When an accident results in an injury, an individual may be held liable if their careless actions were directly responsible for the accident. An individual can be held responsible for many types of accidents if they acted in a reckless manner. It does not matter whether the injury resulted from an auto accident or a slip and fall. From a legal point of view, only one question matters; was the accident the result of someone acting in wanton disregard for the safety of others? If so, the individual will be held legally liable for any negligence claims others may have sustained as a result of that accident.
When an individual acts with disregard for the safety of others, it is referred to as being negligent. This article will discuss the conditions that must be met before an individual can be found negligent and will provide some practical examples to paint a clear picture.
Duty of Care Explained
To be found guilty of negligence, it must be proven that an individual has violated the duty of care. The duty of care is a tort law. It states that an individual must maintain a standard of care to ensure they do not cause undue harm to others.
For example, James approached the produce manager at his local supermarket with a question. When he knocked on the door, there was no answer. He waited several minutes, but no one came out. The door was clearly marked “Employees Only”, but James ignored this warning and went through the door. While inside the restricted area, James bumped into a stack of crates. The stack of creates collapsed onto James and injured him. The store manager would not be held liable in this case. The store manager has no duty to protect individuals who enter a restricted area that is clearly marked.
What Constitutes Reasonable Care?
Reasonable care is not a blanket term. It applies differently depending on the situation. Depending on their level of training, one person could be held to a higher stand of care than another.
Example 1: There are several players on a softball field. A spectator is standing near the edge of the field, and he is struck by a foul ball. The players were playing a standard game on a regulation field. In this case, foul balls are expected. Therefore, the team was not negligent.
Example 2: During a game, a player strikes out. Consumed by rage, he throws the bat blindly into the crowd. A spectator is hit by the bat and injured. Throwing a baseball bat is not a reasonable action. Also, the spectator had every right to be on the stand. Therefore, the player who threw the bat can be held liable for the spectator’s injuries.
Example 3:Several people are playing softball in an empty parking lot. They accidentally hit the ball too far, and it strikes someone who is on the other side of the parking lot. The player who hit the ball can be held liable. The individual on the other side of the lot was not behaving in a reckless manner. However, the softball players did not take the safety of others into consideration.
Components of a Negligence Case
Here are some components of a negligence case at a glance:
- It does not matter how the accident occurred, getting compensations for your injuries is a simple process. However, there are a few conditions that must be met if you are to win your case.
- If you did not violate the standard of care and the other person involved did, then they will owe you compensation to cover costs associated with your injury.
- If an employee acts recklessly, their employer can also be held legally accountable for any injuries that result.
- If someone is injured as a result of a product defect, the manufacturer can be held liable. If there are unsafe conditions on a property, the owner can be held liable for any injuries that result.
- If the injured party was also acting in a negligent manner, they might not be entitled to compensation. This concept is referred to as comparative negligence.
- If you are injured, you will not have to prove anything. However, you will need to make a reasonable argument that the other person was at fault and should be found negligent.
Follow these guidelines if you are injured in an accident. They will allow you to receive a fair settlement to cover the cost of your injuries. A legal professional will understand the statute of limitations for the case and should be consulted so that he/she can determine if you should file a personal injury claim.
Contact The Brown Firm PLLC For Professional Legal Assistance
If you have been involved in an accident or incident that has resulted in injury in Virginia – contact The Brown Firm PLLC immediately by phone or by sending us a message online. Our experienced litigators will be able to aggressively represent your best interests in court so that you receive the compensation you deserve.