The Basics of Negligence in Fort Pierce Personal Injury Claims
Personal injury claims occur as a result of events such as vehicle accidents, workplace accidents like carpal tunnel syndrome, and slip and falls. When most people think of personal injury claims, their first thought is the fact that the claim involves an injury of some sort. What they don’t realize is the most important aspect of the personal injury claim – negligence.
What is Negligence?
Negligence is the foundation of personal injury claims. In the legal profession, negligence is the failure to give proper care and attention to something or someone. The something can be a medical procedure or the act of driving. The someone can refer to a patient or a child, for example.
Black’s Law Dictionary defines negligence as failure, by the willful or unwillful, action, behavior, or response to maintain the expected care required from a reasonable person, given the circumstances.
The Four Aspects of Negligence
In Florida, negligence contains four aspects that determine whether or not an act, behavior or response is negligence. In the legal industry, we refer to these four aspects as elements. The four elements of negligence are:
- Duty. An obligation to act with care.
- Breach of duty. This is the failure to adhere to the obligation.
- Causation. This is the connecting reason behind the breach and the incident.
- Damages. The loss as a result of the injury or injuries.
In a personal injury case, the person who is bringing the lawsuit (plaintiff) has the burden of proving the existence of negligence.
Florida is a Comparative Negligence State
It is important to note that Florida is a comparative negligence state. Under Florida law, if a plaintiff is partially responsible for the incident that caused the injuries, the plaintiff’s recovery amount will be reduced by the percentage of his or her contribution.
Allow us to explain how comparative negligence works. Let’s take a motorcycle accident for example. If the plaintiff was injured in a motorcycle accident because the driver of the vehicle ran a red light, the plaintiff’s compensation could be reduced if the motorcycle rider was speeding at the time of the incident.
Rather than recovering 100 percent of the compensation, the plaintiff’s amount can be reduced to 75 percent.
A Personal Injury Claim Requires Negligence
To pursue a personal injury claim, the plaintiff must be able to show and prove that he or she received a personal injury, is suffering a loss, and that a person or entity is negligent.
In order to build a strong personal injury claim, there must be a direct connection between the negligence and the incident that caused the injuries.
Let Us Help You Today
If you’re suffering from a personal injury, contact a Fort Pierce personal injury attorney serving St. Lucie & Martin County with Sholtes Law, PLLC. Our firm is proud to serve the Treasure Coast and we truly care about seeing the people we represent recover meaningful compensation. Call 855-534-2509 for a complimentary case analysis.