Elements of Negligence

Personal injury claims are often based on claims of negligence. The injured party must be able to show that the other person behaved in a negligent manner in order to recover damages for injury-related costs.

There are four basic points that must be proven in any personal injury case to successfully show that the other person behaved in a negligent manner. The four points are as follows:

  • Duty of care: The other party owed some level of care to you. The level of care will depend on the other party's relationship to you.
  • Breach of duty: The other party breached his duty of care.
  • Causation: The injury was a natural and forseeable consequence of the other party's breach of duty.
  • Damages: You have suffered injuries or other losses.

For example, a person driving a car has a duty to conduct the car in a responsible and safe manner. If a driver runs through a stop sign, the driver violates that duty. If the driver ran a stop sign and crashed into another vehicle causing an injury to another driver or passenger, the driver may be liable for these injuries.

If this same person was employed as a pizza delivery person and ran a stop sign causing an injury to another driver or passenger on route to deliver a pizza to a customer, Respondeat Superior may apply.


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