When taking a personal injury claim to court, one of the most common ways to build a case is to rely on the idea of negligent conduct. However, just because it is a common strategy, that does not mean that proving negligence is an easy thing to do. Understanding what negligence means and consulting with an attorney will help you decide what to do in your personal injury suit.
As members of society, people have a duty to adhere to standards of reasonable conduct determined by their community. These standards, although not necessarily part of criminal or civil code, are important in order to ensure not only the safety of individuals, but also the safety of others. When a person violates these standards of reasonable conduct and causes injury to another person or damage to property, it may be considered negligence.
The American Heritage Dictionary defines negligence as a “failure to exercise the degree of care considered reasonable under the circumstances, resulting in an unintended injury to another party.” The term “reasonable,” however, must not be confused with the terms “normal” or “average.” The standard of reasonable care is determined by how a person ought to be expected to act under given circumstances, not necessarily how the majority of people would act. For example, many people talk on cell phones or speed when driving on the highway – this makes using cell phones while driving the tendency of an “average” person. However, “reasonable” care would require people to recognize the dangers of being distracted by the phone while driving and avoid such behavior to ensure the safety of themselves and the people around them.
When you go to court, in order to claim that the defendant was negligent, you must prove several components of your case. First of all, you will need to establish that the defendant should have exercised a certain, reasonable degree of care in the relevant situation. Secondly, you must prove that, in some way, the defendant failed to adhere to these reasonable standards. And third, you need to prove that, because the defendant did not meet reasonable standards of care, you were injured. That is to say, you need to show that your injuries were a direct consequence of what the defendant did (or did not do). This is often the most difficult part to prove.
In order to successfully take your personal injury case to court, you will need solid evidence and a good lawyer. If you are in need of legal representation in your personal injury lawsuit, call a Racine personal injury lawyer from the Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ® law firm toll-free at 800-682-3434 right away.