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by Jeff Rasansky - December 13, 2013
Jeff Rasansky
Jeff Rasansky, managing partner of Rasansky Law Firm, is an aggressive Dallas personal injury lawyer with 25 years of legal experience.

What is a “negligent driver” in the eyes of the law?

Negligence is a legal term. If you want the exact definition, according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary of Law, it is: “failure to exercise the degree of care expected of a person of ordinary produce in like circumstances in protecting others from a foreseeable and unreasonable risk of harm in a particular situation.” This is probably a bit tangled for most people to grasp without some clarification, so here are some ways that this applies to everyday people.

Basic Credentials

DrivingWhen you’re behind the wheel, hopefully, you have a driver’s license. That license is basically proof that you have the skills that are expected of an ordinary driver and that you can be expected to react and behave as the average driver would. It doesn’t mean that you drive like a professional, unless you happen to have an endorsement that says you are a professional. Licensing also covers specialized skills like having the ability to drive a motorcycle. This license comes with some obligations.

You’re expected to be able to handle your car safely on the road. Other drivers have good reason to believe that you’ll stop at stop signs, that you’ll obey the speed limit and that you’ll respect their right to be on the road. The long and short of it is that a driver’s license says that you meet the minimum requirements to drive a vehicle, as it says about everyone else who has one.

Breaking the Law & Other Obvious Mistakes

A negligent driver simply fails to live up to these expectations. They fail to exercise a reasonable degree of care in protecting others from harm, as the definition says. This means that they may, contrary to what a reasonable driver would do, speed through intersections, tailgate, fail to pay attention, drive after having been drinking or using drugs or take other actions that put other people in harm’s way unnecessarily.

Legal Experts are Key

It takes a car accident attorney to determine when negligence may apply to a situation. It also takes an auto wreck lawyer to be able to argue these cases successfully in court. If you have been in a wreck because someone was simply being unreasonable and brought you to harm, you should talk to one of these attorneys. They may well be able to help you out by working out the details of the case, building a legal action and taking that other driver to court where they’ll have to answer for what they did.

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