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Understanding Standard of Care And Negligence Laws In Washington State

In Washington state, drivers have a legal duty to act with reasonable care on the road. The standard of care also applies to other settings such working with care providers, contractors or in every day life. 

The standard of care is used to determine liability and prove negligence in the event of a car accident or other type of harm which is caused by another party.

Whether you drive a sub-compact or a semi, you have an obligation to every other person on the road to act as a "reasonable person" in any given circumstance. This means that the actions taken by a driver in the moments before and leading up to an accident may be judged against the expected actions of any "reasonable person" in a similar scenario. 

If it is determined that a drivers actions were not in line with what would be expected of a reasonable person in a similar circumstance, then it could be determined that the driver was negligent in their actions. A jury is ultimately the decider of whether a person violates the standard of care, and insurance companies handling car accident injury claims constantly weigh evidence and other supporting information to determine who is likely to be held responsible for an accident.

Defining Reasonable Care

While this somewhat subjective measurement could leave room for interpretation, there are clear differences between what would be considered reasonable and unreasonable in many circumstances such as drinking and driving, speeding, or running traffic signals. Some cases are less clear and could fall to a jury to decide whether or not the actions of one party or another would qualify as reasonable based on the case in front of them. 

Accidents involving multiple parties will allow a jury to compare the actions of the parties involved and attempt to determine who's actions may best represent those of a reasonable person in the given circumstances. Liability after an accident, particularly a serious one, is often contested by both the parties involved and their insurance companies. 

Consulting with a qualified attorney will improve your chances of determining whether another party may be held legally responsible for an accident that caused you or a loved one to suffer undue harm. Our attorneys have helped accident victims navigate the legal process since 1994 and are standing by to review your case free of charge.

Determining Negligence Using The Standard Of Reasonable Care

One simple structure for understanding how someone may have violated the standard of reasonable care is defining the standard, showing how the at fault driver violated that standard, how that violation lead to the accident, and finally proving damages that resulted from this accident.  

Once a standard of reasonable care is established, an experienced team of car accident attorneys like Davis Law Group will use evidence including the police report if one exists from the accident, as well as witness statements, and expert testimony to understand the events leading up to an accident and build the case that the accused at fault drivers actions violated said standards.

This investigation should be able to clearly outline the violation, show the causation of accident and finally link the damages suffered to the accident directly, effectively proving negligence on the part of the at fault party. 

Whether you are injured in a car accident, on someones property or by a doctor, care standards apply and are used in all kinds of personal injury claims to show negligence and help accident victims get the recovery they are owed.

There are often other state and federal laws which may affect liability for different types of accidents. For example, local trespassing laws can be important in dog bite claims. Federal trucking regulations are often a big factor in accidents involving commercial vehicles. And city laws for crossing the street are almost always cited in pedestrian accident cases. 

Call For A Free Consultation Today

Davis Law Group has helped victims of serious accidents better understand their legal rights and options since attorney Chris Davis founded the firm in 1994. We work on a contingency fee basis which means there are no up-front costs and we only get paid after we successfully resolve your claim.

Call our office today at (206) 727-4000 or use the confidential contact form to request a free legal consultation with our legal team today. The call is free, and the information may be priceless. 

Chris Davis
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Chris Davis is the founder of Davis Law Group, P.S. in Seattle, WA.