Negligence, Duty of Care, and Fault for Accidents

Negligence, Duty of Care, and Fault for Accidents

Negligence, Duty of Care, and Fault for AccidentsA very important thing to understand is negligence and what exactly it entails. In most cases that arise from a person sustaining an accident or injury, there is a known basis for holding a person or company legally responsible from resulting harm, which is known as negligence. When someone acts in a careless way and causes an injury to another person, under negligence, that person is held legally liable from what comes after. There are specific elements of negligence claims, however. In order to win a case of negligence, the plaintiff must be able to prove a general four elements to show that the defendant acted irresponsibly, which include:

  • Duty: The defendant owed a legal duty to the plaintiff under the given circumstances.
  • Breach: The defendant then breached the legal duty mentioned by acting or failing to act.
  • Causation: It was the defendant’s actions or inactions that actually caused the plaintiff an injury.
  • Damages: The plaintiff was harmed or injured as a result of the defendant’s actions.

Duty of Care

In an injury case, a “duty of care” is an obligation to avoid injuring someone else or placing them in the path of danger. In almost every case you can think of, a person has at least some duty of care toward other people. However, to whom is a duty of care owed?

Figuring out the duty of care in particular situations can be complex at times. This is because of one simple fact: There are no laws that spell out exactly how a person is supposed to act. The law will simply say that people need to take “reasonable” steps to ensure the safety of others, for instance, a grocery store checking floors for spills and not putting heavy objects high up on shelves. There is really no precise answer when asking how much is too far and when and accident occurs, the argument revolves around whether steps taken qualify as “reasonable.”

If it is found that a person did not live up to the duty of care, then it has been breached, and in many cases the person will be found negligent. In other words, they breached the duty of care by creating or allowing a dangerous situation above and beyond the normal level of risk we encounter whole going about our daily lives.

So, how can I obtain fair compensation?

No matter how the accident occurred, obtaining fair compensation for your injuries can be as easy as an application using simple terms and falling under a few basic principles. For instance, if you show that you were careful and the other person was not, the negligent person must typically be held responsible for your injury damages sustained. If you were also careless, your right to be compensated could be reduced to the extent your carelessness was responsible for the accident, known as comparative negligence. You must often times not “prove” anything, just make a reasonable argument that the other person was negligent.

When all these things are taken into consideration, you will then be able to negotiate a fair settlement for your case. Speak to an attorney at WTW for a more thorough evaluation on your case!

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