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What does negligence mean?
The law of negligence requires people to behave in a manner that conforms to specific standards of conduct. Where a person's actions violate those standards, the law requires the person to compensate anyone who is injured as a result. In some instances, the law of negligence also covers a person's omission to act.
In tort law, which includes all negligence cases as well as intentional wrongs which result in harm, negligence is defined as "conduct that falls below the standard established by law for the protection of others against unreasonable risk of harm."
The elements of negligence
In a successful negligence claim, the injured person, called the plaintiff, must show that each of the following factors, or elements, was present:
(1) a duty of care owed by the defendant to the plaintiff;
(2) a breach of that duty;
(3) an actual causal connection between the defendant's conduct and the resulting harm;
(4) proximate cause, which relates to whether the harm was foreseeable;
(5) damages resulting from the defendant's conduct.
Duty can arise from all types of circumstances. For example, a driver owes a duty to other motorists to drive safely, maintain control of the vehicle, and observe the rules of the road. By running a stop sign, the driver breaches that duty. If someone was injured as a result, the injured party could argue that the breach was both the cause in fact and proximate cause of the injuries.
Have you been injured due to negligence?
The outcomes of personal injury cases depend on various factors, but having the help of a good injury attorney can make the biggest difference. Even if the facts are on your side, it takes the expertise of a lawyer to properly present your case and file the necessary processes. If you want information and feedback on a potential personal injury claim, you can have an attorney review your claim at no initial cost or obligation.
As is true with all states, Texas roadways can be very dangerous places. According to a May 2014report from the Texas Department of Transportation, statewide crashes in 2013 totaled more than 115,000 just from those drivers who were did not control the speed of their vehicles. Learn more here about common factors in Texas car crashes...
The good news is that parents remain the strongest influence in the lives of their young people. When parents refrain from speeding, aggressive driving, and other behaviors that cause car accidents to happen, their young people are likely to follow suit. Read more here about how setting a good example has immediate safety benefits on teen drivers.
When an injured party is making a claim against another party, the Court will sometimes apportion some fault to the injured claimant for the event that led to the injury. If it is determined there is shared or apportioned liability, the Court will allocate a percentage of fault to every party involved, including the injured party. Read more here about this important issue related to Texas car accident claims.
In 2013, an estimated 341,000 vehicular crashes were directly or indirectly caused by text messaging. That’s fully six percent of all crashes for that year, and each and every one of them was entirely preventable.
From a purely technical standpoint, there is no simple answer to the question of just how much alcohol a person can drink without being considered too impaired to drive. There is, however, an easy answer with respect to what the law says on the matter. Go here to learn more about this important issue.
All across the United States, there currently exists a potentially defective end cap installed on guardrails (called the guardrail terminal) – this is an endcap called the “ET-Plus” manufactured by Trinity Industries. This end cap does not collapse when a car impacts it, but rather has the potential to cut the car into pieces and the rails have speared through the driver or passenger-side doors, into seats and through the vehicle floors.
But if the leading cause of car accidents is the people controlling the car, every effort to stop their dangerous behavior is an uphill battle. All the regulations and training in the world cannot guarantee that someone will put down their cellphones and focus on driving. Read more here about the latest information on the causes of car accidents, and about what to do if you are injured in one.
About the size of a cell phone, an ignition interlock device is wired into the ignition system of a drunk driver's car. To go anywhere, the driver must blow into the device and register no alcohol on his or her breath. If there's a measurable amount, the car will not start. Does this device work? Yes, and here's how.
660,000. Recent statistics show that's how many people are on their phones while driving at any given moment. Not only is this becoming increasingly illegal by state law, it also means that a texting driver is 25 times more likely to get in an accident. Click here to learn more staggering statistics on distracted driving from Bellingham, WA lawyer Bill Coats.
There are the old-fashioned methods of crashing on a friend's couch, or designating a sober driver. Modern technology such as apps for our ubiquitous smart phones is another way to make sure no one gets behind the wheel while drunk. Bellingham lawyer Bill Coats of Bill Coats Law works for the victims of drunk drivers on Washington roads and has a few ways we can all drive safer. For tips on avoiding a DUI, click here.
It's yet another shock after someone crashes into you to learn that they don't have insurance at all, or not enough to pay for your losses. Yet about a quarter of drivers on Washington State roads don't carry insurance at all, even though it is a state law that they must. But this doesn't mean that you are stuck with the bills for an accident that wasn't even your fault. Click here to learn what to do when the negligent driver doesn't have insurance.
In this personal injury case won by Bellingham lawyer Bill Coats, he found compensation for the husband who witnessed his wife hit by a negligent truck driver.
Negligence can come in so many forms, but in essence means that someone was supposed to do something in a certain way, and did not. This heart-breaking case shows how a personal injury lawyer in Bellingham, WA worked on a wrongful death claim for a child killed because of a long chain of unfortunate events that could have been prevented if not for a government official's negligence.
Negligence is one of the biggest factors in personal injury - otherwise known as tort - cases. The idea behind negligence is the belief that every member of society is supposed to act responsibly and avoid putting other people at risk – much like the golden rule. Every time someone is hurt doesn’t automatically mean negligence was involved, however. So it’s up to the plaintiff to show that a reasonably prudent person in the defendant’s position would have done things differently under those same circumstances, and that would have avoided the problem in the first place. To learn more about negligence and how it factors into personal injury claims, click here.
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