Personal Injury Law 101: What Are the Types of Negligence?

Personal Injury Lawyer

Were you injured in an accident and need to prove someone was at fault? Accidents, especially when you know someone else at fault, can set you back, physically, emotionally, and financially.

Luckily, there are legal ways to collect compensation if you were in an accident due to someone’s negligence. In this article, we are showing the different types of negligence, and what you need to do to prove your case.

What Is Negligence?

Negligence is a legal term that means a person’s total disregard and lack of awareness to perform a duty safely. 

For example, if a business forgets or chooses not to melt ice on their sidewalk, and someone slips on it, the business would be liable due to negligence.

Types of Negligence

There are different types of negligence. To prove your case, you’ll need to know which type suits your case the best so you can prove that the defendant was at fault. Let’s go over the different types of negligence.

Gross Negligence

Gross negligence is the complete lack of care and concern for someone’s safety. Gross negligence is the most serious form because it shows that there was a negligent action beyond a simple mistake.

For example, an electrician who left live wires exposed in a house they were working on, which resulted in someone getting electrocuted, would be considered liable for gross negligence.

Comparative Negligence

This is where the plaintiff is partially responsible for himself as well as the defendant. In this case, a plaintiff would be seeking partial compensation for damages.

For example, if you’re riding a bike, and get struck by a vehicle, you sustain injuries to your head, but you weren’t wearing a helmet, and the law requires you to wear one. In this case, you may be partially responsible for covering hospital bills while the defendant owes the rest.

Vicarious liability

This type of negligence is when the accused is responsible for the actions of another person or an animal.

If a dog is off its leash and bites someone, the dog owner is responsible. Another example is if a child injures another child at school, the parent is responsible. 

How Can You Prove Negligence?

To win a case where someone deemed negligent contributed to damages against you, you’ll need to prove they were at fault.

The best way to do this is by hiring a lawyer and tasking them with gathering evidence and constructing a case. There are four critical elements you need to prove when taking your case to court. These elements are:

Duty of Care

The defendant knew they needed to maintain safety. This needed to be done to keep others safe around them.

Breach of Duty

The defendant failed to maintain the safety of others and showed complete disregard. For example, failing to stop at a stop sign.

Causation

Proving that the defendant caused damage on behalf of their actions. This means they operated with disregard of safety, which caused personal injury or resulted in damaged property.

Damages

You’ll need to prove that the defendant’s negligence caused you to suffer or take a loss. This would include medical expenses or lost wages due to the result of an accident.

Prepare for Your Case Properly

Although you know the different types of negligence now, you may be tempted to take your case to court on your own. You’ll want to hire a lawyer who has experience in these situations to ensure you’ll win your case. If you don’t gather enough evidence you may lose your case and forfeit the compensation that you deserve.

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