Most personal injury claims are based on the legal theory of negligence. If the injured party can show that his or her damages were caused by the other party’s negligence, then the injured party can generally seek compensation for those damages. In common parlance, negligence is a synonym for carelessness, but its legal meaning is more specific.
In order for negligence to serve as the foundation of a personal injury claim, the injured party must show: that the responsible party owed a duty of care to the injured party; that the defendant breached this duty; that the defendant was the actual cause of the injuries; that the resulting harm was foreseeable; and that the injured party suffered damages.
Generally, drivers owe other individuals on the road a duty to respect the driving laws of the area and operate their vehicles in a reasonably safe manner. If the defendant fails to exercise the level of care required, he or she is said to have breached that duty.
Every case is different, but it isn’t hard to see how this theory might apply in a case involving texting while driving. If the defendant looked at a text message instead of at the road, and therefore didn’t see your car in time to hit the brakes, then the defendant may be said to have breached his or her duty of care, and that breach is the actual cause of the harm. Damages such as pain and suffering and medical expenses are always foreseeable in the event of a car accident. If you did suffer foreseeable damages as a result of the accident, then you will need to show evidence of these damages, usually in the form of medical bills and other documentation.