Car Accident Law – Driver Error or Negligence


After a car, truck, bus, bike, or pedestrian accident in Providence, Rhode Island, the negligence of the at-fault driver is key in recovering damages. For assistance understanding negligence and proving it when seeking compensation in a claim or civil action, contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible after an accident.

What is negligence and driver error?

Negligence is a cause of action that is often used to pursue a civil suit against an at-fault party. Also known as (driver) error in car accident claims, negligence is a violation of the standard of care. In other words, negligence is the failure to exercise the level of care that a reasonable person would exercise in the same situation or under the same circumstances.

Examples of Driver Negligence

Driver negligence is very straightforward, and is often synonymous with violating traffic laws. Examples of driver error, or negligence, that may be the basis of a cause of action in Rhode Island include the following:

  • Speeding;
  • Driving at an unsafe speed for conditions;
  • Lane changing illegally;
  • Failing to yield when appropriate;
  • Running a stop sign or traffic light;
  • Driving while intoxicated or impaired;
  • Driving while fatigued;
  • Driving while distracted (using a cell phone, eating, etc.); and
  • Any other act that is in violation of traffic laws or/and is considered unsafe.

The Relationship Between Negligence and Liability

The relationship between negligence and liability is an important one. An at-fault party cannot be held liable—or legally responsible for damages—for an accident unless it can be proven that he or she acted negligently. Furthermore, it must also be proven that the negligent action was the direct cause of the accident and the cause of the victim’s injuries. If negligence, causation, and damages cannot be established, the at-fault party will not be held liable for any damages.

How to prove negligence in car accidents

Proving negligence can be a complex process, especially when driver error isn’t obvious. In many cases, victims will have to collect a plethora of evidence to prove negligence, ranging from:

  • Police reports;
  • Physical evidence;
  • Video footage of the accident;
  • Photographic evidence;
  • Blood/lab tests of driver (if alcohol or drug use at time of crash is suspected);
  • Cell phone logs (if use of cellphone at time of crash is suspected); and
  • Witness testimony.

An attorney can help you to gather all of the evidence necessary to prove the fault of the driver in error, and prove that your injuries would not have been incurred but for this driver’s negligent actions.

Contacting a Dana and Dana car accident lawyer about your claim

Negligence-based claims must be filed within three years’ time after the date of accident in Rhode Island, according to the state’s statute of limitations. For an advocate you can trust, and who will guide you through every step of the claims process, contact the Providence personal injury and accident lawyers at the offices of Dana & Dana Attorneys at Law. Our attorneys want to help you recover the damages you deserve! You can reach us today to schedule a consultation by calling 401-217-3449.