How is negligence determined?
A person alleging negligence will have to prove that the other driver did not act reasonably in the circumstances, in that the driver should have been able to foresee the damages he/she caused and should have taken reasonable steps to prevent such damages. Grounds for negligence include the following, namely:-
- The driver failed to keep a proper and/or an adequate and/or any lookout;
- The driver failed to exercise any and/or proper control over the vehicle driven by him/her;
- The driver failed to take into consideration the rights of other road users;
- The driver failed to apply the brakes of the vehicle driven by him/her timeously, adequately, or at all;
- The driver failed to comply with and adhere to traffic signals and/or the provisions of the Road Traffic Act;
- The driver failed to avoid a collision when by the exercise of reasonable care, he/she could and should have done so.
With regards to contributory negligence, more than one person can be found to cause a motor vehicle accident. For example, one person may be found 70% at fault and the other only 30% depending on the circumstances of the accident. The magistrate will make a finding on the apportionment of the accident when the matter proceeds to trial, alternatively, the parties themselves can try and negotiate a settlement privately between themselves.