The Elements of a Negligence Claim

In most injury and accident claims, the basis for the claim is that someone acted in a negligent manner. Generally speaking, when a person acts in a negligent way, that person may be held liable for the injuries they cause. In order to establish a negligence claim, there are four essential elements that must be proven.

Duty

It must be established that the negligent party owed a duty of care to the injured party. Whether there is a duty will depend on the circumstances. A property owner owes a duty to residents and visitors of the property to keep it reasonably safe from hazards. So, unless you were a trespasser, if you were on someone’s property, they had a duty to make sure the property was safe. Every driver on the road owes the basic duty to other motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists not to drive in an unsafe and careless manner.

Breach of Duty

A breach of duty occurs when the negligent person does something careless or carelessly doesn’t do something, in violation of their duty. In a slip and fall case, if a property owner fails to fix a broken staircase, then they have breached their duty to keep their premises reasonably safe from hazards. If a driver texts while driving and causes an accident, that driver has breached their duty to drive in a safe manner.

Causation

The causation element means that an injured party must show that their injuries were caused by the other person’s breach of duty. If someone sustains a head injury in a slip and fall accident, they must show that the injury was the result of the property owner’s failure to keep the property in a safe condition and not the result of something else. In a car accident, you would have to prove that any injuries sustained were the result of negligent driving.

Damages

This is the most basic element, and it means that there must be some sort of injury or loss for which the victim may be compensated. If you were in a slip and fall accident and you weren’t injured in any way, then the property owner can’t be held responsible because there are no damages.

Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney

Proving the elements of a negligence claim can be complicated. So, if you’ve been injured due to someone’s negligence, you may want to consult with an experienced Tampa Bay personal injury attorney. The attorneys at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk have over 30 years of experience helping injured Floridians. Contact us online or call us at 800-753-5203 to set up your free consultation today.