Components of a Negligence Case

Negligence example: faulty construction

Many types of lawsuits fall under the heading of negligence.  Examples include slip and fall, pet liability, such as dog bite cases, premises liability, wrongful death,

In order to prove that the offender was negligent and therefore liable for your injuries, you need to show all the “elements.” One of the elements is “damages,” indicating the plaintiff should have suffered damages (injuries, loss, etc.) in order for the accused to be held responsible. Even if you can show that the offender indeed acted negligently, you might not gather damages if you didn’t suffer any injuries.

Juries are advised to compare the truths, statement, and proof with the following components prior to reaching a verdict:

  • Duty
  • Breach of Duty
  • Actual Causation
  • Proximate Cause
  • Damages

These 5 components are described in greater detail below. See FindLaw’s Carelessness section for additional resources and short articles.


The results of some carelessness cases depend upon whether the accused owed a task to the plaintiff. Such a responsibility arises when the law recognizes a relationship between the plaintiff and the defendant, and due to this relationship, the accused is obliged to act in a certain manner toward the plaintiff. A judge, instead of a jury, normally determines whether an accused owed a task of care to a plaintiff. Where an affordable individual would discover that a task exists under a particular set of conditions, the court will usually find that such a task exists.

In the example including the accused loading bags of grain onto a truck, and striking a child with one of the bags, the first concern that must be solved is whether the offender owed a duty to the kid. In other words, a court would have to decide whether the defendant and the child had a relationship such that the offender was required to work out sensible care in managing the bags of grain near the kid. If the loading dock were near a public place, such a public walkway, and the kid was merely passing by, then the court may be most likely to find that the accused owed a task to the child. On the other hand, if the kid were trespassing on personal property and the offender did not know that the kid existed at the time of the accident, then the court would be less likely to discover that the defendant owed a responsibility.

Breach of Duty

An offender is responsible for carelessness when the defendant breaches the task that the offender owes to the plaintiff. A defendant breaches such a duty by failing to exercise reasonable care in fulfilling the task.

Actual Causation

Under the conventional rules in neglect cases, a plaintiff has to prove that the accused’s actions actually triggered the plaintiff’s injury. This is frequently described as “but-for” causation. Simply puts, but for the defendant’s actions, the plaintiff’s injury would not have actually occurred. The kid injured by the offender who tossed a bag of grain onto a truck could show this element by showing that but for the accused’s negligent act of tossing the grain, the child would not have actually suffered harm.

Proximate Cause

Proximate cause associates with the scope of a defendant’s obligation in a negligence case. An accused in a carelessness case is just responsible for those damages that the offender could have foreseen through his/her actions. If a defendant has actually triggered damages that are outside of the scope of the dangers that the offender could have foreseen, then the plaintiff can not show that the offender’s actions were the near reason for the plaintiff’s damages.

In the example explained above, the kid hurt by the bag of grain would prove proximate cause by revealing that the offender could have anticipated the harm that would have resulted from the bag striking the kid. On the other hand, if the damage is something more remote to the defendant’s act, then the plaintiff will be less most likely to prove this component. The harm to the damage and the kid to the bicycle might be within the scope of the harm that the offender risked by his actions, the offender most likely could not have anticipated that the daddy and boy would be injured three days later on their method to having the bicycle repaired.


A plaintiff in a negligence case need to prove a legitimately recognized damage, generally through physical injury to a person or to building. It is not enough that the defendant cannot exercise sensible care. The failure to work out reasonable care must lead to actual damages to a person to whom the defendant owed a duty of care.

Filing a Negligence Claim

Even if you’re positive that all the components for a carelessness claim are present, it takes an experienced legal representative making an engaging case and eventually win. And given that you can have your claim assessed absolutely totally free, there’s no danger in talking to a lawyer if you have actually been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence.


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