What is Negligence?
One of the important definitions that personal injury law hinges on is the idea of negligence. It is a fact that must be established in cases varying from car accidents to slip and fall incidents, product liability to medical malpractice. A Deerfield Beach personal injury attorney can easily tell you that one of the most basic concepts—and sometimes one of the more difficult-to-define ones—in the practice of law is the idea of negligence. It can be very difficult under some circumstances to prove that negligence is a factor in a particular incident; while there are some straightforward cases of negligent behavior, not everything is as clean-cut, and working with an experienced Deerfield Beach personal injury attorney can make all the difference in your pursuit of the compensation that is due to you.
Negligence, under the law, is defined as “conduct that falls below the standards of behavior established by law for the protection of others against unreasonable risk of harm.” What this means, in essence, is that the law has certain expectations of behavior meant to prevent individuals, companies, and other entities from endangering the life and health of the people around them. The definition goes on to explain that, “A person has acted negligently if he or she has departed from the conducted expected of a reasonably prudent person acting under similar circumstances.” So when an individual, a company, or another legal entity does not uphold the conduct that the law expects, and an accident or injury results, that person can be deemed negligent, and therefore responsible for the accident or injury. However, this can be very complicated, as an experienced Coral Springs personal injury attorney can attest to.
One of the factors that must be established in order to demonstrate negligence is that the party being accused (the defendant) had a duty to the person making the accusation (the plaintiff). The level of duty varies based on situation; for example, doctors have a duty of care to their patients—though they do not have a similar duty to an individual who they have not agreed to treat, or someone they meet on the streets. The owner of a business has a certain level of duty towards visitors to their establishment, to minimize the potential for injuries and accidents occurring. A south Florida personal injury attorney can advise on the levels of duty that different groups of people bear to those they interact with—and can also advise about changes in the law and in legal precedent that intensify or lessen that responsibility.
In addition to proving that the defendant had a responsibility to take certain precautions against the plaintiff’s injury, the claim of negligence also must include evidence that the defendant breached that responsibility, and that the conduct was the cause of harm—and of course that harm occurred. These proofs do make an accusation of negligence much more complex than just establishing that a person failed to conduct themselves to a certain legal standard; for this reason you should speak with a Coral Springs personal injury attorney or a Deerfield Beach personal injury attorney if you are not certain whether or not injuries you have sustained would be applicable in a case for negligence.