Almost all vehicle accidents can be attributed to one or more drivers exhibiting negligence while operating the vehicle. What many people do not know is that the legal definition of “negligence” can expand far beyond taking one’s eyes off the road for a moment or failing to use a turn signal at the proper time.

In fact, a person can be sued for “negligence” even if that person was not driving the car or truck, or even anywhere near the vehicle when the crash occurred. Negligence has an extremely broad legal application that you need to be aware of as you own and operate vehicles.

The narrow legal definition of “negligence” related to vehicle accidents is when a driver does not “use reasonable care or caution while driving.” This definition is tested to determine which driver in an accident is at fault. If proper witnesses or testimony can definitively point to one or the other driver as having been negligent, the case is usually easy to rule on.

However, beyond this standard and straightforward application of “negligence,” several other situations can arise where a person could be charged with negligence even when s/he is far away from the vehicle involved in the accident.

Here are several instances where negligence comes into play in determining fault after car or truck accidents:

On both sides of this legal question of negligence, a skilled and competent car accident lawyer is needed. Whether you are charged with negligence and believe that you are innocent, or you think that you need to charge someone else with negligence, particularly in its broadest application, a good vehicle accident attorney can help you to navigate the tricky legal wording that enters into such cases.

The primary truth to remember from a consideration of negligence in vehicle accident cases is to remember that this word does not only refer to the driver of a given vehicle. It can be applied to employers, parents and all owners of vehicles to different degrees in different states. Let your car accident lawyer sort through your state’s laws to determine if you have a case or a sound defense against one.

By S.P. Karoll

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