What Does It Mean To Prove Negligence?

If someone were to initiate a personal injury lawsuit, he or she could only win that case by proving that the responsible party had been negligent. What does it mean to prove negligence?

What is negligence?

That word is the legal term that refers to behavior that demonstrates the possession of a careless and neglectful attitude. A negligent defendant has demonstrated a sub-standard level of behavior. He or she has acted in an unreasonable manner.

Other required elements in a proof of negligence

Evidence that the careless and neglectful conduct contributed to creation of an injury-causing accident. In other words, proof that the same conduct was the actual cause of the plaintiff’s injury.

Evidence that the defendant’s position before and during the accident helped to make that defendant’s actions an actual cause. In other those same actions were also a proximate cause of the plaintiff’s injury.

Failure of a personal injury attorney to identify the defendant’s behavior as an actual and proximate cause would represent a win for the defendant. The defendant would not have to compensate the plaintiff for any damages.

What is negligence per se?

Someone that had violated a law, even a traffic law could be found guilty of negligence per se, assuming that the same violation had been designed to protect the plaintiff. So, if a driver went through a stop sign, and then got a ticket he or she might not be guilty of negligence per se.

Let’s suppose that the same driver did no harm to a pedestrian on the sidewalk, a walker that did not venture into the street. On the other hand, suppose that the same pedestrian looked up when the car went flying through the stop sign, and tripped on a raised part of the sidewalk. Even if that trip caused the walker to get injured, he or she could not charge the disobedient driver with negligence per se.

The legal system has a reason for putting a check on flimsy attempts to link someone’s behavior to an accidental occurrence. It has introduced that check due to the requirements for proving negligence. If a defendant has been found guilty of negligence per se, then the plaintiff does not have to produce proof of negligence.

The legal system appreciates the challenges that could face a defendant. That is why it has created a deadline for the filing of a personal injury lawsuit. It does not force defendants to seek stale evidence. By the same token, it forces a plaintiff’s personal injury lawyer in Carol Stream to have a valid reason for focusing on only the proof of a proximate and actual cause, when not presenting an argument that qualifies as a proof of negligence.