In most tort cases and personal injury lawsuits, negligence is a significant factor in determining fault. Thus, it is crucial to understand the definition of this term, the different types, and the one that would apply to your case. In this article, our Hartford personal injury lawyers take an in-depth look into the different types. If you are the victim of an injury caused by negligence, say a car accident, our attorneys can help you. So waste no time contacting us as time is always of the essence in these cases.
What Is Negligence?
Negligence is the failure to behave with the level of care that a person of ordinary prudence would have exercised under the same circumstances. The behavior factors in actions but also includes omissions where there is a duty to act. The main factor considered when determining the presence of negligence is if the defendant’s act lacked “reasonable care.”
Reasonable care means that the person should have known or foreseen that their actions or omissions could result in an injury. It extends to taking the necessary steps to ensure such an act or omission does not cause harm to another. As such, a defendant who knows of an existing responsibility but chose to take actions that deviate from that duty would be liable to answer for negligence.
Furthermore, an act would be negligence if another person of the same capabilities would not act in the same way. For example, a driver who isn’t impaired but runs a red light at an intersection would have acted negligently. This is because another unimpaired driver would not have behaved in the same way. Similarly, a drunk driver would be guilty as they acted carelessly, resulting in an injury.
Thus, to prove this condition, you must show four vital elements. They are:
- That the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care
- That the defendant by their careless actions breached the duty of care
- That the breached duty caused the victim to suffer injuries
- That the injury suffered resulted in damages
What Are the Different Types of Negligence in a Personal Injury Case?
Below, our Hartford personal injury lawyers discuss the different types.
Vicarious liability is a tort doctrine that stipulates that an employer is vicariously responsible for the action of their employees. It applies in different injury cases. For instance, in a truck accident, the trucking company can be vicariously responsible if they knowingly hired a driver with a past DUI conviction.
Similarly, hospitals that hire underqualified doctors will be vicariously liable in a medical malpractice lawsuit. The challenge is usually proving that such an employer had prior knowledge of the incompetence of their employee. Again, working with an experienced Hartford personal injury attorney makes it easy to establish vicarious liability.
Gross negligence means lack of “slight” diligence or care or a conscious, voluntary act or omission in reckless disregard for a legal duty and the harm it could cause another party. It is “gross” because it goes beyond simple recklessness or failure to act. It is a willful behavior done with total disregard for the health and safety of others. If there’s evidence of this condition in a case, you can get punitive damages.
Here, the law looks at a person’s contribution to the negligence act that caused their injury. It means that if a plaintiff shares some fault in the accident that caused them harm, contributory negligence laws bars them from recovering damages. Contributory negligence is the strictest negligence type as a 1% fault can block you from getting compensation. The rigid nature is why most states in the US adopted this law.
Under this law, a plaintiff can recover damages if they are partly at fault for an accident, although not 100%. There are two types of comparative negligence — pure and modified. Under pure comparative negligence, a plaintiff can recover damages even if they are 99% at fault.
However, for modified comparative negligence, the plaintiff’s compensation is limited by their degree of fault. It means that if you were 20% at fault, you’d only get 80% damages. Connecticut is a modified comparative negligence state. Under state laws, if the plaintiff’s fault is up to 51%, they will not receive compensation.
Get Help From Qualified Hartford Personal Injury Lawyers Today!
At Aeton Law Partners, we have the best personal injury lawyers in Hartford, Connecticut. Our attorneys understand the different types of negligence and how to prove the defendant’s guilt. With us by your side, your case will come out on top. Contact us today for a free case review.