Have You Been a Victim of Negligence?

Under United States common law, everyone in the country has a duty to avoid causing harm to another—even if it’s unintentional. If someone does cause avoidable harm, they may be considered legally negligent. There are numerous examples of negligence cases—from slip and fall accidents on poorly maintained walkways to dog bites and car accidents.

If you’ve been a victim of someone else’s negligence, consider hiring a personal injury attorney. In many cases, you may be able to recover compensation for your injuries, pain and suffering, property damage and more.

Elements of negligence

The elements of negligence are largely the same, whether you’re litigating medical malpractice or a car accident. They are:

  • Duty: The defendant had a duty to avoid causing harm to the plaintiff.
  • Breach: The defendant breached their duty of care.
  • Causation: The breach of duty caused harm to the plaintiff.
  • Damages: The plaintiff suffered actual harm as a result.

How to prove negligence

To prove that a defendant acted negligently, you have to be able to prove all four elements with a preponderance of the evidence. (Preponderance of the evidence simply means it’s more likely than not that the defendant did what the plaintiff claims.)

Depending on the facts of your case, some of the elements may be easier to prove than others. If any of them are missing, you won’t win. For example, you might be able to meet the first three elements, but if you never suffered actual harm as a result of the defendant’s breach of duty, your case will fail. Similarly, some cases hinge on causation, i.e., whether the breach was actually responsible for the plaintiff’s injuries.

Often, the most contentious element is breach. Showing that a defendant breached their duty of care can be complex. In medical malpractice cases, plaintiffs must prove that the defendant failed to act in the way a similarly educated and experienced healthcare provider would have in the same circumstances. This requires expert testimony, among other evidence.

The best way to prove negligence is to work with an experienced personal injury lawyer. They’ll be able to evaluate your case and let you know whether you’re likely to prevail.

Examples of negligence

There are many types of negligence cases. Car accidents make up a large portion of negligent actions, since car accidents are relatively common. Medical malpractice, slip and fall accidents, dog bite injuries and injuries from defective products are also negligent actions.

Negligent actions aren’t limited to certain injuries or types of accidents. For instance, if your day care provider failed to watch your child, that is a negligent action, as is a mechanic who made faulty repairs. Any time you believe that someone’s negligence or recklessness led to injury or property damage, you may be able to pursue a claim.

For more information about how to prove negligence, call Rosato Law Offices. We specialize in dog bites, slip and fall accidents and car accidents. With over 38 years of courtroom experience, we can help you get results.