October 21, 2014
In a personal injury case, the injured party must be able to establish negligence to prove that another person is at fault for their injuries. According to the Florida Supreme Court, negligence is “the failure to use reasonable care.”
Negligence is the cause of thousands of injuries and deaths across the U.S. every year. Citizens are required by law to conduct themselves in a manner that will not foreseeably cause harm to others. If you have been injured due to the negligence of another person, you may be entitled to damages. However, first you must be able to prove that there was negligence. Here are the four basic elements that must be present in order to prove negligence and have a successful personal injury case.
What is ‘Duty of Care’ in a Negligence Case?
First, you must establish that the defendant owed a duty of care to the plaintiff. We all have the duty to act in ways that will not foreseeably harm others. For example, when you drive an automobile, you have the duty to obey traffic laws and drive safely. Similarly, business and property owners have the responsibility to provide a safe environment for anyone visiting their property.
In order to prove negligence, the courts must first decide if the defendant owed a duty of care to the plaintiff.
What is ‘Breach of Duty’ in a Personal Injury Case?
A person is liable for negligence when they breach their duty of care. Breach of duty occurs when the defendant acts in a way that could foreseeable cause harm to others or avoids his or her responsibilities. A driver who is speeding down the highway is breaching their duty of care, as their actions could cause serious harm to those around them. Likewise, a business owner who does not fix a handrail they know is broken and potentially dangerous, is in breach of duty. The next person to use the handrail could fall and injure him or herself.
Determining Causation in a Negligence Case
This next thing the plaintiff needs to establish is causation. They must prove that the defendant’s breach of duty was a direct cause of their physical or mental damages. If a car that runs a red light hits you and the collision results in a broken arm, this is a clear example of causation.
What are Damages?
Damages in a negligence case are all of the costs that the plaintiff encounters due to the defendant’s breach of duty. This can includes medical bills, loss of wages, and mental damages. If the defendant is found guilty of negligence, he or she is responsible for all of the damages.
If you or someone you know has been a victim of negligence, do the right thing and seek legal representation at once. You are entitled to compensation for your damages. Contact the experienced personal injury attorneys you can trust, and call the Khonsari Law Group today!