What are the basic elements of a negligence claim?

We spend a lot of time on this blog discussing some of the finer points of personal injury lawsuits. This week we want to step back and take a look at the broader picture. Therefore, we will be taking a wider view of the legal theory of negligence, focusing on its basic components.To succeed on a negligence claim, a victim must prove five legal elements. First, an individual must prove that the defendant owed a duty of care to the victim. Generally speaking, drivers have a duty to act reasonably and drive safely while on the roadways. Therefore, if an individual is speeding, intoxicated or distracted while driving, then he or she may breach that duty of care. This breach of the duty of care is the second element that must be shown to succeed on the negligence claim.The third and fourth elements of a negligence claim deal with causation. In simplified terms, the plaintiff must show that an individual’s breach of the duty of care caused the accident or incident in question. Additionally, it must be shown that that incident or accident resulted in injuries to the victim. Causation often involves a defendant engaging in an act where the negative consequences could have or should have been foreseen. The last element of a negligence claim is damages. This means that the incident in question must have caused some sort of harm to the victim. These damages can be physical, emotional or financial in nature. In many cases, all three types of damages are suffered.These damages can have a profound impact on an individual’s life, which is why it is imperative that car accident victims seek damages when injured by the negligence of another. Those who have been hurt in a wreck should therefore consider discussing their situation with a legal professional, as compensation may be recoverable.

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