“Negligence” is a term that describes the behavior of a person or people who acted carelessly, unreasonably, under a particular set of circumstances. As a society, we have an interest in people behaving carefully, so they will not injure others. Civil laws allow injured victims to seek compensation (in legal terms “damages”) from the person or people who through their negligence caused the victims’ injuries.
In most personal injury cases, the plaintiff (i.e. the person who was harmed and brings suit) must show that the defendant had a duty of care, breached that duty by acting negligently, and through that breach caused an injury to the plaintiff. A person is considered negligent if he or she did not act as a reasonable person would have done in similar circumstances. For example, a driver has a duty to drive at a reasonable speed. If the driver speeds up needlessly in the middle of a sudden downpour, when a reasonable, careful person would have slowed down, the driver is being negligent (at best), and would be held responsible for any injuries caused by that negligence.
“Negligence” refers to carelessness; it does not imply that someone intended to cause harm.
In some cases, the behavior of a plaintiff may have been negligent as well, and may have contributed to the plaintiff’s injury. If both the plaintiff and the defendant acted negligently, the injured party would still be able to receive compensation for the percentage of the harm that was caused by the other party’s negligence. This policy is reflected in the term “comparative negligence.”
The theories of negligence and comparative negligence also apply in wrongful death cases.
If you have been injured as a result of another person’s negligence, please call the Law Offices of Nicholas Rose right away. Recognizing our clients’ needs, we take pride in providing prompt, caring, and effective representation. For a free consultation, please call us toll free at (877) 313-7673, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.