The 4 Negligence Factors
This is the requirement of a person to “conform to a certain standard of conduct so as to protect others from an unreasonable risk of harm.”
The first step in any personal injury claim is to establish the duty of the negligent party.
Duty of Care Examples:
- It’s your Medical professional’s duty to diagnose and treat you in a medically appropriate manner.
- It’s a driver’s duty to all other drivers on the road—and their passengers—to operate their vehicle safely.
- It’s a corporation’s duty to consumers to ensure their products are not harmful.
A Breach of that Duty
Someone breaches their duty when they fail to conduct themselves in a reasonable manner, or with negligence, toward another person.
Breach of Duty Examples:
- When a corporation produces a defective product that harms consumers.
- When a medical professional prescribes the incorrect medication and harms their patient.
- When a reckless driver causes a car crash.
The Breach Directly Causes Injuries
This is when the breach of duty directly leads to another person’s injuries. You must be able to show that the type and severity of the injury was due to a failure to act in a reasonable way. The source of the breach of duty can be caused by an organization, a corporation, a person, or another entity.
Direct Injury Examples:
- Your health worsens due to a prescription error
- You get hurt or become sick from using a defective product that a company poorly or negligently produced
- A reckless driver hits your car, leading to an injury
- Proof of Monetary Loss
When a person or company’s duty has been breached, and you’re harmed as a result, it becomes your personal responsibility to prove any damages that resulted from your injury.
If you want to be compensated for someone else’s wrongdoing, you’ll need to have documented evidence of any expenses directly related to your injury.
The first three negligence factors—duty, breach, and your injury—won’t necessarily prove that you’ve incurred extra expenses or a loss of income. It’ll be next to impossible to negotiate a fair settlement with an insurance company if you don’t have documentation, showing how the defendant’s negligence directly affected your finances.
Proof of Loss Examples:
- Bills from a physical therapist, or other rehabilitative services
- Receipts for things like bandages, crutches, prescription costs, and any other out of pocket expenses directly related to your injury
- Medical bills and hospital records
Understand: Your objective is to get your settlement approved by convincing the insurance claims adjuster. This is why your focus should be on matching your documented injuries and expenses to the other party’s negligence.
Case example showing the four elements of negligence:
Suzy’s on the way to the office when she notices the car behind her clinging a little closer to her bumper than she’d prefer. Annoying, but she can ignore it.
Suzy turns onto 695, and the driver behind her remains right on her tail. All the sudden, a deer leaps across the road, only a handful of yards in front of Suzy, forcing her to slam on the breaks. The driver behind her doesn’t have time to hit their breaks and they crash into the back of Suzy, totaling both cars.
At the hospital, Suzy is diagnosed with a broken bone, among several other injuries. Because of the nature of Suzy’s job, her injuries will keep her from performing for at least the next few months.
These are the 4 negligence factors in Suzy’s scenario:
- It was the other driver’s duty to operate in a safe and reasonable manner.
- They clearly breached their duty by recklessly tailgating Suzy.
- Suzy’s injuries were a direct result of the other driver’s negligence.
- Because of that driver’s negligence, and therefore Suzy’s injuries, Suzy now has medical expenses, a totaled car, and a loss of income.
Understanding these 4 negligence factors will empower you to negotiate your case more convincingly, and receive the settlement you deserve.
Find out what you deserve.
And don’t accept anything less.
Do you need the help of an experienced PI attorney?
If you’ve been harmed due to someone else’s negligence, our Maryland Personal Injury Attorneys will fight aggressively for you. We’ll stand by you during these difficult times.
You Shouldn’t Pay for Their Mistake.
Contact Hassan, Hassan & Tuchman, PA…
…and let our Maryland Personal Injury Lawyers
get you the compensation you deserve for your injury.