Legal Elements of Negligence:

In order for a personal injury claim to stand, there are several legal elements of negligence that must be proven.

image4The first element is that of “Duty.” The person who caused the accident is referred to as the Defendant and the injured person bringing the claim is referred to as the Plaintiff. The first thing that must be proven in a personal injury claim is that the Defendant owed some sort of legal duty to the Plaintiff.

For example, all drivers owe a duty of reasonable due care and caution in operating their motor vehicles. A driver may negligently cause an accident by doing something they should not have such as running a stop sign. Drivers should not drive in such a way as to damage another person’s car or injure another person. Once a duty of care has been proven, the Plaintiff must show that the duty had not been followed by the Defendant; or that the Defendant “Breached a Duty” owed to the person injured.

The next element of negligence that your attorney must prove for you is known as “Causation,” which means that the Plaintiff must prove that the Defendant’s breach of duty caused them either property
damage or caused them to be injured; or, the Plaintiff must be able to show that the Defendant’s actions or lack of action directly resulted in the injury being claimed.

The final piece of proving negligence is showing that the accident and the injury being claimed to a person’s property or body resulted in actual Damages. In an accident case, those damages can be actual damages such as medical bills or lost wages. Damages can also consist of what is known as “intangible damages” which are such things as pain and suffering. Actual damages can be those bills for medical treatment already received but can also include the amount that a person will need to spend on medical treatment in the future, sometimes for life.

We will zealously pursue a resolution in your favor and will do everything we can to see to it that you receive adequate compensation for your injuries.

Proving Negligence:

image4The law allows you to collect money as compensation for injuries received in an accident from the person who “negligently” caused the accident and those injuries.

The need to prove that the person causing the injuries was “negligent” applies in all accident cases in Florida, including: car crashes; truck accidents; motorcycle accidents; slip and fall accidents; premises liability accidents; and, other kinds of accidents.

“Negligence” is a legal concept. Simply defined, “negligence” is the actions or behavior of the person who caused an accident. For example, in a rear-end car accident, typically the person who rear-ends the car in front of them is negligent because they failed to stop their vehicle before it ran into the rear of another vehicle.

In a “slip and fall” case, the person who is in possession of the property and who permitted a dangerous condition to exist on that property which caused another person to be injured may have acted negligently. It is the job of your attorney to prove for you that the person causing your accident was negligent.

Closely related to the concept of “negligence” is the concept of “comparative negligence.”  In any accident case the percentage of fault applied to all of the persons that were in the accident must always equal one hundred percent (100%).

For example, in a typical car crash involving two vehicles, the fault of each driver when added together must equal one hundred percent (100%). Thus, each driver could have been partially at fault in causing the crash. It is not necessary to prove that the other party was entirely at fault in causing the accident, as a person who has partial fault, or who is said to be comparatively negligent, can also recover money for their injuries.

Ronald Slonaker is a skilled Florida personal injury attorney who has a solid track record of success in personal injury claims. He is committed to obtaining a positive outcome for you and your loved ones after a devastating incident.