Proving negligence in a Minnesota car accident lawsuit

| Jul 21, 2020 | Firm News

Minnesota drivers owe a duty to other drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and other people on the road, to use reasonable care when operating their vehicles. In other words, drivers are required to adhere to motor vehicle laws and act reasonably to avoid causing accidents and injuries to other travelers. Negligence occurs when a driver breaches this duty, and that breach causes an accident involving injury.

If you are filing a personal injury lawsuit against another driver to recover damages for your motor vehicle accident injuries, you will likely need to show that the other driver acted negligently by showing a breach of duty and establish causation and damages. Breach of duty is often proven by showing the other driver violated a traffic law or drove in a reckless manner with no regard for the safety of others. Common forms of negligent driving including following too closely, failing to yield the right-of-way, running a stop sign, and driving at an excessive rate of speed. Police reports, eyewitness testimony, and experts specializing in accident reconstruction can all be used in court to establish negligence.

In addition to showing that the other driver acted negligently, you will also need to prove that their negligence directly and proximately caused the accident and your injuries. In many cases, the other driver will dispute the nature and extent of the victim’s injuries and contend that their injuries pre-existed the accident. Experts, including accident reconstructionists and medical professionals, as well as your medical records, will play a key role in establishing causation and damages.

It is important to note that Minnesota follows a modified comparative fault rule, meaning that a driver can only recover damages in a personal injury suit if he or she is less than 51 percent at fault for the accident.

Filing a negligence claim against another driver can be complicated, but an attorney in the White Bear Lake area can guide you through the legal process and help you recover the compensation you deserve.