What is Negligence?
Although car accidents have many causes, the vast majority result from some form of negligence. Negligence is a legal term for failing to exercise the reasonable care of a prudent person to avoid injury to others. Negligence in auto accidents can come in many forms and from one of many sources, including:
- Product Liability: An automaker who designs, manufactures, or markets a car or its component parts can be liable for negligence if a product defect in the car or its components is proven to contribute to a car accident. While negligence can be the basis of a product defect lawsuit that causes a car accident, anyone in the chain of production or distribution may be held strictly liable, depending on the circumstances. A common example of products liability in auto accidents might be a lawsuit involving rollovers caused by SUVs or multiple-passenger vans that are designed with a tendency to roll over because of their high center of gravity.
- Driver Negligence: The most common responsible party in auto accidents is a driver who is violating traffic laws or otherwise not driving safely. The list of potential negligent driving practices includes but is not limited to: speeding; ignoring traffic signs/signals; texting while driving; tailgating; and driving aggressively.
- Poor Roadway Design: Many times, poorly designed or maintained roadways contribute to serious car accidents. Roadway defects that can contribute to serious car accidents include: a lack of protective barriers; roadway debris that has not been cleared; presence of oil or gravel; and shoulder drop-offs. Eugene auto accident lawsuits involving defective roadway design or maintenance often involve suing a public entity. Any plaintiff naming a public entity in a lawsuit must meet special procedural and timing requirements.
Common Types of Driver Negligence
We carefully evaluate the circumstances surrounding our clients’ accidents and often employ the services of accident reconstruction experts. We conduct a thorough review of the accident scene, damage to the vehicles and surrounding area, law enforcement accident reports, public safety records, medical records, and other appropriate evidence. Our goal in undertaking such exhaustive investigations is to identify all potentially responsible parties and to develop sound theories of liability for each potential defendant.
We encourage anyone involved in a Eugene car accident to seek immediate legal advice because evidence can disappear, witness memories can fade, and time limits for making claims against public entities or for filing a personal injury lawsuit are unforgiving if not met. Our personal injury attorneys have over 75 years of collective experience in representing clients injured in car accidents throughout Oregon.
In our experience, some of the most common causes of Eugene car accidents are:
- Driver fatigue
- Driving under the influence of intoxicants (alcohol or drugs)
- Driver distraction including cell phone use and texting while driving
- Impatient or aggressive drivers (incidents of road rage)
- Car accidents caused by defective cars, car parts, systems or components (SUV rollovers, sudden acceleration accidents)
- Moving violations including speeding, tailgating, unsafe lane changes, and running stop signs or stoplights
- Roadways that have not been maintained in safe condition or that are unsafe in design
Contact the experienced and caring auto accident injury attorneys at Dwyer Williams Potter today for a free consultation: 800-700-4782.