Tort Law Negligence

In brief, tort law encompasses a broad range of claims, including intentional injuries like assault and battery as well as negligence actions.

The difference between tort law and criminal law is who seeks justice. In a criminal case, the state takes action against the offenders. In a personal injury tort, it's up to the injured party to seek justice and compensation for their damages.

Negligence lawsuits provide legal relief for people who are injured by someone who acted irresponsibly, even though the guilty party did not intentionally cause the injury.

This article lists the most important parts of a personal injury lawsuit arising out of negligence, including the legal concepts of duty, breach, and causation.

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Elements of a Tort Law Negligence Claim

Some car accidents provide a good illustration of a potential negligence claim. If, for example, a person is waiting at a stop light in their car, and are rear-ended by someone who is playing Scrabble while driving, they may be able to file a negligence claim.

While negligence laws vary by state, here are some basic elements the injured person in the hypothetical car accident lawsuit may have to prove:

  • Duty. The guilty party must have had a duty to act in a particularly way, usually defined as "reasonable care." Here, the injured driver would have to show that the negligent driver had a duty to drive reasonably.
  • Breach. The injured person must also prove that the guilty party breached the duty of care. Driving while distracted by a board game may amount to a breach of the duty to drive with reasonable care.
  • Injury. The person filing the lawsuit must have actually suffered an injury. In this example, if the driver suffered whiplash after being rear-ended, that would constitute an injury. Injuries may also be any kind of damages, including damaged property (a car) or lost wages because of time missed at work.
  • Causation. Proving this element can be a complex task, but in a nutshell, the injured person must prove that the other party caused the injury. These are just a few of the basic elements of a negligence claim.

Again, negligence laws vary widely by state. A local injury lawyer may help provide more information about negligence laws in your area.

Negligence Injuries that Lead to Tort Claims

So, negligence claims usually arise out of accidents caused by the unreasonable or careless actions of the guilty party. Due to this broad definition, negligence claims may be filed for a broad variety of reasons, including:

  • Car accidents
  • On-the-job injuries
  • Brain or spinal injury
  • Medical malpractice
  • Slip and fall injuries

If you’ve suffered a similar injury, and believe it was caused by the negligent actions of someone else, contact a local injury attorney today to learn more about your legal options.

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The above summary is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice. For legal advice on your particular situation, speak with a local personal injury attorney.

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