Was Negligence Involved?
Don't Pay the Consequences of Someone's Careless Act
Negligence is the failure to use reasonable care. The doing of something which a reasonable prudent person would not do or the failure to do something which a reasonably prudent person would do under the like circumstances is defined as negligence. A departure from what an ordinary reasonable member of the community would do in the same community constitutes negligence. Thus negligence will be a legal cause of damages if it directly and in the natural and continuous sequence of events causes or contributes substantially to producing the injury or damage so that it can be reasonably stated that but for the negligent action or inaction the injury or damage would not have happened. Thus situations where negligent conduct can occur often take place when a certain level of care is expected to be provided by (i.e. doctors, psychiatrists, nursing home staff, etc.) to persons like patients who are most susceptible. Actions and responses that are considered to be insufficient in nature, especially when the alleged negligent layperson or professional could or should have acted differently are ones that may fall into the legal category of negligence. These are behaviors - or a lack of behavior - that is generally believed to pose unreasonable hazards and place those individuals involved in the situation in jeopardy.
Types of Negligence
Gross Negligence: Negligence that is identified by a person's conduct or lack of conduct that presents an extremely high and unreasonable risk of harm to the other people involved is classified as gross negligence. Generally, this type of negligence is considered to be a failure to execute the required level of care - or any care at all - in the efforts made to protect someone else from being harmed.
Comparative Negligence: More than one person can be legally at fault for causing an accident that resulted from negligent conduct. Comparative negligence is that degree of responsibility for the accident that can be attributed to one party who sues another for a personal injury alleging that the other party was the negligent cause of his or her injury. Essentially, comparative negligence balances the level of responsibility between two parties who may have both been partially a fault for an accident that caused injury. It is merely sharing the blame while allowing an injured accident victim to obtain some compensation even if said victim was partially at fault for the very accident causing his or her injury.
Criminal Negligence: Standards of care have been strictly outlined among professionals in their respective fields. It is when these standards of care are grossly overlooked or deviated from that the other individuals involved are put at high risk of being injured or harmed in some manner. When these acts are considered to be so far out of bounds from the norm from what they should be these actions can be classified as criminal in nature. Criminal negligence is a crime. To be convicted of this crime the DA must prove that the defendant acted in such a reckless manner that he or she created a high risk of death or great bodily injury to the victim and that the acts showed a disregard for human life or an indifferent attitude toward the consequences and that a reasonable person in similar circumstances would have known that the acts will naturally and or probably cause harm to other persons.
Contributory Negligence: In some cases, the defendant being accused of negligence is not entirely to blame for the incident that caused a plaintiff's harm. When the plaintiff is partially to blame, the case may be classified as one of contributory negligence or comparative negligence as described above.
Negligence per Se: Violations of a statute, particularly those statutes that have been designed for the sole purpose of protecting the public's safety, are matters of negligence per se. This means that a jury could be told that a defendant violated the speed limit when he caused the accident. The injured party doesn't have to prove that speeding was negligence since the jury is told by the judge that the speeding was, Negligence per se, meaning it has already been established as negligent behavior.
How to Prove Fault
Claims of negligence require very specific conditions to be met. In fact, if each one of the following aspects cannot be proven sufficiently by a plaintiff and his / her attorney, the negligence claim will not be won in court.
- The defendant owed a legal duty to the plaintiff
- The defendant failed to fulfill his / her legal duty that was owed to the plaintiff ( driving safely)
- The defendant's actions caused an accident, injury or illness to the plaintiff
- The plaintiff suffered injuries or harm to some degree
Acquire Superior Legal Counsel You Can Count On
With the help of a legal professional on your side you stand the best chances of securing the benefits of a legal claim of negligence. At Barry Regar APLC a thorough review of your accident facts will be accomplished and the type of negligence involved will be determined in order to move forward with your legal claim. Learn more about how the negligence involved in your accident can be pursued legally, call Attorney Regar today!