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What is Negligence in Personal Injury?

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Negligence is a term you’ll be hearing a lot of when it comes to personal injury court cases. While many people know what negligence means in common terms, it takes on a slightly different meaning when applied to personal injury law.

Negligence comes in two parts, with the first being the duty of care and the second being the breach of the care. Duty of care is defined as the responsibility of one person to avoid causing pain or duress to another person. For example, the duty of care of a car driver would be to follow all rules and laws of the road, and by doing so he would be protecting the drivers around him.

In order to prove that someone was negligent, a duty of care must be established, where the person who caused the injury clearly had a responsibility to the people around them. When that duty of care is breached, then the breach must be proven, and then the resulting injuries must be discussed with a qualified personal injury lawyer such as those from The Law Offices of George Salinas, PLLC.

Going back to the car example from before, the duty of care would be following the rules of the road. The breach would be speeding through a stoplight, and the proof of negligence would be the injuries from the resulting car crash.

It’s mostly circumstantial

As seen from the example, most of the case is built around the things that might happenor things in the situation. The duty of care depends on several factors, such as the job being done and the potential dangers of the environment. So a duty of care for a security guard at a museum is different from the duty of care for a security guard at a zoo.

They are both required to protect and guard people and items, but the hazards and potential accidents are different because the environment is different.

But once the duty of care has been figured out, then the fault must be proven. Who violated the duty of care? Did the accident cause because the plaintiff’s car was going too fast, or because the defendant wasn’t paying attention to the green light and didn’t get out of the way?

Personal injury lawyers will seek to find out who is to blame for the accident, while also building up evidence and proof. Sometimes both drivers or people could have done actions that mutually caused an accident, and would have to each pay a fine dependent on the severity of their actions.

Finally, the lawyers look at the resulting damage that the accident caused to the defendant, to show that the breach of care left someone hurt.

Those three steps

Those steps are how negligence is proven and are the foundation for any court case involving personal injury. Then, once one or both sides have been proven to be at fault, the settlement begins and one side must pay the other for damages caused.