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Four Elements of Proving Liability

When seeking compensation for your injuries, your attorney must prove the other party is liable. Proving liability means you will have to address four factors to hold someone else accountable for your damages. Below, our Fairfax car accident lawyers will explain the four elements you need to know when moving forward to help safeguard your rights.

Duty of Care

Whenever someone gets behind the wheel of a car, they have a duty to ensure they keep themselves and others safe. They accept a duty of care to follow laws, drive safely, and respect all others on the road. Unfortunately, not everyone takes this duty of care as seriously as they should. Your lawyer must prove what that duty was in your case.

Breach of Duty of Care

Any negligent action is a breach of the driver’s duty of care. For instance, when someone texts and drives, and causes a crash, they have breached their duty of care. Some of the actions that can cause a breach in the duty of care include:

  • Distracted driving
  • Drunk driving
  • Fatigued driving
  • Speeding
  • Running a red light or stop sign
  • Failing to pay full time and attention to surroundings


To hold someone accountable, you must show that someone’s actions led to the crash and caused you injury. Without causation, you may be unable to hold a specific person accountable for their actions.


Finally, you must show that you suffered damages and quantify those damages as a result of someone else’s negligence. Damages can include medical expenses, lost income, property damage, and more. If you are unsure if you have damages from a crash, speak with a lawyer. Your compensation should cover all of the losses you experience, including reasonable future losses.

At Shevlin Smith, we make you a top priority. Our Fairfax car accident lawyers are here to guide you through the process. We’ll be your trusted advocates from start to finish, going above and beyond to be your beacon of hope and pursue the compensation you deserve.

Call our firm today at (703) 721-4233.


The Shevlin smith difference

  • Serving Virginia & D.C. Since 1986

    Our firm has earned a reputation as a top personal injury and medical malpractice firm. We have the ability to give your case the representation and attention it needs and deserves.

  • Trial-Tested Attorneys

    We believe the fight isn’t over until you are fully satisfied. While we always strive to resolve our clients’ cases, we are prepared to pursue litigation if necessary.

  • Honest & Personalized Attention

    From the moment you call us, our team provides you with a straightforward and personalized assessment that focuses on the unique details of your case.

  • Experienced & Dedicated Counsel

    Shevlin Smith has over 130 years of combined legal experience and we have the tools and resources to effectively advocate on your behalf.

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