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Personal Injury

Personal Injury Concepts: What is Negligence?

August 31, 2020

The main issue in most personal injury cases is whether someone else’s negligence caused the accident that led to your injuries. However, many people don’t always understand what negligence is. If you’ve suffered an injury and are wondering whether you should pursue a case, it’s important to understand this concept. A Billings personal injury attorney can review your case and determine whether you may be entitled to compensation. 

Negligence Defined

Generally speaking, negligence occurs when someone fails to take reasonable care to avoid causing foreseeable injuries to others. This is typically judged according to what steps an ordinarily prudent person would take under the same or similar circumstances in order to prevent an accident or injury to others. The challenge arises in determining what would be considered “reasonable” or how an ordinarily prudent person would act. While the definition of negligence may appear simple, the reality is that it can be difficult to determine whether negligence occurred in any given accident. 

The facts of your case will be critical. A seemingly insignificant fact can prove that the other party was negligent and that their negligence caused the accident. A skilled Billings personal injury attorney will be able to use their experience and knowledge of the law to identify the important facts in your case that will determine whether you have a claim. 

Negligence is Unintentional

It may help further clarify what negligence is by explaining what it is not. When someone is negligent, we generally mean that they did not intend to cause the accident or your injury. They may have intentionally engaged in the behavior that led to the accident, but they did not specifically intend to cause any harm. Some examples may be helpful: 

  • A driver is speeding to make it to work on time and gets into an accident when they cannot stop to avoid an accident. 
  • A store owner fails to repair broken flooring, and a customer trips and falls
  • A daycare owner fails to properly supervise the children and one of them is injured.
  • A nursing home does not provide adequate staffing and the residents do not receive necessary care. 
  • A doctor does not carefully review a patient’s medical records and prescribes a medication that reacts negatively with another medication they are already taking. 

Of course, you would still have a claim if the other party intended to hurt you, but it would not be a negligence claim. 

How to Prove Negligence

Proving negligence can be more complicated than it appears. In addition to the specific facts of your case, it will also depend on the nature of your case. For example, proving negligence in a medical malpractice case is very different from proving negligence in a car accident case. No matter what type of case you have, you should consider at least speaking with a Billings personal injury attorney to understand what you may be facing. 

Injured? Contact a Billings Personal Injury Attorney Today

Billings personal injury attorney has spent decades helping injured people get the compensation they need to rebuild their lives. If you’ve been injured and don’t know where to turn, he can help – schedule a free consultation by calling 406-651-8888 or completing our online contact form to discuss your case today.  We also have an office location in Cody, WY.


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