What is Negligence?2017-04-20T15:50:53+00:00

The law of negligence is one that some people are not aware of. People in general, are expected to carry themselves in a certain manner and act in an ethical way. If a person’s actions violate the set of standards of conduct then, by law, they are breaking the law of negligence. But what exactly is negligence?

Acting in a careless way that results in injury to someone else is negligence. In order for you to win a negligence case, you must prove that negligence did in fact occur. There are four elements to every act of negligence. These elements are duty, breach, causation, and damages.

Elements of Negligence

  • Duty. This is the first element you must prove in order to win a negligence case. One person must have a legal duty of care and they must violate that duty. A duty of care is outlined in the contract signed upon admitting your loved one into a nursing home. A duty of care is that those people employed by the nursing home must adhere to a standard of reasonable care. That is, to act in an ethical and responsible way when working with patients. In the case of nursing home neglect and abuse, care of duty must occur. The defendant must have owed the plaintiff that duty to care for them. When it comes to car accidents, the person operating the motor vehicle has a legal duty of care. This duty is to operate a piece of machinery safely. They are supposed to get themselves and any passengers to their destination without injury.
  • Breach. A breach of duty happens when a person did not act responsibly in a certain situation that then caused the other person some harm or injury. This means that the defendant was not acting responsibly. In this case, not acting responsibly is not doing something that the average person would do.
  • Causation. In this step, you must prove that the defendant’s negligence was actually the cause of the plaintiff’s injury. When it comes to bedsores, you can prove causation. This happens if you can prove that the caretaker did not rotate the resident every three hours.
  • Damages. This stage means that there was some injury or harm that came to the plaintiff and that they are eligible for some form of compensation. In the case of negligence, it usually involves some type of monetary compensation.

Proving Negligence

To win a negligence case, you must prove a few things. For starters, you must prove that one person owed a duty to the other. Then you must prove that there was a breach of that duty and that because of that breach, harm came to someone. Then the plaintiff is eligible for compensation for their injury. In general, negligence is to be an accident. Some states determine duty of care as if the event of an injury was foreseeable. Others require everyone in the state to take measures to prevent others from harm. This has to happen no matter the situation.

Liability

One question you may ask is who is liable for this matter of negligence? Anything from obligations to responsibility to even debt are considered to be liabilities. One common question that arises during lawsuits is, who is liable? That is, who is legally responsible for the mistreatment?

When admitting a loved one into a nursing home, you want them to get taken care of. Upon finding out they have been abused or neglected, I am sure you will want to find out who is liable as soon as possible. The parties that may be liable are any employees of the home. This could include nurses, janitors, receptionists, etc. Any supervisors of the nursing home could be liable as well. Something most people don’t think of investigating is equipment. Neglect in cleaning or maintaining equipment in the home can also cause problems.

When it comes to matters of negligence, the first step is to find out who is liable for that wrongdoing. Then you should remove your loved one from the nursing home. Proving negligence and finding out who is liable is outlined in the four steps above. It should be performed to figure out whom to bring to court regarding this matter.