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Personal Injury

Proving Fault: The 4 Elements of Negligence

Posted by Trent Kelly on February 4, 2022
Proving Fault: The 4 Elements of Negligence

If you have been injured and someone else was at fault, you are entitled to collect compensation for the losses associated with your injury, including medical bills, related repairs, and lost earnings. In order to collect these damages, it is often necessary that the party that caused your injury was negligent, a legal concept we’ll explore in this article.

If you have been injured because of someone else’s negligence, one of the experienced attorneys from TK Personal Injury Lawyers is standing by for a risk-free assessment of your case.

 

What is Negligence?

Negligence is when someone, in this case, the defendant, fails to fulfill certain standards of conduct that they are bound to. For example, when driving down the road, the standard of conduct is that you drive in line with the rules of the road and that you watch out and stay attentive in case an emergency situation arises. Driving negligently might include driving in two lanes at once, failing to allow pedestrians to safely cross, or not watching the road. Some standards of conduct are established by law, as when a driver is speeding, which makes them “negligent per se” which is negligence because of their illegal activity.

If a person violates their duty to you, the standard of conduct applicable to the situation, then the law requires the defendant to compensate the individual who was injured or experienced loss.

 

Negligence Has Four Elements to Prove

For the defendant to be found negligent, their actions must meet the four elements of negligence, which are:

  1. Duty of care
  2. Breach of duty
  3. Causation
  4. Damages

If even one element of negligence is not proven, then the defendant (the person allegedly at fault) will not be found liable, and you cannot collect on damages, highlighting the value of having an attorney on your side as soon as possible after your injury to help with your claim.

Learn more: How to choose the best personal injury lawyer for my case?

Duty of Care

The duty of care is a standard of care in a particular situation, one that is established by factors including the relationship of the parties and the rules in place concerning the activity. Driving is governed by traffic laws, for example, and a retailer has a duty to keep customers safe.

Breach of Duty

A breach of the standard of care must happen for negligence to occur. For example, a driver speeds or drives drunk, or a retailer fails to warn about a slippery floor.

Causation

The breach of duty must be the cause of your injury, which means that without the negligent behavior, you would not have been injured. For example, in a car accident, a person who gets a concussion when their head strikes the windshield after they were struck by a drunk driver would not have stuck their head were it not for the drunk driver hit them.

Damages

The breach of duty and resulting injury must cause damages, whether medical bills, lost wages, or property damage.

 

Connect with an Austin Personal Injury Lawyer Now

Reach out to an Austin car accident lawyer at TK Injury Lawyers to schedule a consultation to discuss options regarding your injury today. We can assess whether negligence played a role and someone else should be liable.

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