6 Real-world Examples of Negligence in Personal Injury Cases

Published by grandelaw on

If you recently suffered an injury due to another person’s lack of care or attention, you might feel overwhelmed by various emotions. Frustration, anger, and sadness are all common feelings among people harmed due to personal injury negligence. You also may experience anxiety and depression if your job or income is affected by your injury.

In this article, Providence car accident lawyer Louis W. Grande lays out specific information and examples of negligence in a personal injury claim. Below is a look at people’s most common questions about negligence and why it is often the foundation of most personal injury cases.

Examples of Negligence in a Personal Injury Claim

  • A car accident where a drunk driver runs a red light that causes a side-impact crash, overturning the vehicle and sending all three passengers to the emergency room.
  • A motorcycle accident involves a driver not using their turn signal and merging into a motorcyclist, causing the to run off the road and sustain serious injuries.
  • A pedestrian accident happens because a distracted driver sends a text message as they approach the intersection, causing them to hit someone in the crosswalk.
  • A dog bite injury case ends up taking place after a jogger tries to stop their dog from being attacked by another dog because its owner let it off the leash in the park.
  • A slip and fall where an elderly woman slips in the grocery store, injuring her hip because the floor was wet, and no signs were conspicuously displayed to warn people.
  • A medical malpractice case occurred after a doctor failed to recognize symptoms reasonably, resulting in a delayed diagnosis that caused the patient to die.

How Do You Prove Negligence in a Personal Injury Case?

“A failure to behave with the level of care that someone of ordinary prudence would have exercised under the same circumstances. The behavior usually consists of actions, but can also consist of omissions when there is some duty to act (e.g., a duty to help victims of one’s previous conduct).” – Cornell Law School

There are many definitions of negligence circulating today. Perhaps one of the best-known is Cornell Law School’s definition of negligence. It is widely referenced by lawyers and educators alike because it touches upon the four key components of negligence.

Those four elements are as follows.

1) Duty of Care

Simply put, when we say that the defendant owed a duty of care, we are referring to an individual’s obligation to protect another individual from physical harm or damage to their personal property. At the heart of the “Duty of Care” component is the belief that we should all take responsibility for preventing harm to those around us.

2) Breach of Duty

If a person displays carelessness by allowing a dangerous situation to develop, they fail to live up to their duty of reasonable care. This failure is called a breach of duty and sets the stage for an accident.

3) Causation

In many cases, a defendant’s breach of duty alone is sufficient to demonstrate that individual’s legal responsibility for the accident. However, there are some cases in which negligence is not the sole cause or primary cause of the accident. Consider the hypothetical case below:

A person falls down a flight of steps in an apartment complex and attributes their fall to the landlord’s failure to replace a burnt-out bulb in the stairwell. If the individual was legally drunk during the accident, the landlord’s negligence is no longer the sole or primary cause. The landlord could claim that the person’s carelessness and drunken behavior caused the accident.

4) Injuries or Other Damages

A breach of duty may directly lead to major or minor damages to people or property. “Damages” encompasses physical and emotional injuries sustained by a victim, in addition to property damage and income loss that unfolds as a result of the breach of an accident.

Rhode Island’s Pure Contributory Negligence System in Personal Injury Claims

Rhode Island follows a pure comparative negligence law in personal injury cases, meaning each party’s fault is considered when determining damages. Contributory negligence, or the plaintiff’s own fault, does not completely bar recovery in Rhode Island. Instead, damages are reduced by the plaintiff’s percentage of fault.

This allows for more equitable outcomes in personal injury cases and encourages all parties to take responsibility for their actions.

Common Questions in Personal Injury Lawsuits

Every year, millions of people sustain personal injuries due to car accidents, slips and falls, dog bites, and medical malpractice suits. When such injuries occur, people often question who to call and what steps to take.

Here are the three most common questions about personal injury and negligence.

1) “What steps should I take immediately after injury?”

The first thing you should do if you are injured is to seek medical attention. If you are driving a car, do your best to safely pull over out of the path of traffic.

Once you have called for medical help and called the police, it is a good idea to call a personal injury lawyer who can guide you through the next few steps to take. You can then take pictures of your injury and the scene while you wait for help to arrive.

2) “How can I know for sure if I was the victim of personal injury negligence?”

The best way to determine whether your injury was caused by negligence is to request a consultation with a trained personal injury attorney. Many attorneys offer complimentary consultations during which they can listen to your summary of events and decide whether you have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit.

3) “What if I am injured while I am working at my job?”

If you are injured on the job, there are three key things to do. First, call for help and medical care right away. Second, make sure to notify your supervisor and the HR department. And third, make sure you file a workers’ compensation claim. Keep a copy of your correspondence and any relevant photos illustrating what occurred.

4) “What is gross negligence?”

In a personal injury claim, gross negligence is a legal term used to describe a reckless or willful disregard for the safety of others. It is a higher degree of negligence than ordinary negligence and involves extreme conduct beyond what a reasonable person would do in a similar situation.

Gross negligence can result in severe injuries or even death, leading to a plaintiff being awarded punitive and compensatory damages.

Claiming Negligence: Victim Help and Resources from a Providence Personal Injury Lawyer

Proving that negligence was the primary cause of the plaintiff’s injuries or damages is not always easy. If you have sustained an injury or property damage due to someone else’s negligence, the best thing to do is contact an experienced personal injury lawyer in Rhode Island. A skilled attorney will fight for your rights and leave no stone unturned to prove that you were the victim of negligent behavior.

We encourage you to contact us today to discover why residents across Ocean State trust us to handle their personal injury cases. With a proven track record of success proving negligence, we are ready to take on your case and litigate in court on your behalf.

We look forward to helping you secure the personal injury settlement you deserve.