Applying the Four Principles of Negligence to Your Personal Injury Case

If you suffer an injury due to the negligence or carelessness of another person, business, or organization, you can sue them for monetary damages.

Negligence is a type of legal liability that often arises in personal injury cases. If you are injured due to someone else’s negligence, you can recover your costs related to treatment and the time you missed from work if those issues resulted from the accident.

The four principles of negligence will be useful when filing your claim to prove negligence. Understanding these principles will help you articulate why someone was negligent and what evidence supports it.

1. Duty of Care

To prove that a defendant was negligent, you must show that they owed you a duty of care. A duty of care is an obligation that another party owes. A person who owes you a duty of care will have to take reasonable steps to ensure that their actions do not injure you or anyone else. This duty can be in the form of a legal obligation or an implied warranty.

Legal responsibility is imposed on someone by law. For example, the law imposes a duty not to drive under the influence of alcohol. An implied warranty is not expressly stated in law but can be inferred as a part of the terms of a contract or agreement. If your employer gives you an implied warranty at the time of hire, they must keep your workplace safe.

The implied warranty means that if the employer knew the danger, it should have taken steps to ensure it was safe for its employees. A personal injury lawyer in Stockbridge can help you determine whether there is a duty of care in your case.

2. Breach of Duty

If you can prove that the defendant owed you a duty of care, they are considered to have breached that duty. A breach of duty is a violation of an obligation, which results in injury to the party.

A breach of responsibility can be shown in several different ways. If the defendant knew about the risk or danger at their workplace and did nothing about it, they would have breached their duty to you and your coworkers.

This knowledge can be found in many different ways. You usually sign a contract covering your employer’s obligation to provide a safe workplace when hired. This contract will outline all the risks and responsibilities to be aware of, including the duty to provide and maintain a safe workplace.

3. Proximate Cause

Proximate cause is the legal term used to show that someone’s negligence caused your injury. To prove this element of failure, you must show that the defendant’s action was a substantial factor in causing your injury or damages.

This means there is no explanation for how your injuries came about other than their negligence. Furthermore, you must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that their negligence caused your injury.

4. Damages

Damages are the losses you have suffered and are entitled to receive as compensation. They include:

  • Medical costs
  • Lost income
  • Emotional distress
  • Pain and suffering

After reviewing your case, an attorney can determine what damages you can claim. To have the best chance to recover high compensation, gather all the evidence connected to your case.

Case evidence includes medical documentation (doctor’s notes, test results, prescriptions), documents from work, photographic evidence from the scene, and any other physical proof that can strengthen your case.

What is more, if certain cases, punitive damages may also be awarded. These damages are awarded only in cases where the defendant’s behavior is considered particularly harmful. Unlike compensatory damages, punitive damages aim to punish the defendant.

Litigation involving personal injury claims can be very stressful for you and your family. You must understand your legal rights and the process of litigation. To get the best possible outcome, consult an attorney to determine your situation’s best course of action.

Irma C. Dengler

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With a BA in communications and paralegal experience, Irma C. Dengler decided to make the best of her writing skills. She decided to turn complicated legal matters into something more palatable for the masses. Therefore, Irma became a law communicator who writes about everyday problems so everyone can understand them and take the appropriate action. She specialized in personal injury cases, as they are more common than anyone thinks, but her areas of expertise also include civil law, criminal law, insurance-related issues, and more.


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