If you or someone you know has been hurt due to the negligence of a business or person, you may have a legal claim.
The legal definition of negligence is when someone is harmed in some way due to another’s failure to reasonably protect others, or their interests. Cases of negligence are common, unfortunately.
Most Americans know someone who is unable to work due to the negligence of an employer, business owner or individual. In critical injury cases, the person is left unable to work for the rest of their life. In minor injury cases, the extreme expense of doctors and missed work can add up quickly.
Negligence can occur in many forms.
· Not giving someone his or her medication, and a seizure results.
· Administering the wrong medication or incorrect dosage creating complications.
· Removing a respirator and forgetting to replace it.
· Failure to document something important.
· Leaving a surgical sponge or instrument inside someone.
· Indifference to fixing a loose floorboard in your home and someone trips and breaks his leg while attending a party.
· Failure to provide reasonable security and protection around your swimming pool.
· Causing a vehicular accident clearly the result of inappropriate action or inaction.
· An improperly installed fixture falls on a person.
· Injuries resulting from failure to fix loose or protruding objects like nails or bolts that can rip open a person’s flesh and the person needs to see a doctor.
· A company vehicle’s back-up beeper doesn’t work and the driver injures someone or something.
As you can see, examples of negligence are not uncommon. The most difficult aspect for a victim of negligence can be dealing with the opposing insurance company. It’s that company’s job to discredit your claim and NOT pay out monies-even when it’s deserved.
The average American experiences mild neglect from businesses but forgets about it when the manager apologizes if no medical intervention is required. Unfortunately, the average American is not a lawyer nor does she know the intricacies of negligence laws.
It’s important to consult legal advice when dealing with negligence claims so that you, the victim, is guided properly and well-informed.
Negligence cases fall into two categories.
When someone willfully shows complete disregard for others’ safety, it is negligence. The person either acts unreasonable or does something a reasonable person would not, and it results in an injury. One aspect of gross negligence is an action that “shocks the conscience.”
For example, if people are injured in a fire where there we no available fire extinguishers or the exits were blocked or locked and the building owner is aware of fire laws, he is guilty of gross negligence for failure to provide reasonable necessities.
When someone does not take “reasonable action” to prevent someone from being harmed, it is vicarious negligence. The responsible party is held liable for not acting responsibly to supervise another person (or animal) that caused the injury.
For example, your neighbor’s dog is frequently loose, and when you are outside, his dog bites you, resulting in a visit to the emergency room. Your neighbor is being vicariously negligent by repeatedly not properly restraining and securing his animal.
Proving a Negligence Claim
In establishing a legal case of negligence, three criteria must be evident:
- A responsibility to the victim,
- Failure to fulfill a required duty, and
- The negligent behavior is the cause of injury or damage.
When people are the victims of negligence, many times it can be a confusing and harrowing experience. Contacting an experienced negligence lawyer can make the difference in gaining an award. Most firms are happy to provide a free consultation to review your specific circumstances.