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Personal injury cases take many forms and cost the economy billions of dollars annually.
Whether the cause of a personal injury is a distracted driver, an employer that did not properly maintain equipment or a dog that bites someone, blame can always be placed somewhere or on someone.
The majority of personal injury cases contain a certain degree of negligence, whether it’s an individual, a group of individuals, an institution, or a commercial business.
This article covers three types of negligence that allow for a personal injury case.
1. Contributory Negligence
A large number of personal injury cases involve a certain amount of contributory negligence.
This means that by definition, for there to be contributory negligence, the following conditions should apply:
- Characterizes conduct that creates an unreasonable risk to your own self
- Characterizes conduct that causes another to intentionally or unintentionally place you at an unreasonable risk
In most cases, a defendant will naturally stake a counterclaim of contributory negligence against the plaintiff in order to shirk liability. If the defendant is capable of providing strong enough evidence
To avoid losing such a counterclaim, one should keep their wits and document what has occurred. Witnesses should be identified as soon as possible so they aren’t overlooked later.
A witness’s statement is far more valuable moments after an incident instead of some hours or day later. Most importantly, an attorney should be contacted at the earliest possible time so that council on standby if and when needed.
2. Gross Negligence
Gross negligence is a type of negligence where the defendant is found to be 100% liable under the law for damages or injuries caused by the defendant’s actions or even the lack thereof.
Among those most commonly sued for gross negligence are medical professionals, security firms, theme parks, among a long list of others.
One way in which medical professionals find themselves facing a gross negligence claim is when patients fall ill or die due to an infection caused by poor sterilization practices.
As for security firms, the firm is liable for the actions of its officers. If an officer goes too far and causes serious injury or death, whether they’re found criminally liable or not, the firm can be found liable for gross negligence for any number of reasons.
Of course, there are countless other examples of gross negligence, and it’s important to remember that being found innocent of criminal wrongdoing doesn’t mean you’re free of civil liability.
3. Vicarious Negligence
Vicarious negligence is where a defendant is technically liable for the damages, injuries, or wrongful death without being anywhere near or in direct contact with the complainant.
Take a police department, for example. Each individual department has in place use of force guidelines for their officers to follow when engaging a suspect.
Under Federal law, Title 42, Section 1983 if one or more officers have been accused of excessive force resulting in injury or death, supervisors, trainers, and even the department that employs them is liable for their actions.
Moreover, multi-employer worksites place employers at special risk of vicarious negligence since responsibilities often overlap one another. The employer is responsible for keeping track of the various risks each individual worker faces.
According to personal injury attorneys DePaolo & Zadeikis, an employer is required to exercise a “duty of reasonable care” set forth by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA).
Negligence and Your Right To Compensation
The bottom line here is that there are many types of negligence in terms of personal injury cases. In a vast majority of cases, even those of contributory negligence, you’re likely to be entitled to compensation.
Whether you were hit by a drunk driver, fell off a defective ladder at work, or were bitten by someone’s loose dog, don’t forfeit your right to full compensation under the law.
Ryan Yarbrough is a small business consultant, speaker, and the manager at Davis Financial Services, a small business consulting firm.