What is Negligence?
When someone is hurt in an accident, they have the right to seek legal recompense for the injuries they suffer. In order to get the financial compensation that they deserve, they need to prove that the injury was at the fault of someone else. To prove fault, negligence must be demonstrated.
Negligence, in legal terms, is a cause for someone to act in such a manner that places other people at unreasonable risk. It is at the heart of every personal injury case. Pursuing these cases can be complex based on the nature of the individual suit, and can require legal counsel. Read on to explore the concept of negligence, how it comes into personal injury cases and how an attorney can help.
Overview of Negligence
Negligence is an important concept in tort law, which places a requirement – or duty of care – upon each of us to conduct ourselves in a manner consistent with that which any reasonable person would do.
In order to demonstrate negligence in a legal case, there are five specific elements that have to be established. The first is that the defendant owed a duty of care to the plaintiff. Secondly, it must be shown that they violated that duty of care. Next, there has to be a direct connection between the behavior and the harm suffered by the plaintiff (the negligent behavior caused the injury). Then, it must then be shown that the harm could’ve been avoided—it could’ve been foreseen, which is referred to as “proximate cause.” Finally, damages must’ve resulted from the accident and injuries.
What Is a Duty of Care?
The entire concept of negligence revolves around the fact that one (or more) person(s) owes another a duty of care. Given that this is a central concept in proving negligence, it’s important to understand exactly what a duty of care is.
The truth is, a duty of care varies from situation to situation. A taxi driver’s duty, for example, is to keep their passenger safe by avoiding accidents and driving with care. A business owner has a duty to provide an environment that lacks risks which could cause injuries to their clients, like water that could cause a slip and fall. Or, when someone comes to your house, you have a duty to make sure your residence is in good repair and there aren’t present dangers that could cause injury to your guests.
Essentially, everyone owes a basic duty to not hurt other people, and to avoid courses of action (or a lack of action) which could result in accidents and harm. Whether deliberate or careless, if you act or fail to act in such a way as to result in damages to someone else, you can be culpable for the harm suffered.
Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney
This brief overview of negligence shows that when you’ve suffered an injury due to the irresponsibility of another person, prosecuting your case can be tricky. Types of injury and individual case are unique and require specialized knowledge to ensure accurate representation is provided. For example, auto accident cases are very different from premises liability and those different greatly from defective products, so ensuring your representation is well versed is crucial.
That’s why it is essential to have qualified and experienced legal help. If you’ve suffered an injury and need representation, call the injury attorneys at Farrar, Hennesy & Tanner today. They’ve been protecting Georgia’s injured since 1949.