How to prove car accident fault in Wisconsin, to successfully recover money damages from another driver who caused a car accident or collision, the injured person must prove four elements: duty, negligence or breach of the duty, causation and damages. This post will discuss negligence or breach of the duty.
A person is negligent when he fails to exercise ordinary care. Ordinary care is the degree of care, which the great mass of mankind ordinarily exercises under the same or similar circumstances. A person fails to exercise ordinary care when, without intending to do any wrong, he does an act or omits a precaution under circumstances in which a person of ordinary intelligence and prudence ought reasonably to foresee that such act or omission will subject another to an unreasonable risk of injury or damage. WCJI 1005.
If a person violates a safety regulation, such as speeding or failure to yield when making a left turn, it is negligence. WCJI 1009.
When a person is out with his automobile, he has a duty of care with respect to the others on the road. Before driving he must meet certain prerequisites in order to drive within the proper standard of care. He must know how to drive, he must be licensed, and his vehicle must meet certain equipment requirements. He must be in condition to drive. People with poor eyesight must wear proper eyeglasses, epileptics may be required to be on anti-seizure medication, and all of us must not be under the influence of an intoxicant. When we fail to follow these rules, we breach the standard of care and are negligent.
The standard of care is the safest choice under the circumstances because that is the only choice that doesn’t needlessly endanger the public; there is no second safest that is acceptable; the only reasonable choice is the safest choice.
Negligence is simply breaking a safety rule. It doesn’t make someone a bad person necessarily, just responsible for causing an accident or collision. Safety rules protect us against danger. Violating a safety rule needlessly endangers us. Following safety rules keeps everyone safe. Safety, following safety rules, is a choice. There is no gray area or degree of safe conduct. One is either acting safely by following the rules or he is not. Breaking a safety rule is negligence.
McCormick Law Office attorneys in Milwaukee get the best results in car accident cases by carefully reviewing the MVA report and where appropriate collecting witness statements and getting an accident reconstruction. Expert engineers can determine direction of travel, relative speeds of the vehicles and point of impact. The accident report and experts can help determine if a driver violated a safety rule.