Whether it is a car accident or an injury resulted due to lack of responsibility of a doctor, understanding the concept of ‘negligence’ is of utmost significance when deciding the fault in a personal injury case. In simple terms, when a person or an organization acts irresponsibly causing an injury, they are liable to compensate for the losses inflicted on the affected party. Let us take a look at four key elements that determine negligence in a personal injury claim:
- Duty of Care
It is an obligation that one person has on another; to avoid causing injury to them or putting them in harmful situations. For example, it’s a healthcare professional’s responsibility to provide quality medical care to patients, and it’s upon a driver to drive carefully and make sure that he/she does not put others in danger. Determining duty of care is a very crucial factor when courts handle personal injury cases.
- Breach of Duty
If the defendant did not carry out the duty of care responsibly, they will be held responsible for breaching it and will be liable to pay compensation. Taking the examples above, if the doctor has irresponsibly misdiagnosed or has prescribed wrong medication, it will be considered a breach of duty. Also, if a driver is driving in a drunken state, he is putting others on the road in danger. That is considered a breach of duty.
As the name suggests, this part requires the defendant to prove that the breach of duty really caused the injury or damage. A doctor may have been negligent in providing appropriate medical care but the injury may have been caused by a previous medical condition. Similarly, a driver may have been texting but the accident was caused by an unexpected bump on the road. For the defendant to be liable, it has to be proven that it was the negligence that caused the damage.
When all of the above three factors are proven, it’s time to calculate the damages that were caused by negligence. These damages can be medical bills borne by the plaintiff due to doctor’s malpractice or financial damage of fixing the car. All of this is decided by the jury.
Are you a victim of an injury due to negligence? The Fitzgerald Law firm is a group of medical malpractice lawyer in New York. Our vast experience and understanding in the field of medical malpractice differentiate us from the rest.