Negligence means failing to exercise the care that a prudent or sensible person would exercise in similar circumstances. In order to establish negligence in a personal injury case, you must demonstrate that someone acted in a careless way and that person’s action or inaction resulted in yourpersonal injury. This is one of two essential issues in your personal injury case. The other is calculating your damages.
When you are proving your case, you must attempt to demonstrate that the defendant (the person you are claiming was negligent):
- Owed you a certain level of care under the circumstances of the particular situation.
- Breached that duty of care owed to you through his or her actions (or failure to take action).
- Caused the accident that resulted in your personal injury.
Simple examples of negligence and a breach of a duty of care include car accidents where somebody rear ends your car. The party who rear ended you is almost always at fault because drivers owe a duty of care to the drivers in front of them. Drivers have a legal duty to follow at a safe distance, pay attention to the situation and drive at a reasonable speed.
Another example might be medical negligence. A physician has a duty to diagnose and treat his or her patients using the standard of care of other similarly trained physicians in that community. If a physician fails to diagnose cancer when another physician in that community with similar training would have been expected to diagnose the cancer, that physician may be liable if the delay in diagnosis results in severe case than if the cancer had been detected and treated at an earlier stage.
In certain personal injury lawsuits, other people or businesses that didn’t directly cause your injury might still be partially or entirely responsible. There is sometimes an additional component of negligence called vicarious liability. This means that one person or business is liable for the negligent actions of another person, even though the first person was not directly responsible for the injury. For instance, if a company had someone working for it who caused an accident, the company might still be held liable. Another example is parents who are held liable for their children’s actions.
A lot of times the principle of vicarious liability is used so that the person or company with the greatest financial resources (or insurance coverage) is held vicariously liable so that you have a much better chance of recouping your personal injury compensation.
Remember that establishing negligence doesn’t just apply to individuals. Associations or organizations, big businesses, corporations, firms, large conglomerates, and/or small companies all owe you a duty care and can be held legally liable if they breach this duty. This is particularly true in lawsuits in which you used faulty and unsafe or hazardous products where the company that manufactures, distributes, or sells it to you is responsible. Also companies and/or property owners (including commercial property owners) can be held liable for negligence if you slip and fall on their property where they knew or should have known about the dangerous condition that led to your slip and fall.
Even though you need to establish negligence in most personal injury cases, there are certain types of accident cases (involving inherently dangerous products or extremely dangerous situations) that use another standard which is termed strict liability. In these cases you don’t need to show negligence on the part of the defendant, because the claim is that the product you were using was essentially or unduly dangerous or defective simply owing to the nature of the product itself.
If you have suffered a personal injury and/or you need help establishing negligence in your case, please contact an experienced personal injury lawyer such as Oklahoma City personal injury attorneys : Stipe Injury Lawwho will explain all your alternatives and will make certain that you resolve your personal injury claim in the best way possible.