Times are changing, and so are accidents. The number of accident fatalities is going up each year and doesn’t seem to be slowing down. This is evident from the accident numbers for the US. An NHTSA report states that 31,785 people have lost their lives in traffic accidents. The worst part is that these numbers are for the first nine months of 2022.
It is important to consult a lawyer, whether you lost a loved one or were injured in an accident. Reputable law firms, like Varner Faddis Elite Legal, LLC, have the skills and experience needed to prove negligence and seek compensation for your injuries and losses.
Negligence—now, that’s a word you’ve seen thrown around a lot in legal circles.
But have you ever wondered what negligence means?
The Definition of Negligence
Negligence is a concept that is used to find the liable parties in a personal injury case. An accident happens when the at-fault party is negligent, or, in other words, careless, when performing a specific task. This task can be anything, from driving a car to leaving a violent dog unleashed to not bothering to clean slippery messes in a place of business.
Negligence forms the basis of personal injury law. To prove that the at-fault party was responsible for the victim’s injuries, the victim has to prove the elements of negligence.
The Elements of Negligence
Negligence is a concept in personal injury. As a result, it follows the same elements as personal injury law.
The elements of negligence are:
· Duty of Care
· Breach of Duty of Care
Each element is explained below.
Duty of Care
Every citizen has the legal obligation not to hurt someone or force others into a path of danger. This obligation stays the same, regardless of the circumstances.
Did the at-fault party owe a duty of care to the victim? This is often the first question that arises in personal injury claims. This question is followed by, if yes, then how broad is it?
Answering these questions will give a personal injury lawyer some ammunition to prove that the at-fault party was a part of the accident.
Breach of Duty of Care
The next step is to prove the individual who owed a duty of care failed to carry out the duty. The law deems an individual who breaches the duty of care a negligent party.
The concept of inaction also falls under breach of duty of care. It is when an individual notices a situation that might cause a breach in the expected duty of care but doesn’t act on it. A good example of this is a landlord who is informed of a slippery mess on the staircase. The landlord’s inaction in clearing out the mess makes him responsible for any accidents that may occur because of it.
Causation is the third element of negligence. To prove negligence, a victim must provide evidence that the at-fault party’s breach of duty of care was the reason for their injuries.
Take the example of the landlord above. The victim has a solid case if they can prove that they slipped off the mess on the staircase and broke their hand. But the landlord can counter this by saying the victim was busy on their phone and didn’t notice the mess. This is called shared fault.
Damages are the physical, emotional, and property losses a victim suffers due to negligence. In this step, the victim has to prove that the at-fault party’s negligence was the reason for the accident and that the accident caused quantifiable and unquantifiable damages.
Parties accused of negligence often use the following defenses.
· Contributory Negligence: The victim will be denied compensation if they had a part in the accident that caused their injuries.
· Comparative Negligence: A percentage equivalent to your level of involvement will be deducted from the total compensation sum.
· Modified Comparative Negligence: The injured person will not receive compensation if they are responsible for more than 50% of the accident.
Negligence is a crucial aspect of personal injury law. It helps in finding and proving the role of the liable parties in an accident.
You need the services of a personal injury lawyer to prove negligence. They have the expertise needed to find the liable parties and prove the elements of negligence. A lawyer plays an important role in helping you get the right compensation.