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What is Negligence?

When people are hurt in a slip and fall, auto accident, or truck accident, the costs can be extraordinary. Medical bills on top of missing work due to an injury can be a recipe for disaster. While many people understand that they may have the right to file a lawsuit in these cases, most people do not understand exactly what those lawsuits are about. Typically, in a personal injury case the discussion will focus on the concept of negligence.

What is Negligence in Nevada?

In Nevada and nationwide, negligence has four main elements, or factors that must be proven to a judge or jury in order to prevail in court. Imagine, then, a criminal case for drunk driving. Usually in those cases there exist two elements–the prosecutor has to prove that the defendant was driving and that at the time he or she was driving he or she was legally too drunk to be driving.

Concerning negligence, however, the elements are different. Specifically, the four elements in a negligence case include:

  • Duty
  • Breach
  • Causation; and
  • Damages.

What is Duty?

The first thing we have to prove in a negligence case is “duty.” We must show that the person we are suing had a duty to the injured person. A duty is a legal obligation that requires a person (or company) to act in some way. Landowners have certain duties to maintain their property in safe way if they are going to allow people onto that property. Drivers have duties to drive in a safe and prudent manner and comply with the rules of the road.

What is a Breach?

A breach occurs when the person who has a duty does not follow through on that duty. So imagine the driver who has a duty to stop at a red light. When he runs that red light, he has breached his duty.

traffic_redlight

What is Causation?

Often, you must prove two different types of cause (or causation): legal cause and proximate cause. Legal cause is often called “but for causation.” Again, consider the example of the driver who ran the red light and caused an accident; here you could claim “but for his running the red light, the two cars would not have collided and no one would have been hurt.”

In contrast, there also exists proximate cause. This relates to the question of whether the alleged cause is closely enough related to the alleged injury. Imagine that you tried to sue the driver’s mother for negligently causing the accident on the theory that, had she never given birth to the driver, he never could have run the red light, so no one ever would have been hurt. Technically, this theory would pass the “but for” test, but it would be patently ridiculous to allow people to sue the mother in this scenario. This is why proximate cause is important.

What are Damages?

Damages are the injuries the injured person suffers. In order to be entitled to sue someone, you have to prove that you were actually hurt in some way. This does not necessarily just have to be a physical injury. It can include certain types of emotional injuries and other types of economic injuries as well.

Call Naqvi Injury Law

When you are a victim of negligence there are normally a whole host of issues you have to deal with. Medical bills and treatment, physical therapy, vocational rehabilitation, missed work, and lost earning capacity are only the tip of the iceberg. You need a dedicated and passionate advocate on your side to fight for you in the courts and with the insurance companies so you can obtain the financial compensation you deserve. You should call the Las Vegas personal injury attorneys at Naqvi Injury Law. Our phone number is (702)553-1000.