If you have been injured in an accident that was caused by someone else, it is your right to seek compensation for your pain and suffering and your financial losses. Many people assume that simply filing a claim with the responsible party’s insurance is the only thing that needs to be done. However, the fact is if you are injured and you think it was the fault of someone else unless you can prove to the insurance adjuster that their insured is to blame for your injuries, you will not receive any compensation. Injury claims are filed every day for people that are seeking compensation for injuries they suffered as a result of a dog bite, a slip and fall accident, workplace accident, and car accidents, but the one thing all of these cases have in common is that they must prove that their injuries were caused by negligence. If you have sustained injuries caused by someone else, here’s everything you need to know about negligence.
The Definition of Negligence
In laymen’s terms, negligence means that someone has failed to do what a reasonable person would do in the same circumstance to prevent harm to other people or they did something wrong that caused harm. In legal terms, negligence is the conduct that doesn’t meet the conduct of what a reasonable person would do in order to protect someone else from the risk of harm. In a personal injury case, the person at fault for the accident can be held liable, which means they can be held responsible for the damages to the injured person if their conduct is shown to fall short of reasonable standards.
Different Types of Negligence
The primary types of negligence include, gross, comparative, contributory, and vicarious.
- Gross negligence-This means that the injured person has every right to sue the person that harmed them and to request compensation if the person responsible is found to be negligent. The majority of medical malpractice/injury cases fall under the category of gross negligence.
- Comparative negligence-This category of negligence applies to cases that have out-of-court settlements. The “responsible” party’s attorney can claim that the injured person played a part in their injuries. This means that compensation can be negotiated and can be significantly lower than the usual amount.
- Contributory negligence-In this type of negligence, it matters how much you were at fault and if you contributed to your injuries or not. The claims for contributory negligence are lowered by the amount of fault that you have.
- Vicarious negligence-This type of negligence is used when a personal injury case is filed against someone even if the injuries were suffered because of someone else. For instance, if the injuries were caused by someone else’s pet or by a minor child. In this type of case, the owner of the pet or the person that is responsible for the minor child is held responsible and liable for the injuries.
Key Elements of Negligence
In a personal injury claim, the first and one of the most important steps is to prove that someone else was negligent in establishing that they had a duty of care in the situation that led to your injuries. There are 4 key elements of negligence that are necessary for a successful personal injury claim. Before you can get anywhere with the insurance adjuster, you must have all four elements of negligence. The key elements of negligence include:
- Duty of care-This means that the business or at-fault person had a duty of care to avoid harm happening to others. For instance, store owners have a “duty” to clear the ice from their store’s sidewalk in order to prevent the risk of falls.
- Breach of duty-This means that the at-fault person failed to do what any reasonable person would do in the same situation. For instance, someone driving intoxicated is breaching their duty to drive safely.
- Cause-This means that the at-fault person’s breach of duty of care is the proximate cause of your injuries. For instance, if your vehicle is rear-ended by a distracted driver, being distracted is the direct cause of your injury.
- Damages-This means that you have verifiable injuries that are supported by medical records, medical bills, and evidence of your emotional distress.
As the victim of injuries that were caused by someone else, it is essential that you understand the legal meaning of “negligence”. In order to prove that you have been the victim of the fault of someone else and that the underlying accident causes personal injury to you. Not only is it important to understand what negligence means, but in order to prove that someone else is at fault for your injuries, you will need to prove negligence. The most effective way to prove negligence is with the assistance of experienced personal injury Attorney Steven H. Heisler. Your attorney will gather all the evidence including police reports, eyewitness testimonies, photos, video surveillance, and medical reports.