Car Accident Elements

Auto Accident

For every personal injury case, the plaintiff has certain things that he or she has to show in order to receive compensation. The issues that require proof by a preponderance of the evidence are called legal elements. Additionally, a Palm Beach Gardens auto accident lawyer shows how these elements comprise the legal theory of a case.

Legal Theory

In a car accident case, the legal theory is generally that the defendant acted in a negligent manner. This legal theory requires the showing of four legal elements: duty, breach, causation and damages. These same legal elements are necessary in all lawsuits that allege negligence. Each of these elements will be discussed in turn.


Duty is the standard of conduct that the law and society recognize. When driving a vehicle, the legal standard imposed on each driver is to act in a reasonably prudent manner toward other motorists and individuals on the roadway. In some car accident cases, duty may also arise when a defendant is responsible for another person, such as an employee or agent.


A driver breaches his or her duty of care when he or she does not act in a reasonably prudent manner. For example, the driver may not obey the speed limit or may be distracted while driving.


The next legal element that you must be able to establish is that the defendant’s breach of his or her duty of care was the legal cause of your injuries. The injuries wouldn’t have been suffered if not for the defendant’s breach of duty. In some cases, the defendant’s conduct is too far removed from the point of impact that it is no longer the legal and proximate cause of the automotive accident.


Your Palm Beach Gardens auto accident lawyer will conclude the conversation about the elements of a negligence case by discussing damages. Whether you suffered a medical injury, mental anguish, a disability, lost income from work or pain and suffering, there must be some way that you were harmed.

If you would like more information on this subject, contact your Palm Beach Gardens auto accident attorney Stephen J. Press at 561-833-2772.