What Does Negligence Mean?

Negligence is a term used to describe a situation in which a person fails to take reasonable care while doing something. 

If you have spent any time with or around a personal injury case, you’ve probably heard the term “negligence” used time and time again. Why? Because it’s the key factor that almost every case hinges on.

Negligence can take the form of an act or an omission of an act. For a person to be negligent, it must be clear that the person had a duty to behave in a particular manner, but failed to do so.

How Negligence Is Determined

In law, proving that another party was negligent can be difficult. An injured party must prove that:

  1. The other party had a duty to act in a particular manner
  2. The other party failed to fulfill that duty
  3. The failure caused damages to the injured party

Damages can take a number of different forms. For example, a person might suffer emotional harm in the form of PTSD or anxiety after a pedestrian accident. They might also suffer from physical damage in the form of broken bones. Lastly, they may have property damage, like a broken laptop that was in their backpack at the time of the accident. 

Why Negligence Matters

If you or your property are damaged because of another person’s carelessness, you shouldn’t be left to pay for the resulting expenses. This is where personal injury law enters the scene.

A lawsuit or settlement can help you to recover compensation for your losses, so long as negligence is established. These expenses can take the form of:

  • Medical bills
  • Cost of repairs
  • Lost wages
  • Lost employment opportunities
  • And more

You can also seek compensation for noneconomic damages, like pain and suffering.

Examples of Negligence

Negligent behavior takes many shapes and forms. So, here is a list of the most common examples of negligence:

  • A driver who causes an accident after running a red light
  • A shop owner who fails to mark a wet floor with a “caution” sign
  • A landlord who lets a home fall into disrepair
  • A driver who breaks texting-and-driving laws
  • A contractor who knowingly fails to follow OSHA guidelines

If this kind of negligent behavior leads to an injury, the injured party may be entitled to compensation. 

What to Do If Another Person’s Negligence Caused Your Injury

If you have been injured because of someone else’s negligence, contact us for a free case review. At Harlan Law Firm, our skilled personal injury attorneys will work tirelessly to get you the compensation you deserve.