A previous post here discussed the idea of negligence in the context of automobile accidents. Of course, negligence legal theory is used in many personal injury cases, no matter the cause. One type of situation in which a negligence case may be brought is after a motorcycle accident. Since the area around Las Vegas is prime motorcycle territory, having a basic understanding of negligence may be helpful for those residents who like to ride.
Readers may remember that we went through the major parts, or “elements,” of a negligence case previously. To refresh, these are: duty, breach, cause-in-fact, proximate cause and damages. This week, let’s take a short look at the first two of these elements: duty and breach.
It stands to reason that in order to be held legally responsible for something, in most cases the responsible party must actually have been at fault for doing or not doing something. Legally, this is determined by looking at whether an individual was legally required to act or not act in a certain way. That is, did he or she have a legal duty to behave in some manner? When it comes to motorcycle accidents, this usually boils down to the fact that all who use the roadways have to exercise a certain reasonable standard of care. In other words, since a reasonable person would know that, say, failing to stop at a red traffic signal might put others in danger, anyone who fails to so may be said to have breached his or her legal duty to exercise reasonable care.
Of course, not every negligence case is going to be so cut-and-dried. There may be times when a driver breaches a legal duty even if he or she has not technically violated a law or regulation. This often happens in bad weather, when a person fails to exercise reasonable care based on the circumstances, even though the same behavior under different conditions may be acceptable. Those who have been injured in a Las Vegas motorcycle accident may wish to consider how to protect their legal right to compensation.
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