After a personal injury, you may be left wondering if you should pursue compensation. The key to answering this question is understanding how the law defines negligence.
What is Negligence?
Negligence falls under the broader concept of liability. The tort of negligence covers the failure to exercise the level of care that a reasonable person could expect under the circumstances.
Negligence differs from other tort law because it does not include intentional harm. A company that purposely defies safety standards, for example, is liable, but not because of negligence.
How to Prove Negligence
In a negligence case, the person who suffered an injury (the plaintiff) brings a case against a person they believe responsible for their injuries (the defendant). Proving negligence in these cases requires the following four elements:
- There must be an existing duty of care
- That duty of care must be proven to be breached
- This breach must have caused the plaintiff to suffer an injury or loss
- This loss must result in a demonstrable monetary loss.
To understand the process of proving negligence, we’ve broken down the four elements in further detail below:
Duty of Care
This concept means that property owners have a responsibility to take precautionary measures if a person might foreseeably be injured. A classic example of this, are slip and fall accidents. Business owners must take precautions in winter to prevent injury. These precautions involve clearing snow and ice from walkways and entryways.
When proving negligence, the actions of the injured individual are also taken into consideration. If an individual does not take reasonable precautions, like wearing proper winter footwear, and walking (rather than sprinting) into the store, then these decisions impact the responsibility of the accident.
Breach of Duty of Care
As the above example suggests, proving negligence depends on the specifics of the case. Poor training and laziness, for example, might be indirect causes for accidents. For example, if a company’s records show they have not followed a set maintenance schedule then this might be a key element in proving negligence.
Injury or Loss
There is a basis for a claim if negligent behaviour has harmed the plaintiff. A person whose occupation involves physical labour would have merit for a claim because their injury resulted in an economic loss in the form of missed work opportunities.
Quantifiable, emotional, or physical harm can also be factored in when proving negligence claims.
The above mentioned quantifiable loss must be linked back to the negligent behaviour on the part of the defendant. Property owners might transfer liability to their renters in their rental agreements, which means it is important to be aware of what party is responsible for which negligent behaviour.
What To Do Next
If you’ve been injured on private property, it’s important to understand the contributing factors of proving negligence. If you have any further concerns regarding negligence or other forms of liability, contact the personal injury law team at Zayouna Law. Our personal injury lawyers can help you attain the compensation you deserve.
Call 1-866-929-6862 for a FREE consultation!