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Negligence

Negligence is a failure to use reasonable care that results in harm to another party. Under negligence law, there are two different forms of negligence. In one form, a person does something that a reasonable person would not do. In the other form a person fails to take action that a reasonable person would take to prevent harm. Both forms of negligence can result in a negligence lawsuit filed against the party responsible for the damage.

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Negligence Law

Negligence law states that a person or an organization is generally liable when they negligently injure others.

If the injured party can prove that the responsible party failed to exercise care that a reasonable party would have, or that, in the circumstances, the law requires for the protection of other persons or those interests of other persons, the injured party may be entitled to compensation. If an injured party has suffered due to negligent behavior, she has the right to be compensated for physical or emotional injury, harm to her property and/or financial status.

negligenceNegligence is a legal concept usually used to achieve compensation for accidents and injuries. Negligence is a type of tort or delict (a legal obligation between two or more parties even if there is no contract between those parties) and a civil wrong, but can also be used in criminal law. It can be divided into the following levels:

Ordinary negligence means the responsible party has shown a lack of ordinary diligence; Slight or less than ordinary negligence means the responsible party has shown a lack of great diligence; Gross negligence means the responsible party has shown a lack of even slight diligence.

Most negligent acts are unintentional but others are categorized as willful, wanton or reckless. As well, deliberate judgments that are dangerously careless, such as a faulty building design, could be considered an act of negligence.

If a defective product is deemed unreasonably dangerous (e.g. faulty seat belt buckles), the manufacturer may be liable, even though the faulty design was unintentional. However, there is no law upon the manufacturer to produce a product that is 'accident-proof.' The man ufacturer is required to make a product that is free from defective and unreasonably dangerous conditions.

Negligence Lawsuit

There are four important elements to a negligence lawsuit that must be proven:
  1. The defendant owed a duty, either to the plaintiff or to the general public
  2. The defendant violated that duty
  3. The defendant's violation of the duty resulted in harm to the plaintiff
  4. The plaintiff's injury was foreseeable by a reasonable person.
As an example, a car manufacturer has a duty to produce a car that is free from unreasonably dangerous defects. By producing a car with defective brakes, the manufacturer has violated that duty. Furthermore, it is foreseeable that a car with brakes that do not work properly will be involved in a car accident and people could be injured in that accident.

It is important to note that although the negligence must be a factor in the harm that was caused to the plaintiff, it does not need to be the only factor. In the above example, if the person driving the car with defective brakes was speeding and crashed with another vehicle, the person in that other vehicle could, potentially, sue both the driver of the car and the vehicle's manufacturer for the accident.

In a negligence action, resulting damages must be proved before recovering compensation.

Negligence Legal Help

If you or a loved one has suffered negligence causing personal injury, please click the link below to send your complaint to a lawyer to evaluate your claim at no cost or obligation.

Last updated on Apr-24-14

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