JacksonWhite’s law team is dedicated to fighting for the compensation you deserve after suffering a personal injury. Negligence is a serious personal injury case, and if you’ve experienced serious financial & personal damages as the result of negligence, then it’s important to have a personal injury lawyer on your side. Common Negligence Cases include negligent supervision, and school negligence.
The 4 key elements of a negligence lawsuit
- The defendant failed in their duty to the general public, this includes the victim of their negligence
- The defendant violated aforementioned duty
- The defendant’s negligence caused harm to the plaintiff
- The plaintiff’s injury was seemingly avoidable by a well minded person.
Compensation When Negligence is to Blame
Determining compensation is difficult and will be based on the medical records and any other bills related to the negligence accident. An experienced Mesa negligence attorney can help prove negligence and damages in order to help you receive the compensation you deserve. Occasionally, injuries occur because of a failure to provide reasonable care for the safety of others. These cases fall under the personal injury category of “negligence.” Negligence can be cause of serious injury or even death. Cases of negligence can involve complicated applications of law and highly technical information. When these cases occur, a personal injury attorney in Mesa, Arizona can provide legal advice to help individuals get the most favorable hearing in court.
What Constitutes Negligence?
Negligence involves the careless or negligent actions of an individual or an entity that causes injury to another person or damage to property. Negligence can be a complicated area of law because it must minutely examine the intentions and actions of those involved in the suit. Negligence cases also involve the reasonable expectation of protection from harm. Negligence examines common standards of conduct that are prevalent in the society, which can vary from place to place or change over time. Because of the complex issues, professional counsel is generally advised when negligence is involved in a legal action.
Common Examples of Negligence
Negligence under the law can take many forms. Patients under medical care can suffer injuries or death due to negligence under medical malpractice. Clients of financial institutions can experience financial losses due to negligent actions of their account managers. Customers of businesses can suffer injuries from inadequate housekeeping or sanitation. These are incidents where individuals had reasonable expectations that they would be safe or in good care, but they found that their interests were not appropriately considered. A lawsuit is then filed to recover damages caused by the negligent action.
Elements Considered in a Case of Negligence
Cases of negligence can be complicated and require looking at a variety of details that contributed to the action. In some cases, evidence regarding these details may be readily available on video or through witnesses. However, in other situations, questions may involve different viewpoints of events or different interpretations of actions. When a case of negligence is presented to a jury, they are asked to consider a number of factors in order to make a fair judgment:
Firstly, the case must establish that there was a “duty” of the defendant that was owed to the plaintiff by virtue of the relationship. For example, a physician owes the patient competent medical care. An investment firm owes the client fair treatment in handling his or her money. A business owes the customer a safe physical environment in which to purchase goods. Establishing this concept of “duty” to the plaintiff is intrinsic to a negligence case. Without this fundamental condition, no case can continue.
Breach of Duty
Next, the court must consider whether the duty owed to the plaintiff was breached by some failure on the part of the defendant in providing reasonable care. If a physician fails to provide the appropriate standard treatment for a patient, it could be considered a breach of duty. Similarly, if a financial institution fails to protect a client from known financial risk, it could be considered a breach of duty. This concept considers standard procedures and expectations that are expected in individual industries and situations.
Cause in Fact
The lawsuit must also indicate in detail how the defendant failed to protect the plaintiff and that an action, or lack of action, was the direct cause of the injury or loss. Essentially, the case must establish that the injury or loss would not have occurred “but for” the actions of the defendant.
Proximate cause involves the scope of the defendant’s responsibility in the harmful action. If the defendant could not have foreseen or anticipated the extent of the risk of harm, then he or she cannot be the proximate cause of the incident. If harm occurred further in time and location from the original incident proximate cause often cannot be established.
A case of negligence must also include actual damages to an individual or party that is discernible and measurable in some way. It is not sufficient to prove the defendant has not provided reasonable care. The action or failure to act must also result in physical injury or other type of hazard to the plaintiff. The amount of compensation awarded for negligence generally depends on the severity of the injury incurred. It is awarded on the basis of a number of different categories:
- Physical injury – Compensation for actual injuries or death
- Pain and suffering – Money awarded to compensate for the pain and suffering experienced because of injury
- Physical impairment – Inability to function normally or engage in usual tasks
- Lost wages – Compensation for wages lost due to injury or impairment
- Medical expenses – Plaintiffs may be awarded a sum to compensate for medical costs resulting from an injury.
- Mental anguish – Compensation for the mental distress of coping with injury and impairment
- Punitive damages – Additional sums may be awarded to punish the defendant for gross negligence to prevent further injury to others in the future.
Filing A Claim of Negligence in Arizona
In the state of Arizona, a plaintiff has 2 years from the incident in which to file a negligence lawsuit. Arizona follows the legal precept of comparative negligence, unlike other states that use the idea of contributory negligence. Under comparative negligence, a plaintiff can recover damages even if he or she is 99 percent responsible for the incident. However, the amount of damages will be reduced proportionally, depending on the plaintiff’s contribution to the event. Under the more stringent concept of contributory negligence used in other states, plaintiffs may not recover any damages if the contributed to the incident even in the slightest way.
Defending Against A Claim of Negligence
In some cases, a business or an agency is accused of negligence is a lawsuit. The accused party should also seek legal counsel to ensure that all facts of the case are put before the court to make a fair decision. Certain mitigating factors may reduce the fault of the accused party, such as unusual or reckless actions on the part of the plaintiff. These facts may not only affect the final disposition of the case, but also can affect the amount of settlement of the claim. If you are involved in a negligence case, you will need professional legal advice to ensure that your case gets a fair hearing. A personal injury lawyer in Mesa, Arizona can provide information you need to know about your rights under the law.