Quick Facts About Liability And Negligence

Typically, the liable party in a personal injury case has been negligent. Still, a claimant should learn what elements must be proven, if that same claimant hopes to show that a given defendant has been guilty of negligence.

Elements that must be proven

• The existence of a duty of care towards the plaintiff, on the defendant’s part
• Evidence that the defendant breached that duty of care
• Evidence that the defendant’s actions caused the accident, the one that injured the plaintiff

Questions that must be answered

Was the harm done to the plaintiff foreseeable? Would a reasonable person have realized that the action taken by the defendant would have caused the sort of accident that injured the plaintiff?

If an employee has caused an accident, while following an employer’s instructions, and has injured another person, then the employer could be held liable. Employers are supposed to have learned how to foresee the possibility of an accident’s occurrence.

Was the defendant a proximate cause?

Did the defendant carry out an action that had a direct effect on the situation, and thus caused the accident? Someone might, unknowingly, place a defendant in a position from which he or she could cause an accident. Still, that would not mean that the unknowing individual was a proximate cause, as per injury lawyer in Barrie.

The emphasis on the need to show proximate cause keeps the legal system from charging a person for failure to take an action that would not seem logical to most people. In some countries, intelligence services can put a person in jail for failure to perform, according to the expectations of that same intelligence service.

Examples of unforeseeable causes

An act of God, such as an earthquake: An employer does not have to schedule activities in a way that can keep all employees save from the effects of a possible earthquake. At that time, one family tried to win a claim against an employer, after the father/husband got killed, while cleaning a parking structure during an earthquake. The court ruled against the family and in favor of the employer.

Criminal acts: If a thief were to break into a home where some young people were having a slumber party, and were to harm any of the sleeping youth, the homeowner could not be charged. The homeowner could not have foreseen the occurrence of a criminal act.

Intentional torts: That would include accidents involving first responders. In other words, if a fireman were to grab a fire hydrant in a burning building and spray it around, and get the spray on someone that was fleeing the scene, the fireman could not be held liable for any resulting injuries.