When faced with a situation where you believe that you or a loved one has been a victim of negligence, you might be left with a lot of questions. Maybe it is unclear if the outcome was caused by chance or negligence. You might wonder what exactly the term “negligence” means and what specific behaviors might constitute grounds for a lawsuit. If you feel that negligence could have resulted in a negative, life-altering result for you or a loved one, we have answers to some of the questions you might have about filing a lawsuit.
Negligence refers to a person’s failure to follow a duty of conduct imposed by law. Every person is under a duty to use ordinary care to protect himself and others from injury. Ordinary care means that degree of care which a reasonable and prudent person would use under the same or similar circumstances to protect himself and others from injury. A person’s failure to use ordinary care is negligence.
There are four elements that must be present in a negligence case. First, the defendant must have owed a legal duty to the plaintiff. For example, an operator of a motor vehicle has the duty to use reasonable care in the operation of the motor vehicle and to obey all laws dealing with the operation of a motor vehicle. Thirdly, this breach of legal duty must cause the plaintiff to suffer an injury or suffer a damage. Finally, there must be proof that the defendant’s breach of legal duty was a direct cause of the plaintiff’s injury or damage.
The injury component is a major part of proving negligence, so what exactly is considered an injury or damage? Obviously, bodily harm is a common outcome of negligence, but it is not the only thing that may be considered in a case. Even if you are not physically harmed, emotional harm might be taken into consideration if it was intentionally caused. In addition to bodily harm, property damage and economic damages such as loss of income will also constitute damages compensable by law.
If you believe that you or a loved one have been a victim of negligence, contact the law offices of Kelly & West to find out more.
“Reggie Kelly is a fantastic attorney with fantastic paralegals. My wife and I have been using him and his firm since 1983 when we first purchased property in Harnett County 37 years ago. He offers excellent legal advice and guidance. He never gets in a hurry to get us out the door because of his next appointment. He always takes the time needed to check out all of the issues that might come up. Reggie Kelly is a proud American and he loves our country and he wants everyone to do well. Reggie Kelly is an even finer person than he is a fantastic attorney and we are very fortunate to also be able to call him and his wife Cheryl our friends. We give him a 10 STAR Review!”