What Is Negligence and How Is It Established?

Negligence is the failure to exercise legally required care that provides protection to a person or persons and the result of that lack of care results in an injury.

In order to determine if you can bring a lawsuit for negligence there are four requirements you must reach. Those four are:

  1. Duty
  2. Breach
  3. Causation
  4. Damages

Duty is the obligation by a person or company that requires them to adhere to a standard of reasonable care in order to protect persons carrying out certain activities and keep them safe. At its most basic we all have a duty not to light a person’s home on fire or purposely crash our car into another car. Other examples are companies having various duties to help keep their employees safe. The first step for determining a negligence lawsuit is to determine what duty the person or company had.

Breach is exactly how it sounds. Once it is established that there was a duty, it must be determined how that duty was breached.

Causation is the link that connects the breach of the duty to injury. In layman’s terms, this is where you show how the breach of the duty actually resulted in an injury. For example, if a company has a duty to provide a shelter for customers and that shelter collapses and hurts their customers, the breach of the duty (meaning the collapse of the shelter) is the causation of the negligence.

Damages come into play once it is determined that a duty has been breached and that breach resulted in an injury. Typically you would have had to suffer an actual physical injury in order to receive damages, but there may be cases where mental suffering could also result in receiving damages.

If you have been injured due to negligence or even believe an injury you have received is due to negligence, contact an LA Injury Group attorney for a free consultation. They will be able to determine if you case meets the four requirements and if you have a valid lawsuit.