When trying to determine who is liable for an accident you may find that it boils down to who was careless and who was careful.
There are potentially thousands upon thousands of accidents and injuries that people may suffer from. Whether someone is involved in a road traffic accident, a slip and fall, or they were injured in their own home, they will need to determine whether they were responsible for their own accident, or it was caused by someone who had been careless. In other words, was the injured person negligent?
Let’s take a look at a few scenarios:
Duty of Care
In some circumstances, the liability may fall with someone who has a duty of care to protect another person or people from injuries. This duty of care may extend to environments where the injured person was not expected to be, such as on a construction site.
For example, if you decided to break into a construction site, you wandered onto an incomplete building and began to swing on the scaffolding, some of the scaffolding came loose and broke away causing you to fall and injure yourself. In this scenario, you may not have a claim because the owner of the construction site had no duty of care to protect you, and you did not take reasonable care to avoid your injuries.
Everyone is expected to take reasonable care so as to avoid injury to other people. However, what constitutes reasonable care can differ between place and time, and between people too. This means that what may be considered reasonable care in one place may not be considered the same in another.
For example, let’s imagine that you have taken a few friends to a park and they started to play on the monkey bars. You would expect people to play on the monkey bars, and in this respect, they would be acting reasonably. However, if you took them to a construction site and they started to swing on the scaffolding you would not be taking reasonable care of them if they were in your care and you did not stop them from behaving this way.
Factors in Negligence Cases
Irrespective of how your accident occurred, if you want to receive compensation for the injuries you sustained you will need to show:
- That you were careful and someone else was careless. The careless person may have to pay the compensation.
- If someone is found negligent while at work, and an accident is caused due to their negligence their lawyer could also be found liable.
- If you were found to be careless the amount of compensation you could receive may be reduced by how negligent you are found to be. Please read our article on comparative negligence for more information.
- If you were injured by a defective product the manufacturer or seller of the product could be found liable.
If you were injured on a dangerous property the property owner could be found liable.
- You need to show that the other person had been negligent, but you do not have to prove it.
If you can apply the above factors to an accident that caused your injuries you may have the opportunity to negotiate a settlement. If you have been injured in an accident that may have been caused by another person’s negligence please speak to a personal injury lawyer as soon as you can.
If you are currently suffering from a personal injury and are unable to read ‘Duty of Care and Negligence’ please watch our Injury Pedia video so you can gain the Personal Injury Information and Answers you are seeking.