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Proving negligence and fault in a drunk driving accident

There are many causes of automobile collisions; however, they are often related to the negligence or recklessness of a driver. When an intoxicated driver gets behind the wheel of a vehicle, he or she is not only putting their life at risk but also risking the lives of everyone on the roadway. When a drunk driver causes a collision, he or she could be held responsible by through negligence.

How do you prove negligence and fault in a drunk driving accident? There are four elements in a negligence claim that must be met in order to hold a driver responsible. If all of these elements are met, then negligence is proven and an intoxicated driver will be held accountable.

The first element is duty. This means that the driver owed a legal duty to the party harmed in the incident. In drunk driving accidents, this refers to the driver owing the victim the duty to drive safely while behind the wheel.

A breach of duty is the second element. This means that the driver breached the legal duty he or she owed by acting in a certain manner or failing to act. The act of drinking and driving is the breach in a drunk driving collision.

The third element is causation, which refers to the actions of the inactions of the defendant caused the injuries to the plaintiff. In a drunk driving accident, this means that the intoxicated state of the driver must have caused the accident that resulted in the injuries to the victim.

Lastly, the fourth element is damages. The victim must have been harmed or injured as a direct result of the actions of the driver. This means that the victim of the drunk driving crash must have been harmed in some way by the actions of the drunk driver.

Many drunk driving accidents require proving that the driver was negligent in order to him or her responsible. This helps victims and their loved ones recover compensation for their damages and losses caused by the incident.

Source:, "Proving Fault: What is Negligence?" accessed Nov. 22, 2015

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Law Office of Keith A. Hammond, P.C.

Keith A. Hammond, P.C. Attorney at Law
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