The Element of Negligence in a Personal Injury Case
Under the personal injury law, negligence is said to have occurred when at least one of the parties involved in the accident did not exercise reasonable care under the circumstances, or when at least one of the parties did something that another reasonably careful individual would not do in those circumstances. Our personal injury attorneys in Fort Lauderdale explain the basics.
Negligence is the most common basis for personal injury lawsuits. Auto accident related cases or premises liability cases involving personal injury are usually based on the argument that the defendant acted negligently. See our article on Merchant Circle on car accidents. Negligence law may differ from one jurisdiction to another. Therefore, it is important to know the local laws pertaining to negligence where the accident has occurred.
Establishing Proximate Cause
Proximate cause is said to exist where the victim sustained personal injuries due to negligent conduct of the defendant. Furthermore, the victim’s injury must be a natural and probable outcome of such negligent conduct. Therefore, in order to prove liability of the defendant, the victim must establish not only negligence, but also proximate cause.
Many accidents involving personal injury may have multiple proximate causes. It is not necessary for the establishment of liability that the negligence of the defendant should be the only proximate cause of the victim’s injury, or the final proximate cause. The defendant may be liable even when a personal injury occurred due to more than one proximate cause, and whether such causes occurred simultaneously or in combination.
Components of an Act of Negligence
Assessment of an act of negligence typically requires that the victim must prove four factors arising out of a preponderance of the available evidence. The first factor is that the defendant must have owed a duty to the victim, or a duty to the public, including the victim. The second factor is that the defendant must have violated such duty. Thirdly, the victim must have sustained personal injury as a result of the violation of such duty by the defendant. Lastly, the injury must be reasonably foreseeable result of the defendant’s action.
Gross Negligence vs. Ordinary Negligence
Gross negligence refers to such conduct or inaction that is so reckless that it shows a substantial lack of care and concern for whether a personal injury may result from it. In some cases where ordinary negligence may not suffice, it becomes important to establish a case of gross negligence in order to hold the defendant liable for damages.
For instance, if a government employee caused an accident while on government duty, he or she may enjoy immunity from liability for ordinary negligence. In such a case, gross negligence may have to be established to hold the defendant liable.
For more information contact our personal injury attorneys in Fort Lauderdale.
Gunn Personal Injury
1 Financial Plz Suite 2500
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33394