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.