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The 4 basic elements of a negligence case are:
- 1. Duty
- 2. Breach
- 3. Causation
- 4. Damages
*Must have all 4 elements in order to claim Negligence*
Negligence can be an act or an omission
- Negligence can be a negligent act.
- Negligence can be failing to do something the person should have done.
An outcome that a person should have known or been able to anticipate or predict based on certain facts.
An obligation created by a statute (law)
Common Law Duty
Law that has been practiced through habit over time.
- When the defendant fails to live up to a legal standard, or violates a duty.
- The defendant violates a standard of care or acts in a careless or reckless way.
Negligence per se
Negligence in and of itself; the principle that the violation of a safety statute establishes a presumption of breach of duty in a negligence action.
- (Proximate) Causation - the facts that show the defendant's legal responsibility for the injuries to the plaintiff, also known as legal cause.
- Requires a strong connection between the defendant's actions and the plaintiff's harm.
- Monetary payments designed to compensate the plaintiff for an injury.
- Awarded as a way to attempt to put the plaintiff back into the condition he was in before the injury (or as close as possible).
Actual Damages (have receipts as proof):
- Property damage
- Medical Bills (Future medical bills)
- Loss of earnings
- Punitive Damages
- Loss of consortium
Compensatory Damages (no receipt):
- General damages - Pain and Suffering
- Whatever the jury feels is enough money to compensate for what the plaintiff is going through.
- Can be any amount
- General rule is 3x medical bills
Categories of Damages:
- Pain and Suffering
- Lost Wages
- Future Medical Payments
- Many more
- Defendant and Plaintiff both liable based on percentages.
- If plaintiff is 51% negligent, then they get no damages.
- If plaintiff is 50% negligent, then they get 50% damages.