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[Legal Dictionary] Definition of Negligence

July 22, 2015 Legal Dictionary

The word “negligence” is one of many terms that people use broadly in everyday conversation but which carries a more specific meaning when used in reference to the law. Proving negligence is key to winning a personal injury lawsuit.

The law defines “negligence” as “A failure to behave with the level of care that a reasonable person would exercise under the same circumstances.” Negligence is usually accidental in nature, although extreme or “gross negligence” is, in many cases, a criminal offense.

Negligence and Liability

The primary factors determining whether a negligent party is liable for the damages caused by his or her negligence include:

  • Whether the action (or inaction)lacks reasonable care
  • The foreseeable severity of any harm that may result
  • The burden of precautions to reduce or warn of the risk of harm

View other legal definitions here.

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