What Is Negligence?
Negligence is the failure to take proper care when performing an action. Legally speaking, negligence is determined by comparing one person’s actions to that of a competent, typical person of similar circumstances. For example, if a driver runs a red light and hits another driver, they were negligent because they did not follow the rules of the road in a way that any competent person with a driver’s license would have.
How do you prove someone was negligent?
In order to prove that the other party involved in the accident was negligent, the plaintiff must prove five things.
- The defendant owed a duty to the plaintiff. That simply means that the defendant was expected to act in a certain way toward the defendant.
- Proving that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty is not enough. Then, they must prove that the defendant breached that duty by failing to exercise reasonable care.
- Then, the plaintiff must prove that the breach of duty is the direct cause of their injuries.
- They must then identify the scope of the defendant’s responsibility. In other words, the defendant can only be held responsible for harms that they could have foreseen.
- Finally, the plaintiff must prove that the injuries caused resulted in actual damages such as medical bills, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of a job, and so forth.
Is there any other basis for personal injury liability besides negligence?
A personal injury claim usually hinges on the fact that the injured party’s pain and suffering was caused by the other party’s negligence. For example, in a slip and fall claim, the person who fell and got hurt was the result of the property owner’s negligence. In a car accident, the driver who was injured was hit by a driver who was not exercising reasonable care on the road. In most cases, once negligence is proven, the injured party can begin negotiating a settlement claim.
But is negligence the only basis for a personal injury claim?
While negligence is the most common basis for a personal injury claim, it is not the only one. There are two other ways that you can prove that another party or entity is liable for your personal injury.
Strict liability is another way to prove liability for an injury that was caused by designers and manufacturers. When a person is injured as a result of defective products, they do not have to establish the negligence of the manufacturer. They can instead show that the product that caused the injury was designed or manufactured in a way that made it dangerous when it was used as intended.
Intentional wrongs is another, more rarely utilized, the basis of personal injury claims. For example, if someone intentionally hit you, they can be sued for personal injury by way of battery. The person who injured you can be criminally liable and civilly liable.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer Memphis, TN Families Depend on Today
If you would like to find out if you have any legal recourse against the party you think was responsible for your injuries, contact a personal injury lawyer in Memphis, TN from Patterson Bray today at 901.372.5003 for a free case evaluation.