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Understanding Negligence as it Relates to Your Florida Personal Injury

Whether your injury was caused by a car accident, medical malpractice, food poisoning, a dog bite, or a slip and fall, whether or not you can claim damages will come down to the issue of negligence. By definition, negligence is the failure to exercise the care that a reasonably prudent person would exercise in similar circumstances. It is also the cornerstone of all Florida personal injury lawsuits.

In order to claim compensation for your injury you must prove negligence on the part of the other individual or party. To do this, you must provide evidence showing the existence of several distinct elements:

  • Duty of Care: The person or party had a duty to ensure your safety and well-being. In order for a duty of care to exist, the harm done must have been:
    • reasonably foreseeable;
    • there was a relationship of proximity between the plaintiff and the defendant (i.e., you had a right to be there and expect a duty of care from the defendant) and;
    • it is fair, just and reasonable to impose liability on the defendant.
  • Breach of Duty: Once established, the duty of care can be breached either subjectively or objectively. If the defendant knowingly put you at risk, then the duty to care has been breached. However, even if the defendant failed to realize the risk, if a reasonable person in the exact same scenario would have realized the risk, then a breach of the duty to care will also be established.
  • Cause: In order to be held liable for your injuries, it must be shown that the defendant’s breach of duty was the cause of your harm.
  • Harm: Finally, in order to be compensated for your injuries, you must show that you actually suffered a loss.

That being said, Florida negligence law is ripe with exceptions, including comparative negligence, negligence per se, special rules for hazardous torts, and strict liability. To ensure that you have the evidence to prove all these elements and get the compensation you deserve, it is highly recommended that you consult the advice of an experienced Florida personal injury attorney.

To schedule your free initial consultation with an experience Florida personal injury lawyer today, call the Law Offices of James O. Cunningham, P.A. at 877-FL-INJURY (877-354-6587).

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