Elements of a Negligence Claim

According to WAVE3.com, on July 3, 2012, in Elizabethtown, KY, a large truck, loaded with construction equipment, crashed through a baseball field.  According to the Hardin County Sheriff’s Department, no one was in the truck when it went loose and rolled onto the EABC fields in Elizabethtown.  No one was physically injured, but property damages estimated between $15,000 and $20,000.

Everyday vehicle crashes are typical negligence claims.  To establish negligence, a plaintiff needs to show a breach of duty that is the actual and proximate cause of damages with no defenses.

To establish duty, some states require a defendant to owe a duty only to a plaintiff in the foreseeable zone of danger.  A minority of states require a defendant too we a duty to all.

An employer will be vicariously liable for tortuous acts committed by its employee if the acts occur within the scope of employment. To be within the scope of employment, the conduct need not be actually authorized.  This means in a car crash,if the car that gets into an accident is driven by someone on work duty, the employer of the worker may be liable for the damages.

However, if the driver is on work duty, but not an employee of the entity it is doing work for, a payer is not liable for the acts of independent contractors unless a tort involves a non-delegable duty, such as the duty of care owed to an invitee.  An individual is an independent contractor if the payer has the right to control or direct only the result of the work and not what will be done and how it will be done.

In a car crash, the standard of care required of a driver is that of a reasonable driver under similar circumstances.  If it is a minor driving a car, though a child must act as a reasonable person of like age, intelligence, and experience, when a child engages in an adult activity, s/he is required to conform to the same standard of care as an adult engaged in such activity.

Causation requires actual causation and proximate causation.  If a plaintiff’s injury would not have occurred but for defendant’s act or omission, then defendant’s conduct is the cause in fact of the harm.  If the injury would have occurred despite defendant’s conduct, there is no cause in fact.  A defendant is liable for foreseeable injuries suffered by individuals within the zone of danger created by defendant’s unreasonable conduct.  There must be no superseding causes, which are unforeseeable intervening forces that occur after the defendant’s conduct and result in unforeseeable harms.

Negligence requires actual injury.  These are physical injuries or property damages.  Pure economic damages such as loss profits are not recoverable on their own.

Each seasoned Louisville, KY injury attorney assists car accident victims in recovering damages from the responsible party who causes car accidents.

 

Posted in Personal Injury

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