Negligence is the failure to use reasonable care resulting in damage or injury to another person.
Louisiana is a comparative fault state which means that a percentage of fault may be assigned to each responsible party.
How do you prove negligence?
In order to prove negligence, five factors must be met.
For negligence to occur, there must be a duty.
The first factor is duty. The standard of duty is how a reasonable, ordinary, prudent person would act under the circumstances.
For negligence to occur, that duty must be breached.
Second, a breach of the duty must be proven. When a defendant’s conduct falls below the standard of duty creating an unreasonable harm, the duty has been breached.
For negligence to occur, the scope of that duty must be addressed.
Next, scope of the duty must be shown. Scope is proven when it is reasonably foreseeable that the particular risk happen to this specific plaintiff or that the resulting injury is easily associated with this negligent act.
For negligence to occur, causation must be proven.
Next, causation must be proven. This is done when you can show that more likely than not, but for the negligent act, an injury would not have occurred.
For negligence to occur, there must be damages to the injured person.
Finally, there must be damages. Damages include a compensable injury such as whiplash, back pain, broken bones, or a shoulder injury.
An example of negligence in a car accident
For instance, a driver on I-10 should act as a reasonable, ordinary, prudent driver on the interstate. This would mean maintaining a safe distance between vehicles and driving the speed limit, among other factors.
If that driver begins speeding and weaving in and out of traffic without signaling, he or she has breached this duty of a reasonable, ordinary, prudent driver.
Now say that same irrational driver tries to switch lanes one last time, but doesn’t check first and winds up slamming into the vehicle traveling in the lane next to him, causing the plaintiff to hit her shoulder on the driver’s side door resulting in severe pain and a large bruise.
The injury resulting to the plaintiff from the collision is very easily associated with the defendant’s wreckless driving.
But for the defendant’s wreckless driving, the accident would not have happened and the plaintiff would not have been injured. Finally, damages are proven since the plaintiff was physically injured and undoubtedly sustained property damage to her vehicle.