Negligence is simply the legal concept which forms the structure of fault in most of the personal injury cases. Negligence, as common law outlines, represents any situation where a person fails to exercise standard care. Ideally, it is where an individual acts (or fails to act) negligently by not applying the same degree of care that a characteristic, wise person would exercise in a similar situation. Typically, most personal injury cases entail some negligence.
There are generally five forms of negligence: comparative, vicarious, gross, mixed contributory and comparative, and contributory.
Types of Negligence in Personal Injury Cases
Typically, gross negligence defines the actions of an individual who exhibited little or no concern for others’ safety. This negligence is different than convectional, careless action. Although a driver may act carelessly by taking their eyes off the road to tune their stereo, another driver may commit an act of gross negligence by their reckless driving.
Although the word carelessness’ may entail a subconscious action, gross intelligence implies a conscious and blatant disregard for another person’s life. Moreover, an act may be considered grossly negligent if it leads to the foreseeable injury or danger of another individual.
Gross intelligence, in New York, for instance, is beyond a heightened type of negligence; it is an entirely different act that represents a form of intentional misconduct.
This is a form of negligence that occurs when the plaintiff (injured party) is responsible for a fraction of their injuries. Nonetheless, comparative negligence usually only applies when the victim is marginally accountable for their suffering. In such a case, the plaintiff might not be able to get full compensation for missed wages, medical bills, among other damages.
For instance, a pedestrian may be somewhat responsible for their injuries if he/she did not use a crosswalk.
Vicarious liability typically applies to circumstances where a defendant is held responsible for the actions of an animal or another individual. Dog bites lawsuits, for instance, are founded on vicarious liability. For instance, if a dog owner fails to warn his/her guests that his/her dog is dangerous; he/she (owner) will be held vicariously liable for any harm/injuries the dog causes.
This type of negligence can also apply to any injuries caused by minors or children, where the guardian or parent of the minor is considered responsible for the actions of the child. In some instances, young children are deemed incapable of committing negligence.
In personal injury claims, contributory negligence means the plaintiff involved in an accident is partly to blame for the damage. Contributory negligence is established when a claimant involved is found to have partial responsibility for the damage/harm incurred in an accident.
While the charges of the defendant are not absolved, the compensation is significantly affected. An example of contributory negligence is driving without wearing a seatbelt.
Contributory and Comparative Negligence
This type of negligence entails a situation where a plaintiff is found to be more than 50% responsible for the harm/damage incurred in an accident; the reimbursement may be reduced to half of the original amount or might be denied altogether.
Proving Negligence/ Establishing Fault:
To successfully file a negligence lawsuit, you must be able to demonstrate that a defendant committed a negligent act successfully. Typically, many personal injury claims and lawsuits are founded on four distinct concepts: duty of care, causation, and breach of duty.
Duty of Care
Common law outlines that anyone can owe a duty of care while performing an act that may place another individual in danger. In essence, the duty of care represents legal, circumstantial obligation held by an individual whose actions could result in foreseeable harm to another person.
In a standard negligence case, a plaintiff must demonstrate a close connection between their illness or injury and the actions of a defendant. Moreover, a plaintiff must prove that the actions of a defendant placed a plaintiff in foreseeable danger.
Breach of Duty
In personal injury law, Breach of duty implies a person who fails to offer duty of care. If a court of law determines that a defendant owed duty of care, a plaintiff must successfully demonstrate that a defendant breached his/her responsibility.
A defendant breaches duty of care when he/she acts unreasonably acts. If a defendant exercised a similar degree of caution that a rational individual would, the court of law might not find him/her liable for the injury of the defendant.
Generally, negligence alone isn’t enough to build a personal injury case successfully. If you could have suffered any harm/injury regardless of the actions of the plaintiff, you might not have a reasonable claim for breach of duty or negligence.
This element is usually referred to as but-for’ causation. In essence, this means that was it not for the defendant’s actions, the plaintiff may not have incurred any damage.
Personal Injury and Negligence Lawyer
If you have suffered a preventable personal injury, you might be entitled to financial payment through a negligence lawsuit. At Stambaugh Law, we have over three decades worth of experience in the legal field. Allow us to use our informed understanding of personal injury law to assist you in recovering the financial recompense that you deserve.
With us as your representatives, you can have peace of mind that a seasoned legal expert will assist you through each step of your legal process. Get in touch with us today.