What “Negligence” Means in a Personal Injury Case

When it comes to personal injury lawsuits, much of the case is often based on negligence. If you’ve never dealt with this type of situation in the past, you may wonder what negligence is. Your lawyer can help you understand it, but it’s basically made up of three parts.

  1. There Was a Duty of Care

In most personal injury cases, there was someone who owed another personal a certain duty of care, but failed to provide it. For example, anyone with a driver’s license has a duty of care to watch out for and protect pedestrians and other drivers on the road. A doctor has a duty of care to provide a certain level of care that any other health professional would provide in the same situation. A business owner has a duty of care to ensure the property is safe and well maintained.

  1. The Duty of Care Was Breached

When someone doesn’t provide the level of care he or she is reasonably expected to provide, that is known as a “breach of care.” For example, if someone gets behind the wheel drunk, he or she has breached the duty of care that all drivers are expected to adhere to. If a surgeon leaves an instrument in a patient while closing the patient after surgery, he or she has breached a duty of care. If a business owner fails to replace outdoor lights in the parking garage, he or she has breached the duty of care.

  1. The Breach Caused an Injury

Once someone has breached the duty of care, there are often negative consequences that occur. For example, a drunk driver might hit a pedestrian, sending him or her to the hospital. A surgical patient may sustain a life-threatening disease from having a surgical instrument left inside his or her body. An employee might trip and fall over a bump in the walk because he or she couldn’t seek the ground at night.

Putting It All Together

As you can see, by neglecting their duty of care, the individuals in the examples ended up causing some injuries to the innocent parties. This is known as negligence. If you feel you have been the victim of negligence, regardless of the person or entity you feel is responsible, it may be time to put it all together and take legal action. Contact an attorney, like a personal injury attorney from David & Philpot, P.L., today to get started with your case.