Negligence is the failure on the part of an individual or group to act in a fashion that would reasonably prevent injury being inflicted on any other individual or group. It can also be said to be the act of taken for granted, whaat ought to be taken seriously which eventually leads to the injury or damage of another person. Negligence should not be mistaken for incompetence, as most people often misunderstand one for another. While Negligence connote the definition above, incompetence means the act of performing below reasonable or required skills as claimed. Negligence involve some components that are stated below.
Typically, this involves four crucial components:
Duty – the defendant had a duty of care to the injured party.
Breach – the defendant breached that duty of care.
Causation – this breach caused a plaintiff’s alleged harm.
Damages – the plaintiff was actually and measurably harmed.
Negligence claims rely upon the concept of “duty of care,” which is legalese for an individual’s responsibility to avoid harming a piece of property or another individual. Successful personal injury claims depend on establishing that the defendant failed to meet their duty of care and that this breach directly resulted in real injury to the plaintiff.
In regards to personal injury, negligence is easy enough to define, but it can sometimes be difficult to prove depending on the circumstances. Duty of care comes in all shapes and sizes and is usually one of the lynchpins upon which the outcome of a personal injury case depends.
Many times, negligence can be determined based on a set of standards, regulations, or even plain old common sense. For instance, negligence is usually fairly easy to define when it comes to traffic accidents. If it can be proven that a motorist was driving outside the confines of a region’s traffic codes or laws and caused real harm to another driver, passengers, or pedestrians, then that motorist failed to uphold their duty of care and is considered negligent.
Sometimes, however, duty of care and negligence can be a bit more difficult to prove. For instance, employers are responsible for keeping the workplace free from known hazards. If and when they discover that potential hazards do exist, they are expected to remedy the situation in a timely, comprehensive fashion. Still, just because someone happens to roll their ankle in a parking lot pothole does not necessarily mean that they are entitled to a personal injury settlement. To prove negligence, then, the defendant must have been aware that there existed a reasonable likelihood of causing real harm based on their actions (or their failure to act).
Defective product cases are another area in which negligence can become complicated. All manufacturers, distributors, vendors, and retailers have a duty of care that involves their responsibility to protect their consumers from any product that could be dangerous to their health. Now, if an individual chooses to consume an entire bottle of Xanax, that person is operating outside the prescribed usage and is thus likely responsible for his or her own actions. However, if a young male begins growing breasts after being prescribed Risperdal (a second-generation antipsychotic used to treat bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and behavioral issues related to autism), then the makers of Risperdal may have breached their duty of care and could be found negligent – as indeed they already have been in several court rulings throughout the United States.
Due to the degree of specialization with which many medical professionals practice, medical malpractice is usually one of the most complex instances of negligence. Usually, an expert witness will be called upon to determine whether the individual in question failed to operate with the expertise expected of a reasonably competent medical professional in the same circumstances as those described. Still, medical practices and standards often vary and are usually based on the specific needs of the patient, making duty of care and negligence hard to establish with absolute certainty.
Unequivocally determining that another person’s negligence caused real harm to a victim can make all the difference when achieving optimal recovery in a personal injury case.