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What is “negligence”?

When a Frankfort resident is involved in an accident or is injured, the claims that arise usually are from “negligence.” If a person is legally responsible for causing the accident or injury, it is typically because of negligence. So, what is negligence when proving fault?

Negligence is when a person acts in a careless way that results in the injury of someone else. There are four elements a defendant must prove for a finding of negligence. The first element is duty. Duty is where the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care. For example, a person driving a car has an expectation to drive safely or a medical professional may have a legal duty to provide their patient with medical care. The second element is breach of duty. The court will assess whether the defendant breached their duty of care by not doing something a “reasonably prudent person” would do in the same circumstances. A defendant would be negligent if it was determined that another person would have acted differently in the same situation and not caused the injury.

The third element is causation. This is where the plaintiff shows that the defendant’s actions caused their injury. The final element of a negligence case is damages. This is where the plaintiff receives monetary compensation for their injury, usually for medical expenses or property repair.

When a person is injured through no fault of their own they may not know that they have legal rights. A legal professional who is skilled in personal injury law may be able to help a person determine if they have a valid personal injury case. If so, they can guide their client through the steps of filing these types of claims and attempt to help their client recover compensation for their injury. Many times, an injury causes a family financial hardship because of unexpected medical bills and lost wages.

Source: injury.findlaw.com, “Proving fault: What is negligence?“, accessed on Jan. 1, 2018

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