Negligence in a nutshell is a careless or reckless act (accident) that causes harm to another. Negligent cases are different from intentional tort lawsuits because they require lawyers to establish four elements:
Duty of Care: Proof defendants had a responsibility to avoid conduct that could reasonably cause foreseeable harm to others.
Breach of Duty: Evidence defendants acted wrong or omitted to act when they had a legal obligation to do so.
Causation: Proof of a causal relationship that shows the defendants’ breach of duty provoked the plaintiffs’ foreseeable injuries.
Damages: Evidence of general or special damages arising from the negligent act or omission to act.
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Individuals accused of negligence likewise argue defences that assert plaintiffs were partially or totally responsible for the negligent act. Defendants may further contend the harmed party assumed certain risks by wilfully engaging in the harmful act.
Our lawyers represent individuals and businesses with their negligence disputes and litigate occupiers’ liability and professional negligence cases as well.
Individuals who occupy real property owe a duty of care to visitors and trespassers to take reasonable and adequate precautions to correct the dangers on their land that may cause harm.
The degree of duty owed depends on the status of the visitor with higher duties of inspecting, correcting and advising on premise danger owed to invitees and businesses solicitors than to trespassers.
Professionals who represent themselves as having expert skills and abilities that induce individuals into doing business with them also hold higher duties of care.
Doctors, lawyers and others working in specialized fields share professional liability standards, and professional negligence claims arise when their clients believe they did not provide them with reasonable standards of care.
Some examples of professional negligence include:
- Falling to provide competent services.
- Failing to disclose specific risks as another professionals would have done under similar circumstances.