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Understanding How Negligence Law Applies to Your Personal Injury Case In Pennsylvania

Who’s at fault for injuries?

People legally must conduct themselves in certain ways in order to avoid causing harm to others. For example, when someone is driving, they have an implicit duty to drive in a way that doesn’t endanger others, such as not disobeying traffic signs.

If you or a loved one suffers an injury, it may be possible to prove someone else was at fault due to negligence. Negligence can take many forms, but here are some important things to know about how it works and what to do if you suffer an injury because of it.

How do I know if negligence was involved in an injury?

When trying to prove negligence, there are five factors that must be shown to be true.

1. The accused had a duty to the injured person. This will depend on factors like location and whether the injured person was allowed to be there in the first place.

2. If the accused had a duty, they violated it.

3. The accused’s actions must have been the cause of the injured person’s harm.

4. The accused’s actions must have foreseeable consequences. If the injury could not reasonably have been foreseen on account of the action, they will probably not be considered at fault.

5. Actual damage or harm must be done.

The compensation awarded due to negligence also depends on the negligence of the injured person. If the injured person acted in a way that they should reasonably know raises their risk of injury, the compensation may be less than they would otherwise receive for their injury.

Examples of negligent behavior

There are many forms that negligence can take. Below are a handful of situations that could be considered negligence if someone is injured when these conditions are present.

Medical negligence examples

• A doctor administers too much of a dangerous medication

Negligence Cases Involving:

• A restaurant or store doesn’t use “Wet Floor” signs after mopping

• A driver is texting while driving

• A driver runs a red light or drives through a “Stop” sign without stopping

• A landlord doesn’t fix torn carpet, loose railing, unstable stairs, etc.

• A person leaves a young child or someone who cannot take care of themselves alone at home

What is Comparative Negligence?

In the simplest of cases, on person or business will be at blame for an injury. For example, the driver who causes a car accident will be at blame. The injured driver will then make a claim against the at-fault driver, seeking compensation for damages.

What happens when two parties contributed to an injury? Enter Comparative Negligence. Comparative negligence is a legal principle used in tort law to assign blame to two or more parties based on the degree of negligence each contributed to the incident. This means if the injured party was partially at fault through negligence on their part, the jury, judge, or insurance company will assign a percentage of blame to both the injured victim and the defendant. For example, if the judge assigns 70% fault to the defendant and 30% to the plaintiff, the plaintiff may only be able to recover 70% of the damages, rather than the full 100%.

What do I do if I suspect negligence caused me or my loved one harm?

Whether you think an injury could be due to negligence or you’re very confident that negligence was the cause, talking to an attorney about personal injuries is very important. Consultations are free, and attorneys can help you through the process of proving fault and building a case around your personal circumstances.

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