The 4 Elements Behind Negligence

26 March 2018
 Categories: , Blog


One of the defining elements of a personal injury case is the idea that either a person's or an entity's negligent actions are the cause of your injury. In a personal injury case, it is up to the plaintiff to prove the the defendant was indeed negligent. There are four specific elements that you have to establish through evidence in order to legally show that someone was negligent.


The first thing that you have to establish is that the defendant in question has a legal obligation to act in a certain way. There are lots of different legal obligations that people have. For example, when you get behind the wheel of a vehicle, you have a legal obligation to drive safely and watch out for other drivers. When you work as a doctor, you have a legal obligation to treat your patients to the best of your ability. When you own a business, you have a legal obligation to provide patients with a safe environment.

You need to be able to show that the defendant had a legal due to act in a certain way towards you.


Second, you and your personal injury lawyer need to be able to show that not only did the defendant have a legal duty, but they failed to meet that legal duty. For example, someone that runs a red light fails their duty to be a safe driver. A business owner that leaves water all over the floor without a warning sign failed their duty to provide customers with a safe environment.


Third, you need to show that the defendant was actually responsible for your injuries. You need to show that your injuries actually were the result of, for example, a car accident or a slip and fall, and that something else did not cause your injuries. This can be established through witness testimony and eye witnesses.


Finally, in order to sue someone, you need to have suffered some harm. This could be harm to your physical body, your emotional well-being, or even your ability to work. You need to have suffered some time of harm that you need and want to be compensated in some manner for. These injuries need to be related to you as a person, and not your personal property.

Make sure that you work with your attorney to gather evidence to prove that the defendant exhibited the four characteristics of negligence.