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If you’ve been injured as the result of another’s negligence, you need to act quickly to protect and pursue your rights.

We see and hear the term negligence in law-related news items, but what exactly is it?

Negligence is defined as the failure to do something that an ordinarily prudent person would do under similar circumstances, or the commission of an act that a reasonable person would not do. In civil law, if there is enough evidence to prove that an individual was guilty of negligence towards another, and this negligence resulted in injury, the injured party is entitled to recover compensation for the harm done to him or her.

Everyone has a duty imposed by law to use reasonable care in conducting activities that have the potential to harm another. Negligent actions ignore this duty and instead put others at risk.

Proving a Negligence Case

To prevail in a negligence lawsuit, there are several different issues that need to be established in court.

  • Duty of Care – The legal obligation to act reasonably with care, and negligence can only be proven if the injured party can demonstrate that the defendant somehow failed to uphold this duty of care. In Michigan, there is a multi-factored test that addresses whether or not the injury was foreseeable, the magnitude of the injury, and the potential ability for the defendant to have acted in another way.
  • Standard of Care – The level of caution that was required of the defendant. This is generally a professional term and is most often attributed to doctors who are held to a high standard of care for all patients, but it can also be used in other types of negligence cases as a yardstick to gauge what a “reasonable person” would have done.
  • Proximate Cause – The determining cause of the injury. To establish proximate cause, the first step is known as cause-in-fact, which is evaluated using the “but for” test – i.e., “but for the other driver driving drunk, I would not have suffered an injury.” Various factors also contribute to this determination, including foreseeability, direct causation, risk enhancement, and others.

In many lawsuits, proving these elements can be difficult, and defendants – often insurance companies and corporations – aggressively defend these cases and do their utmost to prevent or dramatically limit the recovery that an injured plaintiff deserves.

Experience in Obtaining Results

No matter whether you have been the victim of negligent infliction of emotional distress (NIED), employment-related negligence or even medical malpractice, you can trust that our firm will go above and beyond in our efforts to protect your best interests.

Sommers Schwartz is one of the largest law firms in Michigan devoted to handling personal injury and negligence cases. Our general negligence lawyers are battle-proven trial attorneys backed by skilled investigators, technical experts, paralegals, medical professionals, and others. With more than 45 years of experience in recovering damages for victims of negligence, our firm has handled more cases with consistently superior results over a longer period of time than any other.

Please contact us today to discuss your case and learn how we can help.

A Trusted Authority

Our attorneys have been featured on local and national media outlets, including:

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I appreciate the team effort provided.

I would like you gentlemen to know that for those of us that have been violated and need legal assistance, we must often wait for justice in quiet desperation. As such, the words I used above “confidence and comfort” came only from you and your team.

Mr. Watkins exceeded my expectations.

Mr. Watkins and his team were excellent to work with. Mr. Watkins is a very competent and trustworthy attorney. I am very pleased with the outcome of my case. I highly recommend attorney Kenneth Watkins.

You are outstanding!!!

I was so impressed with your knowledge of the law and the way you were able to step back and look at all the options while explaining it to me in layman terms. I would recommend you to anyone who is or has been a victim of workplace harassment, discrimination or any other employment issue.

I recommend you without reservation.

I want to extend to both you and Tad a final thank you for your diligence in defending my case over the past several months. You put a great deal of time and energy into my defense, included me in the decision-making process, communicated with me regularly, and I am pleased with the outcome.

I greatly appreciate your assistance throughout this process.

I’m happy to put this case behind me once and for all. I greatly appreciate your assistance throughout this process. Thank you, Tad! I’m happily employed now and am enjoying a fresh start.

I am so grateful to have had Mr. Matt Curtis help me with my very tough case.

This is my first time working with an attorney and I am so grateful to have had Mr. Matt Curtis help me with my very tough case. Many well-known lawyers across the state wouldn’t take my case but Mr. Curtis gave it his all. He is a very hard worker and so driven. If it wasn’t for his dedication, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

Jason Thompson filed a suit on my mother’s behalf.

Jason Thompson filed a suit on my mother’s behalf, and we received a nice settlement. He was very kind and professional, and the office staff was very helpful and easy to work with.

I’m so appreciative.

You and your team handled everything so professionally and have been so personable and compassionate. In particular, your paralegal was wonderful to me, showed me and others such empathy, and made everything so smooth. I will be happy to recommend your firm to anyone who needs legal help.

Your advice and guidance were spot on.

I was not sure what to expect and was worried about the out come. Throughout the process you both demonstrated understanding for the emotional roller coaster your clients were going through, keeping us on track.

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