Personal Injury 101: Negligence Explained

If you have been injured in some type of accident, you likely want to know if you will have a strong personal injury lawsuit on your hands. There are many factors that will go into determining the validity of a case, but in many cases, none are more important than determining if the other party involved was negligent in their actions. Understanding what negligence is, and how it can apply to your case, will help to determine your legal options.

What is Negligence from a Legal Perspective?

Legally speaking, negligence is a failure on the part of one party to take reasonable care to avoid causing an injury to another party. One of the most widely known examples of negligence is when a business owner fails to put up a “Caution: Wet Floor” sign in an area where people would normally walk. Their failure to give a simple warning will often be seen as negligent if it resulted in someone getting injured in a slip and fall accident.

 How to Prove Negligence

When working on a personal injury lawsuit it becomes necessary to prove negligence to the judge and jury. There are four main steps involved when attempting to argue negligence, which are:

  • Duty of Care – In order to be considered negligence, the party must have a duty of care. This means that they are considered responsible for the action, or inaction, that led to the injury.
  • Breach of Duty – The behavior or inaction of the defendant failed to meet the level of care that is reasonably expected.
  • Injury was Suffered – There can be no legal negligence if there was no victim, so the plaintiff in these cases must be able to show that they experienced some type of injury or loss. In addition, it must be shown that the defendant should have been able to reasonably foresee this type of event happening.
  • Caused by the Breach of Duty – The injury suffered by the plaintiff must be able to be directly linked to the breach of duty by the defendant.

 Crafting an Effective Personal Injury Case

Crafting an effective personal injury lawsuit can take a lot of planning, gathering of evidence, and coming up with arguments showing each of the above-mentioned points. The specific details of any case will weigh heavily on exactly how the case must be prepared. If you or a loved one has been injured, and you believe that there may have been negligence involved, please contact us to schedule a consultation right away.

Written by John M. Totten

John M. Totten

John's office is in Athens, Alabama, where he has helped thousands of people in North Alabama with everything from family law issues, to catastrophic injury and death cases, to criminal defense.