Negligence is a general legal principle governing our actions. Indeed, every person and company Must act reasonably toward others under given circumstances. Accordingly, you, your neighbor, and every adult and child (older than six in Florida) is required to afford due care in your actions.
Negligence Hinges on Duty and Violating Due Care
When discussing negligence, a tortfeasor is a person or company owing a duty and who violates such obligation. Moreover, a tortfeasor is known as “defendant” in claims. You are “plaintiff” if you are harmed by defendant’s errors.
As yourself, did someone or some company act reasonably under the circumstances? If not, then were you hurt directly by misconduct? Alternatively, ask yourself: what would a reasonable person in defendant’s position do? Negligence is guided by this principle.
Often, a legal duty existed. For example, a driver must drive carefully to avoid a collision. Moreover, another example is a store’s duty cleaning a floor to prevent a customer’s fall. Perhaps, a product maker’s obligation is warning against risks its product poses to consumers. Ultimately, in negligence, each person must not violate our rules, laws, and regulations.
Proving Breach of Duty in Negligence
Did defendant breach a legal obligation owed to you? This occurs when defendant fails to act reasonably or violates law.
Here are some negligence examples:
- Driver strikes your vehicle because he wasn’t paying attention. This driver breaches a legal duty owed to you, e.g. driving carefully.
- Store manager knows a spill exists but does not clean. As a result, you slip and fall. This defendant breaches a legal duty owed to you, e.g. keeping premises safe.
In each instance, someone breached a duty to exercise due care. Duty and breach create liability, or fault. However, liability merely begins your compensation claim.
Proving Cause and Effect in Negligence Claims
Although someone breaches a legal duty, a negligence claim does not yet exist. Instead, you must prove this error actually caused your injuries or losses.
Every negligence claim often centers on whether defendant’s error causes your harm. If an error occurs but no harm results, then no claim exists. However, if you suffer actual injuries, e.g. broken bones, financial loss, etc., you must prove defendant’s error caused your conditions.
Injury causation is often a disputed issue in personal injury claims when conditions are not open and obvious. For example, broken bones, paralysis, amputation, and brain damage are typically obvious injuries. However, major back and neck pain may not be visible on x-ray, MRI, or CT-scans.
Accordingly, in less obvious injuries, insurance companies and defense lawyers often allege your injuries already exist. Instead, they pay specific doctors huge consulting fees. And, these doctors say negligence has no role in your harms.
Ultimately, we must prove your injuries result from a defendant’s errors.
Proving Damages in Negligence Claims
In negligence claims, actual damages are real harms and losses. In Florida, you must sustain an actual injury. There are no damages if you “almost” suffer injury.
Personal injury losses are actual damages. Moreover, negligence damages are have two measures: general damages (pain and suffering) and special damages (medical bills, lost income, etc.).
Advocacy is an art. Explaining how your harms and losses affected you, your family, your life, and presenting your story are critical for maximum compensation. Experience matters.
Fort Myers Negligence Lawyer Pursues Justice
David Harris is your experienced Fort Myers injury lawyer serving Lee County Florida, pursuing top compensation for your damages. David provides personal attention and service, answers your questions, and stays in touch. When you call, you speak to David or he personally returns your call.
Accordingly, take this opportunity to begin your free initial consultation. David takes time to know you and your circumstances. Use our easy contact form to start.