shareholders. They often have “experts” on payroll or in their back pocket.

A competent personal injury attorney will work up your case, obtain all records, ascertain all liability, retain required experts, and make sure that all damages to which you’re entitled are included, maximizing your recovery. The Law Offices of Donald A. Green will do just that … and more. All at no up front cost to you. We represent clients in these types of cases on contingency. This means we don’t get paid until your case resolves and our fees are paid out of the settlement or judgment. No recovery, no fees. Call us today!