Negligence and Injury
Whether it be an automobile accident, slip and fall claim, medical malpractice, product or premise liability or a myriad of other instances that have resulted in an injury, the common thread for placing liability is negligence. It is the concept of one person or entity not causing harm to another. To prove negligence, the injured party must show the other person had a "duty of care" towards him, breached that duty of care, the breach caused the injuries, and you were harmed as the result of their actions. The basic principle of negligence is to act in a desirable and prudent manner so as not to bring harm to others and a failure to act in the way a responsible person would in a like circumstance.
How Does Negligence Lead to Injury?
Depending on the circumstances, negligence can lead to injury in different ways, take for example a slip and fall case. A property or business owner is legally obligated to keep their premises, inside and outdoors, free from hazards and act within a reasonable time to discover and remedy any dangers. If they have not taken action to correct the danger, you are at risk for injury. In an automobile accident, the driver has an obligation to observe speed limits, drive unimpaired by any substance, observe weather and road conditions and follow the law. In not doing so, his negligence could cause an accident. In the case of a defective product, as the consumer, you have the right to expect a safe and reliable product and the manufacturer has a legal responsibility to produce it. Negligence could lead to injury in a medical malpractice case if your health professional did not act in the way and manner of a reasonably skilled and competent health provider in a similar situation.
What is Criminal Negligence?
Criminal Negligence refers to a type of conduct that "grossly deviates" from the normal and acceptable behavior of a normal person, in some states. Other definitions are a reckless disregard for the lives and safety of others. Someone is criminally negligent if they do something or omit doing something that is their duty and in the process it shows wanton disregard to the lives and safety of others. Criminal negligence demands a greater degree of culpability than a standard negligence case. To show criminal negligence there has to be proof of the mental state of the perpetrator of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt. It must show that the failure to perceive the unjustifiable risk of a result is a gross deviation from that of the standards of a reasonable person.
How do you Prove Negligence?
To prove negligence in Kentucky you must first prove that the responsibility of "duty of care" was breached and the other party acted with negligence. Your lawyer will know the courts requirements of proof, deadlines for filing, what depositions to file and how to proceed with your case. Any documents you have will help them, such as pictures right after the incident of the surroundings and any bruises or injuries you received as a result. Eyewitness testimony and contact information for them, if you were aware of surveillance cameras in the area will be invaluable. Writing down everything you remember as soon as you are able will help to preserve your memory of details.