Negligence and Personal Injury Claims

Simply defined, negligence is any failure to act with reasonable care. It is the most common grounds for personal injury claims throughout the U.S. and is therefore intricately related to this field of law. When a person or entity is negligent in some way and this results in the physical or psychological injury of another person, this may give the victim the foundation for a civil lawsuit against the responsible party.

A lawsuit of this kind is filed in civil court and grants the victim the opportunity to seek and recover financial compensation for his or her injuries. Compensation may be awarded for:

  • medical expenses
  • loss of earnings
  • various other economic and non-economic damages the victim suffered

The Role of Negligence in Injury Claims

There are four factors that must be involved in the accident in order for a victim to pursue legal action against a third party for their negligent behavior.

  • Duty of Care: The third party's legal obligation toward the victim. Every person has a duty of care towards all others, and must take reasonable care to prevent their actions from causing harm to those around them.
  • Breach of Duty: The third party's negligent action is their failure to exercise their necessary duty of care. Your attorney will need to prove that a reasonable person would have foreseen the impact that their actions would have on others and take care to prevent the accident.
  • Cause: In order to pursue compensation, you will need to be able to prove that your accident and injuries were caused by the third party's breach of duty. This can be difficult to achieve if there were multiple factors involved in the accident.
  • Damages: Your lawyer will need to assess your damages, which are the costs of the injury you sustained, and determine the monetary value of these losses.

Proving Negligence

A key part of the legal representation that your injury attorney provides will be establishing the defendant's negligence and therefore responsibility in causing your injuries. Your lawyer will need to prove:

  • The defendant had an obligation to you or the general public
  • The defendant violated this obligation in some way
  • You were injured
  • The defendant's violation was the proximate cause of your injuries

Negligence is a key part of this because it is essentially the violation of the defendant's duty to you or the public in general.

What is Negligence?

Negligence may occur by way of an act or omission, when a person or entity:

  • Does not act with the amount of caution or care that a reasonably careful person would exercise under the same or similar circumstances
  • Does something that a reasonably careful person would not have done under the same or similar circumstances

Find out more about how a competent lawyer can establish negligence in your personal injury claim to help win your case. Contact a Philadelphia personal injury lawyer from the Law Offices of Thomas J. Murphy, Jr. today.