The US legal system defines negligence as “the failure to exercise the care toward others which a reasonable or prudent person would do under the same circumstances.” In personal injury cases, the attorney tries to establish that the defendant’s action is due to negligence.
The Four Components of Negligence
The US courts have broken down the negligence into four components. If you want to prove a negligence claim, then your attorney must provide solid evidence for each of these four components.
Component #1: Proof of Duty
First, the attorney has to show that the defendant had a responsibility/duty of care towards the injured party. This component is usually the easiest and simplest to prove. Example: A property owner has a duty to keep the walkways and sidewalks free from garbage, debris, ice, snow, etc., as it might cause harm to people passing by.
Component #2: Proof of Breach
Once your lawyer has proved duty of care, they’ll have to show that the defendant has breached the duty by failing to act or behave with reasonable care. This will show that the defendant is legally accountable for the results of their actions. Example: A property owner emptied garbage on the sidewalk, which contained broken glass. Despite being wholly sober and conscious, they didn’t clean it or warn passersby.
Component #3: Proof of Proximate Causation
After this, you need to prove that the breach of care caused injuries or harm to the plaintiff. However, this must link your harm directly to the defendant. Example: If the glass you stepped on caused injuries to your body, then that is proof of the proximate cause. However, if the glass was in the garbage can but was knocked over by a cat that caused it to roll over and come in your way, this may not be a direct cause.
Component #4: Proof of Damages
The last step is showing the court how the harm caused to you by the defendant’s actions can be translated into a dollar value. This process is usually complicated as attaching a monetary value to an injury can be difficult. Example: After stepping on the glass, you tripped, got cut, and fractured a bone. So your attorney used the medical bills and records to show that damages in your case equal $30,000.
Committed Personal Injury Lawyers
If you or your loved ones have suffered serious injuries due to someone else’s negligent actions, contact The Lincoln Law Group now. Our team of legal experts will listen to your story and fight for your case.
For more information on the legalities of negligence or to schedule an appointment with our personal injury lawyer, call us at 877-619-9112.
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