If you want to file an insurance claim or take someone to civil court in a personal injury lawsuit, you typically need either proof that they did something illegal or that they were negligent. Negligence plays an important role in a variety of personal injury claims, ranging from premises liability claims that stem from a slip-and-fall injury to car crashes.
If you can show that an individual or a business was negligent, you will be in a strong position to ask for compensation for property damage or bodily injuries. What does negligence mean in an insurance or legal setting?
Negligence relates both to duty and reasonable behavior
The courts often have to carefully consider a situation to determine if it actually meets the legal standard for negligence or not. You can apply a simple test on your own to the circumstances to evaluate the likelihood of your claim succeeding.
If a reasonable person would have behaved differently, whether that means not doing something or engaging in a specific behavior, then the actions of the party that caused your injury would be negligent. The courts will look at whether they had a duty to act and failed to do so or if they acted in a way that was explicitly inappropriate given these circumstances.
If a judge believes that a reasonable person would not do the same thing or that there was an obligation to act that made someone’s inaction negligent, such as failing to maintain a property properly, they may then hold that individual or business legally and financially accountable for the financial consequences you have suffered as a result.
How do you establish what a reasonable person would do?
An in-depth analysis of the circumstances could help you prove that someone didn’t act in a reasonable manner. On the other hand, if the individual is a professional in a specific field, you may need to consult with a different professional in the same industry to evaluate their behavior based on professional standards and the education provided in that industry.
If you can establish that someone’s behavior or inaction constitutes negligence, then you may be in a position to file an insurance claim or ask for compensation in civil court. Learning more about the basics of personal injury claims can help those coping with injuries and property damage costs.