On Negligence and Duty of Care
When it comes to personal injury, two of the terms that you are likely to encounter are negligence and duty of care. These two terms are very important in determining liability in case of injury or death. Is there a breach of the duty of care during the accident? Was the defendant negligent which led to the plaintiff getting injured or killed? In this article, we shall delve on the two terms and explain their importance when filing a personal injury claim.
In legal terms, duty of care refers to the responsibility of a person to prevent any harm to another. This is important in proving that the defendant violated their duty of care to the plaintiff which resulted to the injury. In a personal injury claim, the plaintiff has to prove in court that the defendant breached such duty. Let us have an example. Car A collided with Car B after former beat the red light. If there are resulting injuries, the driver of Car A can be held liable because he had a duty of care to stop when the red light is on but did not.
Duty of care takes into consideration other favors such as traffic conditions, weather, and visibility. According to the website of the Law Offices of Yvonne M. Fraser, if an accident happens because one car did not their headlights were switched off on rainy conditions that driver can be sued if there are injuries because it was his duty to switch on his headlights so he can see oncoming cars.
Duty of care does not only apply to vehicular accidents but also in the workplace. Every employer has the duty to ensure the safety of their workers or of the facilities. If the company fails to provide that to their employees, they could be sued for workplace injuries and liable for damages. If a newly hired employee gets injured while operating a machine, the employer can be held liable for not ensuring that the new employee was properly trained to handle the machine first before letting them use it.
When showing that there is breach of duty in a personal injury claim, four elements must be proven for the case to be successful: duty of care, breach of duty, damages, and causation. The plaintiff must first show that the defendant had a duty of care. Next, the former would have to prove that the latter failed in their duty and that they have suffered severe harm which was caused by the defendant’s breach of duty.
In awarding compensation, the conduct of the plaintiff can also have a significant role in the amount of damages they will get. As proving negligence can prove to be daunting for you, hiring an attorney is most recommended.