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Negligence: The Key to Your Personal Injury Case

Updated August 18, 2020 | By Wilson Kehoe Winingham staff

Have you been injured in some kind of accident? If so, you’ve probably been doing plenty of reading on the topic of personal injury and personal injury lawsuits. You might have seen the word “negligence” used extensively.

But what, exactly, does it mean?

Legal Definition of Negligence

In legal terms, negligence is a failure to act with a reasonable level of care—a level that someone with ordinary judgment would exercise under the same circumstances. It can apply either to a person’s actions or to a failure to act when there is a reasonable duty to act.

Examples of Negligence

A person is considered negligent when they ignore a probable outcome of harm resulting from an action or inaction. A few examples of negligent behavior include:

No one can predict all possible outcomes of an action or failure to act. If the result of harm is not foreseeable, a person is not negligent.

For instance, if a store’s front door is in perfect working order, but a child’s hand is caught in the door when it closes, it is not considered negligence. Although the accident is unfortunate and may cause injury, no one could reasonably foresee the accident. The child’s injury is not the result of anyone’s action or failure to act.

Establishing Negligence in a Legal Case

Certain elements are necessary to establish negligence after an accidental injury. They include:

  • Existence of a legal duty to exercise reasonable care
  • Failure to exercise such care
  • Physical harm caused by the negligent conduct
  • Loss due to physical harm

Losses may include, but are not limited to, financial losses, pain and suffering, or loss of enjoyment of life for the victim.

Contact a Personal Injury Attorney Today

Personal injury law is complex, and every case is different. If you or a loved one have been harmed due to someone else’s negligence, contact an Indianapolis personal injury lawyer from Wilson Kehoe Winingham. The lawyers at WKW can help you get the compensation you deserve.

Call 317.920.6400 or fill out an online contact form for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.

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