Accidents and injuries can happen due to a variety of reasons such as car accidents, “slip and fall” etc. In such cases, a person or a company can be held legally responsible for acting in a careless way and causing harm to the injured person. There is a legitimate case to file a claim under such circumstances.
“Negligence” is a basis to assess and fix the responsibility for the fault in case of disputes related to injury or accidents. The dispute settlement can take place under informal settlement talks or via a personal injury lawsuit.
Negligence Claim Elements
If a plaintiff or the injured party wants to establish that the defendant (the person accused of fault) is responsible for fault, he/she needs to prove the following four elements.
- Duty –Under the given circumstances, the defendant owed the plaintiff a legal duty.
- Breach of Duty – That legal duty was breached because the defendant acted or failed to act in a particular way.
- Causation – The actions or inaction of the defendant resulted in causing an injury to the plaintiff.
- Damages –The Plaintiff was either injured or harmed due to the defendant’s actions.
Let’sTake A Detailed Look At What These Elements Are:
The important issue while assessing a negligence claim is to find out whether the defendant was under a legal duty of care vis-a-vis the plaintiff. For example, a doctor is under a legal duty to provide proper medical care. In the case of a car accident, the driver is expected to observe certain standards of safety and due care while driving a vehicle.
2. Breach of Duty
The next aspect the judge will look into concerns the breach of duty. It can happen by doing something or by not doing something that “a reasonably prudent person” is expected to do in the normal course.What is meant by a “reasonably prudent person”? In legal parlance, it means responsible behavior or action on the part of an average person in a certain situation.
It is important for the plaintiff to establish that the injury was caused due to negligence on the part of the defendant. This is covered under the causation element. There has to be a connection between the negligence and injury. Negligence alone, that is unconnected to the injury, cannot become a basis for recovery of damages. For example, a negligent driver on the other side of the road cannot be held responsible for your injury on this side of the road.
There is another angle to causation. It is necessary to look into whether the defendant was aware that his actions might result in an injury to the plaintiff. The situation of injury can be deemed as unforeseeable if it has occurred due to some act of nature that was not expected. Under these circumstances, the defendant is not considered liable to pay damages.
The last element of in a negligence case is the damages to be paid to the plaintiff. It is the compensation granted by the court to the plaintiff for the injury sustained by him or her. It is in the form of monetary compensation to cover admissible expenses on medical care or property repair, depending upon the case.
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