The Elements of Negligence in a Personal Injury Case
Negligence is defined as a failure to use the level of care someone of ordinary prudence would have used under the same circumstances. Negligence consists of actions or omissions where there is an expected duty or responsibility owed by one person to another person. Events which cause injury not due to fault of another person involve negligence, and the elements of negligence are as follows.
- Duty of Care: This boils down to, does the defendant have a responsibility to the plaintiff that it must legally uphold? Is it a responsibility of which the plaintiff is the intended recipient of the defendant’s actions? Establishing a legally defined duty and recognized responsibility of the defendant is the first step to determining a defendant’s negligence.
- Breach of Duty: After the duty of care has been established, it must be determined whether or not the duty of care was breached. For example was the plaintiff lawfully on a premise owned by tenant? Did the person injure him or herself on the defendant’s premises? Did the owner of the business fail to reasonably prevent the injury? These are but one example of many situations involving a breach of a legally recognized duty.
- Cause: Was there a connection between the defendant’s actions or lack of actions that contributed to the resulting injury?
- Damages: Did the defendants actions, or lack of action, lead to a breach of duty that caused discernible physical, emotional, and/or financial damages to the injured person?
Proving each element of negligence is required before a plaintiff can recover on a personal injury claim. If you, or a loved one who has been injured by negligence in an accident you may be entitled to options for obtaining compensation. Plymouth County personal injury lawyer Michael S. Mehrmann has spent many years helping people from across Plymouth County, including in Kingston, Plymouth, Marshfield, Hanson, Carver, Pembroke, and Duxbury, deal with their legal needs. To find out more about how we can assist you, call (781) 585-3911 or contact us online.