What is negligence?
In short, negligence means that a plaintiff failed to take reasonable precaution to prevent an injury or loss to the defendant. When it comes to personal injury suits, there are several items a plaintiff must prove.
The plaintiff must prove first and foremost that an injury was suffered. This could mean documentation of monetary losses or presentation of medical records detailing physical injuries.
Duty of Care
The plaintiff must prove the defendant had the duty to prevent injury in the circumstances it was suffered. For instance, in our slip-on-the-ice example, if a business opens for business after an ice storm, there’s a reasonable expectation that the owner of the property should make the premises safe for customers by shoveling snow or salting sidewalks to melt the ice.
Breach of Duty
The plaintiff must show that the defendant did not meet the standards of reasonable effort to prevent a foreseeable injury. So, to use the slip on the ice again, the plaintiff would show proof that the sidewalk had not been shoveled or salted and that there was no signage warning of slippery conditions.
Finally, the plaintiff must prove the injury suffered was caused by the breach of duty. This is why it’s important in a physical injury situation to visit a doctor immediately after the incident to obtain proof of injuries suffered. Photographs and first-person witness accounts are also valuable in showing proof of causation.
Find a Personal Injury Attorney
If you’ve suffered a personal injury and need a professional, experienced civil law attorney to handle your case, then Kansas City-based Copley, Roth and Wilson can help. Alternatively, if you’re facing a civil suit and need an attorney to represent you, Copley, Roth & Wilson have the expertise to do that, too. Give us a call today or use our web submission form to request more information.