Elements of negligence

On Behalf of | Jul 7, 2020 | blog |

When dealing with a personal injury claim, it is important to know if someone was at fault when the injury occurred. If there is someone who can be held accountable for the victim’s injuries, then it can be said that this person had a duty to act responsibly. When failing to do so, then it can be assumed that the person has acted negligently. To know if the person has been negligent, then the defendant must prove all of the elements that make up negligence.


  1. Duty:

First and foremost, the negligent party must have had a duty of care to the plaintiff. This means that the defendant had a responsibility, an obligation, a duty to act in a specific manner where there was a standard of care to protect the defendant or anyone else from getting hurt.

  1. Breach:

The negligent party has broken, or breached, his or her duty to the plaintiff. In other words, the defendant failed to act with reasonable care and his or her negligence caused the plaintiff to suffer damages.

  1. Cause in fact:

To prove this element, the plaintiff must show that the defendant’s actions, behavior or conduct has caused the harm inflicted to the defendant. Furthermore, the plaintiff must find a way to link his or her injuries to the plaintiff’s negligence.

  1. Proximate cause:

This element has to prove the scope of the defendant’s duty in the claim. In other words, the plaintiff must prove that the injuries that he or she suffered where foreseeable by the defendant. If the plaintiff was injured by a means that was not foreseeable by the plaintiff’s standard of care, then the plaintiff cannot be held accountable for those injuries.

  1. Damages:

Finally, the plaintiff must prove that he or she suffered actual injuries due to the defendant’s negligence and is owed just monetary compensation.

Knowing these elements will help anyone who has just suffered an injury and is looking for to receive compensation for their damages. It is important to know that the plaintiff has the burden of proving every single one of these elements in a court of law. Doing so will guarantee their success in the outcome laid out by the judge.