Negligence, The ‘Duty of Care’ and Fault for an Accident
Duty of care and fault are just two of the terms that you will hear often if you are involved in a personal injury case. Understanding these terms and what they mean to your case is important.
Determining Duty of Care
Duty of care refers to the expectation that individuals owe a reasonable legal duty of care to others. This might include:
- Driving in a safe manner to prevent accidents on the road
- Finishing all required safety training to protect workers
- Maintaining all work equipment to ensure workplace safety
- Placing a sign notifying people of a dangerous floor
In the majority of cases, individuals are expected to provide a reasonable level of care to other individuals. Failing to do so could make you liable for any accidents as a result.
Breach of Duty of Care
With a personal injury case, you are claiming that the other party breached that legal duty of care. A breach of duty of care usually involves cases of negligence. This might include:
- Driving under the influence
- Failing to inspect a product before selling it
- Operating heavy machinery in a way that is unsafe
- Failing to conduct necessary testing on a patient in a timely manner
Showing that the other party acted in a way that was negligent, you can also prove that they were at fault. Documents like medical records and witness statements can provide evidence for this.
Causation refers to the proof that identifies that the other party acted in a way that is considered negligent. Your legal team will work to connect the negligent actions of the individual to the injuries from the accident.
A few examples of causation might include:
- A driver runs a red light and hits another driver
- A business fails to provide workers with effective equipment and the workers are exposed to a dangerous chemical
- A business owner sells a defective product knowingly and a child suffers injuries
- A manufacturer sells used tires as new and the tire blows out on the freeway, leading to an accident
Each of these actions is not only negligent, but also could be considered the direct cause of the accident and the injuries. Seeking immediate medical care and keeping receipts of incurred costs is important in determining causation.
Related blog: How to Report Defective Products and Then Collect
Damages refer to the economic and non-economic costs that are a result of the accident. Once your lawyer proves legal duty of care, negligence, and then causation, they will fight to collect compensation for the value of your personal injury case.
The state of New Jersey allows you to recover the following costs in a personal injury case:
- Medical costs
- Rehabilitative costs
- Emergency transportation fees
- Property damage
- Lost wages and benefits
- Temporary childcare
Being involved in an accident can also leave you with non-economic costs. Your lawyer will also consider costs like pain and suffering and diminished earning capacity when valuing your case.
Contact a Ventnor City Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Personal Injury Case in New Jersey
Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to a personal injury in New Jersey? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Brown Law represent clients injured because of a personal injury in Atlantic City, Hamilton, Hammonton, Ventnor City, and throughout New Jersey. Call (609) 344-8270 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 3123 Atlantic Avenue, Suite 201, Atlantic City, NJ 08041.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.