Personal Injury Law: Defining Negligence
If you have been harmed by someone else’s wrongdoing, you may be able to hold the at-fault party accountable in a court of law, thus enabling you to receive compensation for the injuries and lost wages you suffered as a result of the wrongdoing. The legal doctrine of tort law allows you to sue someone for negligence if you suffered personal injury as a result of his or her conduct. Here are the four steps to proving negligence in a personal injury case:
You Were Owed a Duty of Care
The first step to defining negligence is showing that the person who wronged you owed reasonable a duty of care now to harm you. This means the duty to not do something that a reasonably prudent person would not do. For example, a doctor owes a duty of care to his patient and can be held responsible for providing subpar care or for acting in a reckless or careless manner.
The Duty Was Breached
Once you show that the at-fault party had a duty to keep you safe, you must have proof that the duty was breached. In medical malpractice cases, for instance, this can be shown through evidence of surgical errors or other mix-ups.