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The Different Types of Negligence in Personal Injury Claims

If you’ve suffered an injury caused by someone else, you’ll definitely want to make them pay for the damage done to you. In order to do that, you must be able to prove whose fault it was. This is legally referred to as negligence. 

There are four elements that must occur for you to prove someone’s ‘fault’ or negligence. 

  • Duty
  • Breach
  • Causation
  • Damages

The first two elements are more complicated to prove, but in short, the other person must’ve had some duty to provide you with a safe environment, and must’ve breached that duty somehow. 

Most personal injury claims and lawsuits center around negligence. If injury or damage is caused to a person because of negligence, then the negligent party could be responsible legally. 

Because negligence could happen in many different situations, there are various types of negligence that might apply in a case. These types include: 

Comparative Negligence

This type is where the plaintiff is partially responsible for the injuries to themselves. They might be required to pay a certain percentage of the damages depending on their involvement. 

For Example: In California, a plaintiff could be 95% at fault of an accident, and yet still recover the remaining 5% of a compensation award. This is part of California’s ‘Pure fault’ laws. 

Contributory Negligence

Unlike comparative negligence, contributory negligence is where any amount of fault or negligence on the plaintiff’s side would prohibit them from receiving financial damage awards. So, a defendant would not owe a plaintiff anything for damages if the defendant was able to prove contributory negligence. 

Gross Negligence

This type of negligence is where a person exhibited a complete lack of concern for the safety of others and would be 100% responsible for the damages and losses that have occurred. This type of negligence typically applies to medical malpractice cases or seriously violent matters. 

Contributory and Comparative Negligence

This type of negligence is employed in cases where the injured party is responsible to a certain extent and would have their compensation reduced or completely eliminated. 

In Texas, for example, the compensation is eliminated if the injured party is more than 50% responsible. 

Vicarious Liability

This type of negligence is applied when the defendant is held accountable for the actions of another person they are considered responsible for. This could be used when a child has caused a serious injury and their parents would be held responsible, or when an employer is held responsible for the actions of one of their employees. 

Seek an Experienced Attorney

Proving Negligence could be a challenge in some situations, but it’s imperative to win a personal injury case. That’s where the help of an experienced personal injury attorney comes into play. 

Hiring a lawyer that has numerous cases involving negligence and who knows exactly how to deal with insurance companies and settlements would give you the upper hand, and would raise your chances in receiving full compensation for your damages and losses.

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