Common Sources of Negligence in Car Accidents

Car accidents are a trying experience. In addition to possible serious injuries, there is also the financial fallout – repair bills, unpaid medical expenses, and lost income, just to name a few. On top of all that, you may be experiencing significant pain and suffering. Some injuries can linger for quite a while, requiring extensive physical therapy and other treatment. Other injuries may not manifest themselves for quite a while. There is, unfortunately, a lot more to a car accident than the few seconds during which it occurred.  

If you’re considering legal action to recover from your injuries and financial harm, the first thing you will need to figure out is if the other driver was at fault. Most car accidents are the result of negligence, which is defined as “a failure to behave with the level of care that someone of ordinary prudence would have exercised under the same circumstances.” What is considered negligence in a car accident case?  

Here are some common types of negligence in car accident cases:


Speeding is a common type of negligence if it caused or contributed to the accident. However, it is important to point out that speeding is not negligence in and of itself. Whether or not the other driver was negligent by speeding will depend on a variety of factors.  

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving happens any time the driver is giving less than his or her full attention to the road. Distracted driving is one of the most common sources of negligence. Mobile phones are the most obvious cause of distracted driving, but not just talking and texting – reading notifications, using the mapping function or other apps, or just general use can lead to the driver’s distraction and cause an accident.

Other causes of distracted driving can be eating or drinking while driving, adjusting the radio or other instruments in the car, reading directions, smoking, or dealing with noisy children. All of these can cause a distraction, which can then lead to a car accident.  Again, these things may not be negligence by themselves but will depend on all of the facts surrounding the accident.

Failure to Maintain the Vehicle

A driver’s inability and failure to maintain their vehicle might also be considered negligence if it caused or contributed to the car accident. Some common examples of possibly negligent maintenance:  

  • Worn brakes that were past due for servicing
  • Non-functioning tail lights, brake lights, turn signals or headlights
  • Worn tires
  • Cracked windshield, broken rearview mirrors, or other visibility issues
  • Poor suspension

Failure to Obey Traffic Laws

We discussed speeding separately because so many people don’t consider it to be negligent driving. However, breaking any number of traffic laws can be considered negligence.  Common examples include illegal u-turns, failure to use turn signals, running a red light, failing to yield, or tailgating. Failing to obey traffic laws is considered unsafe and may be considered negligent if it caused your car accident.  

Were You Injured in a Car Accident? Contact an Atlanta Personal Injury Attorney

Determining who was at fault and whether they were negligent can be complicated. The personal injury attorneys at Slappey and Sadd have the experience and skill needed to help you with your case.  Call us at 404-255-6677 or email us via our online contact form in order to schedule a free consultation.  

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