When a negligent driver injures another person, Missouri law provides that the injured can hold the driver liable for their damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and so on. One of the first big steps, therefore, is proving that the driver acted negligently.
Recently in Cape Girardeau County, several people were injured after a two-vehicle crash. According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, a BMW was speeding westbound when it ran a stop sign and collided with a Ford pickup truck traveling southbound through an intersection. Both vehicles ran off the road. The truck flipped and hit a tree.
Four people were injured in the accident, two of them with injuries that were described as serious.
Sometimes, proving negligence is hard. The plaintiff must show that the driver had a duty to the injured person, that the driver breached that duty, and that the breach was the cause of the injury. Sifting through the evidence after a chaotic car accident, it isn't always easy to tell who was at fault for the collision, or what behavior might have contributed to it.
However, there are other cases where a court will presume that someone acted negligently. These cases fall under a doctrine known as negligence per se. When a driver causes an accident through behavior that violates a safety-oriented law, the court may find that the driver's behavior constituted negligence per se. This makes the case somewhat easier for the plaintiff, because he or she does not have to prove that the defendant acted negligently.
Medical expenses, lost wages and other damages that can follow from an accident can change a person's life forever. The injured should talk to a personal injury attorney as soon as possible after an accident so that they can understand their rights and their legal options for pursuing compensation.