What Is Considered Negligence in Personal Injury Cases?
When you are injured in an accident, you are probably wondering how to go about making a claim and seeking compensation for your injuries. After you obtain a personal injury attorney, it will be their job to prove negligence from another party and how this negligence directly caused your injuries. Once they are able to do this, you will then be able to seek compensation to help pay for the physical and emotional wounds from your accident.
Proving negligence consists of four parts that we will break down: duty of care, breach of duty, causation, and damages.
Duty of Care
This refers to the obligation, or legal responsibility, a person has to avoid putting someone else in the path of danger. Every person typically has at least some duty of care to those around them. The part that typically needs to be proven is who is this duty of care owed to and how much duty of care they are owed.
For example, a homeowner may have a legal responsibility to make their premises “reasonably safe” for visitors, such as making sure there are no immediate dangers from animals, spills, or falling objects.
Breach of Duty
If it is recognized that there was, in fact, a duty of care that should have been upheld and it is broken, that person’s actions would be considered “negligent.”
Take the above example with the property owner who had a legal responsibility to keep his or her premises “reasonably safe” for visitors. Say, for instance, the property owner’s dog was not properly tied up and the animal bites a visitor, causing harm to the visitor. Because the owner did not uphold his duty of care to visitors, it would show there was a breach of this duty of care.
Once the duty of care was breached, an individual must show that the negligent act itself caused the accident. In some circumstances, a person may claim that the negligent act (breach of duty) was not the sole cause of your injuries. For example, a property owner may claim that the visitor went out of his way to interact with the dog when he or she was told not to.
To break it down, “damages” simply refers to the physical and emotional injuries as well as property damages and possible lost income that someone suffers after an accident. Once all four elements of negligence are proven by you and your personal injury attorney, the main goal will be proving just how much compensation you actually deserve for your damages. It is the job of your personal injury attorney to gather all the evidence from your accident and ensure that you obtain the full and highest amount of compensation from the negligent party or their insurance company.
If you are injured in the Four States Region and need legal representation, don’t hesitate to contact Johnson, Vorhees & Martucci. We have over 140 years of experience advocating on behalf of injury victims and working to help them obtain the maximum compensation possible.
Contact our personal injury attorneys at (833) 600-0125 for a free consultation to discuss your case.