What Is Negligence?

Negligence is the failure to use reasonable care. That is, negligence is measured against what a reasonable person would have done under the same or similar circumstances. This can include a wrongful act as well as not doing something, such as not mopping up a spill on the floor. The legal elements of negligence include: that the defendant had a duty of care owed to the plaintiff, the defendant breached that duty of care, and such breach was the legal cause of plaintiffs damages. The plaintiff, the party bringing the action, carries the burden of proof as to every legal element that must be proved. The standard of proof in negligence actions is that the plaintiff prove her case by a “preponderance of the evidence” or as some lawyers describe this standard, as proving the case by at least 51%.

If you are injured or damaged because someone else acted in a negligent manner, you may have a cause of action against the person who acted negligently. The statutes of limitation prevent lawsuits from being filed after a certain period of time from the date of the alleged negligence. In many states this is one year from the date of the accident. In states like California, the claim period is two years. Laws concerning personal injury cases differ from state to state. It is important, therefore, to consult with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.  We encourage you to speak with at least two personal injury firms.

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