When You've Been Harmed By Negligence

Law Blog

When you suspect that another person has caused you harm, you might have a legal course of action. It's smart to have a basic understanding of a few common legal concepts and few are more important to how a case is resolved than negligence. Read on to find out how negligence applies to civil torts and why proving it is so important.

The Three Elements of Negligence

Most people have heard about legal cases where the defendants clearly appeared to be in the wrong, yet they won the case. Chances are, the plaintiffs were unable to show that the other side was negligent. Negligence is not just about harm done, it must meet all three of the below elements of the law. If one is missing, the judge and jury have no legal way of awarding damages to the plaintiff. Those three elements of negligence are:

  1. The plaintiff (the alleged victim) was owed a legal duty by the defendant to use reasonable care.
  2.  The defendant either acted or failed to act in a manner consistent with the actions of a reasonable person.
  3.  The actions or lack of action by the defendant directly led to the plaintiff's injuries.

Exploring further, look at these examples of the three elements.

1. The Plaintiff Was Owed a Legal Duty to Use Reasonable Care

If you were shopping in a retail store, say a grocery store, the management of the store owes shoppers a duty of care. They must provide a safe environment for the customers by addressing concerns like wet floors, poor lighting in the parking lot, and not stacking the displays too high. When you are driving on the highway, the other driver owes you a duty of care to obey traffic laws, not drink and drive, and to avoid distractions.

2. The Defendant Acted or Failed to Act in a Manner Consistent With That of a Reasonable Person

The law presumes that reasonable people follow the laws of the road and other standards of care. Many businesses, municipalities, and individuals must obey certain rules. Physicians must obey their own standards of care when treating patients. The term reasonable is left up to interpretation and varies depending on the nature of the incident. You cannot be held to the same standards when giving CPR to a person in a restaurant as a doctor would, for example.

3. The Actions of the Defendant (or Lack of Them) Led Directly to the Plaintiff's Injuries

This is where a link must exist between the actions of a person or entity and the victim's injuries. If you slipped down in a store because of food on the floor, you can take action against the store. Even if another customer dropped a can of soda on the floor, part of ensuring the safety of customers is to keep a watch on hazards that can be prevented.

Speak to a personal injury lawyer to find out more about your options. 


12 June 2019

Legal Issues in Flipping Property

People with an eye for property can make a great deal of money buying a house, fixing it up and then selling it for a profit. However, there are many legal issues involved in this kind of pursuit. I am an attorney with experience in real estate, and I have helped many clients learn the legal details involved in flipping property. This blog will help you understand what you need to know when you are buying and selling a home as well as information about paying taxes on money made and property owned. Flipping houses can be a very profitable activity as long as you know how to do it legally.