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Two Crucial Elements Of Proving Negligence

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Negligence is best described as an unintentional action by a person, business or other entity that results in an injury. When it comes to personal injury cases, negligence is one of the most important factors. Typically, it is the responsibility of the injured to prove that the other party was acting negligently in order to be successful with their claim. Given its importance, it's a good idea to familiarize yourself with the factors that help establish negligence in a personal injury case.


The first element of establishing negligence is determining the responsibility of the party who you are placing at fault for your injury. It must first be proven that the party had some sort of duty toward you before the case can even progress forward. Consider an injury you sustain from falling on a wet floor in a grocery store, for example.

The store owner has a dutiful responsibility to ensure that their customers have a safe atmosphere to shop in. If store management failed to put up a sign to warn you of the wet floor, they have failed their responsibility to you. On the contrary, if you tried to file a claim against a vendor in the store, you would likely be unsuccessful. The reason for this is that vendors are typically not legally responsible for the condition of the store in which they place their products.

But-For Cause

The next element is typically the but-for cause. This part of the process requires the injured to prove that if it had not been for the actions of the responsible party, they would have not sustained any injuries. To better understand this element, consider the previous example of a grocery store fall. In scenario #1, store management failed to set up a caution sign stating that the floor was wet. You walked in the area, fell and injured yourself.

In scenario #2, store management did set up a caution sign; however, you failed to proceed with caution, ran through the area and fell as a result of your own careless actions. The first scenario would successfully pass the but-for cause test, but the second scenario would not because the injuries sustained in this situation were caused by your actions and not those of the responsible party.

Although your attorney will take over much of the effort, the more educated you are on the progress of your personal injury claim, the less stressful the process will be. For more information, contact a law office like Walz Law Office.