4 Types of Negligence Related to Personal Injury

Many types of personal injury cases usually involve some form of negligence. Car accidents, product defects and slip-and-fall incidents might be caused by someone else’s negligent behavior, whether willful or accidental. If you plan on filing a personal injury lawsuit for yourself or on behalf of a loved one, there are a few facts you may want to learn about how the courts define negligence and whether you can use it as the basis of your case.

1. Vicarious Liability 

This type of negligence is related to a lack of supervision of those under a person’s responsibility. This may be an employee who drinks on his or her lunch hour and causes a car wreck or an aggressive dog that is allowed to wander, even though its owner is aware it may attack other animals or people. While the supervising person did not cause the harm directly, the resulting injury was caused by dereliction of duty.

2. Contributory Negligence 

The defendant in your personal injury case may try to claim contributory negligence, which means that your actions were partly responsible for your injury. For example, if you crossed the street away from a crosswalk and hit by a driver trying to answer a cell phone call, the court might find you were both somewhat responsible for the accident. Some states use percentages to split this type of negligence, and if you are found to have the greater burden of responsibility, you may not be able to recover damages.

3. Gross Negligence 

Gross negligence can result in catastrophic injury because the responsible party is either willful or fails at a typical standard of care. Punitive damages, or monetary awards meant to punish the guilty party for their extreme negligence, are often seen in these types of cases. Nursing home injuries, such as neglect that leads to poor nutrition and bedsores, may fall under this category.

4. Comparative Negligence 

Similar to contributory negligence, comparative negligence may find you partially at fault for your injuries and only allow you to recover the percentage based on your actions. Most states have their own rules and laws about this type of negligence and how it applies to individual cases, so you may want to ask your lawyer about which laws exist in your state of residence. There is usually some type of negligence involved in personal injury cases, and learning about each may help you file your lawsuit more effectively. Contact a personal injury lawyer, today for further information or to schedule an initial consultation.