Negligence is a concept that’s crucial to all types of personal injury cases. Car accident claims, truck accident claims, and wrongful death claims, for instance, all rely on proving that negligence was in place when the incident that caused injury or death occurred. Negligence, as defined, is any conduct that does not meet the reasonable standards for protecting a person from foreseeable risks of harm. In the cases of auto accidents, negligence can be defined as any reckless or careless driving behaviors or actions.
Inside the broader definition, there are many different forms of negligence that fit under the same umbrella. Here are three of the most common elements that define negligence in Kentucky and some examples of how each apply to certain situations:
Breach of Duty
All people, companies, and entities have duties of care they are legally expected to uphold. All Kentucky drivers, for example, are expected to drive responsibly and safely and follow the laws of the road. All car manufacturers are expected to uphold safety standards and prioritize consumer safety. When these duties of care are breached, we call this a “breach of duty” in the legal world.
Examples of cases where a breach of duty occurs include the following:
- A drunk driver gets behind the wheel and causes a major accident.
- A car company manufactures an air bag that explodes when it’s deployed under correct conditions.
- The owner of a casino fails to hire enough janitorial staff members and a spill isn’t cleaned up before a patron slips on it and breaks their leg.
It’s also important to remember that the judge and jury of any given claim will decide what standards are reasonable. These definitions may vary from one case to the next and will depend on many factors.
Causation is the element concerned with proving that the negligent behavior directly caused the damage or harm that the victim has suffered. In the example of an accident caused by a drunk driver, it will need to be proven that the driver’s level of intoxication directly caused the accident. The victim’s lawyer will need to prove that there were no other factors that may have led to the crash and that alcohol was the direct cause.
Damages place a monetary value on the harm done. Medical bills, lost wages, prescription costs, and ongoing medical treatment are all estimated and totaled to help determine the amount of money the victim of negligence should receive. Emotional stress is often considered when deciding the proper amount of damages, as many victims are often traumatized and suffer ongoing psychological issues from their experience.
If you or someone you love has been the victim of negligence in Kentucky, a Lexington personal injury lawyer can help. The legal team at the Law Office of Todd W. Burris, PLLC is experienced in handling complicated negligence-related auto accident claims, and will see that you receive the financial compensation you and your family deserve. Contact us today for a free, zero-obligation consultation of your case.