Understanding negligence is a deep topic. When discussing negligence in a personal injury case, there are often many complicated issues to deal with. On the surface, the term negligence, in general, refers to the concept of neglect and disregard. However, when it comes to personal injuries, there are many important sub-issues that must be examined.

Who’s Responsible?

When the public thinks of Personal Injury law, they often associate the practice with legal actions surrounding car accidents. With the high amount of vehicular crashes across the traffic-filled roads of the U.S., it is easy to comprehend how Personal Injury law has been associated with roadway collisions. In fact, in 2015 alone, the National Safety Council reported that there were nearly 4.4 million road injuries in the United States. With these astronomical statistics, it’s no surprise that the average personal injury attorney is no stranger to representing car accident victims.

One first step a personal injury attorney will take when representing an individual in a vehicular accident is determining whether negligence was a factor for the incident. To determine negligence, a concept known as “duty of care” must be examined. The duty of care refers to the at-fault party’s responsibility in making sure they did everything in their power to act as any reasonable person would in the same or similar circumstances in order to avoid harming the individuals around them. In the case of a vehicular crash, a personal injury attorney must decide whether there was a breach of this duty. In order to determine if there was a breach, the attorney must examine several elements, such as the driving condition of the vehicles immediately before the collision, the mental state the drivers were in at the time of the crash, and the conditions of the roadway where the incident occurred. If a breach is found, such as the at-fault driver’s vehicle had a faulty brake system immediately prior to the accident, this driver may be held responsible for causing the crash.

Determining Compensation

Once the duty of care has been assessed and a form of breach has been determined, the attorney must examine the type of negligence that has occurred. By determining this aspect of the case, the attorney and the represented clients can reach a decision about the desired compensation they seek moving forward. Although there are many forms of negligence, the two main forms generally assessed in vehicular accident cases are contributory negligence and comparative negligence. Contributory negligence states that if someone is partly at fault in an accident, they will not receive any compensation. Luckily, only a small number of states use this concept. Most states, on the other hand, operate under the comparative negligence model. This form of negligence allows a person to receive at least partial compensation, even if it is found that they had some fault in the incident.

Determining negligence is an essential duty a personal injury attorney has in regards to properly representing accident victims. It is also important to remember that although vehicular collision cases are often associated with personal injury practices, personal injury law encompasses all types of negligent cases. These type of cases include slip and fall cases, medical malpractice cases, product liability cases, and an array of other type of injury related cases. If you feel you have been injured in any of these matters, it is important to contact a qualified attorney today.