What Exactly is Negligence?

By May 3, 2011 March 31st, 2018 Attorney-Lawyer, General Legal Advice

A personal injury attorney generally sues on your behalf under the legal concept of negligence. While personal injury can fall under other categories, negligence is by far the most commonly applied theory. The word negligence derives from the Latin word negligentia, meaning “not to pick up something.” This makes sense as applied to our current American negligence law. The law of negligence embodies the notion that the defendant forgot to do something he should have done to avoid injury to another.

One should not confuse the legal concept of negligence with the concept of carelessness. While true, many personal injury actions are the result of the carelessness of the defendant, it is often the case that the defendant was being as careful as he possibly could and still inflicted injury on another. Carelessness often plays a part in negligence cases, but not always.

If you are wondering just how the process works, you will be asked to prove that another person acted negligently to cause your injury and that you should be reimbursed for your harm. Your compensation will undoubtedly involve damages amounts for the injury to your body, but negligence law also allows for compensation for property damage, damage to one’s mental well-being, financial status, reputation or intimate relationships (known as loss of consortium). Negligence cases are heavily reliant upon facts and each case is unique from the next.

You will be required to prove every element of negligence in order to recover. If you are unable to prove one aspect of a negligence personal injury claim, you will unfortunately not be able to recover, or “win.” The law of res judicata also dictates that each plaintiff gets “one bite at the apple” and the claim will be barred from being re-filed against the original defendant.

If you are successful with your negligence personal injury claim, you will be awarded damages. Damages are a monetary award value placed on the injury to you and were developed under the Latin notion of restitutio in integrum which means “restoration of the original condition.” This is precisely what the civil courts aim to do- restore you, the plaintiff, to your original condition before the accident. The damages amounts are compensatory and are designed to compensate the claimant for his loss as a result of the injury inflicted by the defendant.

If you are considering a personal injury action, we strongly encourage you to move forward with your case. Negligence law is our specialty and we would like nothing more than for your to select us to be your legal advocates. You should move as quickly as possible on your case so you do not find yourself barred by the statute of limitations, which places time restrictions on the plaintiff for filing a negligence claim.

You will not be sorry you decided to exercise your right to sue. If you seek to be made whole again and would like the defendant to compensate your losses, contact us today!