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What is Negligence?
Almost every lawsuit related to personal injury invokes the doctrine of negligence in some form. Legally, citizens have a “duty of care” to other individuals when they are engaged in activities that carry with them an unreasonable amount of risk to others.
Because other people have not consented to being exposed to this risk, the person taking these actions must take reasonable care to minimize the possibility of harm to others. If this risk is not reasonably minimized, the person taking those actions would be liable for any injuries that resulted.
However, there are four factors that must be present for a valid negligence claim.
- A duty of care exists. The actions must carry with them a reasonably foreseeable potential for risk. Actions which could not reasonably be considered risky would not be subject to a duty of care.
- The duty of care is breached. The person taking those actions must fail to minimize the risk to others.
- An injury resulted from the breach. Another person must be injured as a result of the defendant’s failure to minimize the risk of his or her actions,
- Damages resulted from the injury. There must be damages, either physical or otherwise, that were directly and explicitly caused by the defendant’s reckless actions.
This article is not intended to serve as, or as a replacement for, legal advice. If you have been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, contact a Cedar Rapids personal injury lawyer from Leehey Olson Law, P.C., today at 877-209-9452.