Principles of Negligence That Help Prevail in Injury Cases

This is a guest post contributed by Atty. Daniel Dolan II of Dolan Law Firm.


personal injuryAccidents happen because someone was violating some rules or norms in the society and put another person’s life at risk. When serious injuries were sustained, someone has to be blamed. Thus, personal injury lawsuit comes in. The victim or plaintiff must need to prove that there is negligence or heinous act involved, that leads to breach of duty when duty has to be owed. Proving negligence is not easy, however. It requires plaintiffs to undergo series of interviews, gathering of evidence and witnesses to prove to the court that indeed, the defendant is liable for the said accident. In this kind of situation, a personal injury attorney is badly needed.

Negligence is an omission of an act which any reasonable man would do, under such considerations that regulate the conduct of human affairs, or would do something which any prudent or reasonable man will not do under certain circumstance. Irish Courts had developed four principles of negligence that serve as backbone in the present personal injury litigation. The four principles are applied in the specific circumstance in order to determine who is at fault between two parties. The following are the principles of negligence that plaintiff must prove.

(1.)    Duty of Care
(2.)    Breach of Duty
(3.)    Causation of Injury
(4.)    Damage

Duty of Care

The first principle of negligence is duty. This requires the victim or plaintiff to determine that there is indeed legal responsibility that has to be owed by the defendant in the form of duty or obligation. This is the first important element to establish liability.

Duty is an obligation of one person to another, a common custom that flows in the veins of society, religion and philosophy. Duty has become a thread that binds humans regardless of belief, norms, education, philosophy and social strata. It constrains misbehavior in a socially responsible manner and provides basis for correction or judgment of the kind of behavior thereafter.

Breach of Duty

The second principle of negligence or tort law is the misconduct itself and the defendant’s omission or act. This principle implies the preexistence of the standards of behavior in order to avoid inflicting undue harm or danger unto another person or property, which goes back to the principle of duty. In the previous laws, the level of care was imposed on one person in order to protect another depending on the formal relationship between two parties like doctor-patient relationship, innkeeper’s guest and more.  As the society grew, the standards of care become very necessary to control and govern misconduct of the people and enterprises that may impose undue risks to other people, strangers on the road or highways, and others. So, the law of negligence developed a standard that may rule on individuals who are acting negligently or may jeopardize the peaceful society.

Causation of Injury

The third element of negligence is causation of injury. This is the most difficult element to prove under the principles of negligence. This holds true behind duty, breach of duty, and of course, cause of injury and whether if any injury has sustained or not. When there is no injury at all, then negligence has never been proven. No personal injury lawsuits will be ever coming your way. That is why, the cause of injury needs to be brought about in front of the judge and jury.

In proving causation, it is not enough to show that the defendant’s conduct caused the injury to happen. The plaintiff needs to prove the link of his or her injury to the negligent conduct of the defendant or the proximate cause, that the certain aspect of the conduct that breached the level of duty caused injury to the plaintiff.


The last principle of negligence is damages. This is what the plaintiff suffers as a proximate result to the breach of duty. The law requires the defendant to compensate the level of harm or damages to the victim in terms of quantifiable and non-quantifiable damages. These damages include the plaintiff’s pain and suffering, loss of money in medical care, loss of enjoyment in life, medical bills, lost of wages and more.

The principles of negligence are comprised of many elements that become very crucial in proving and in drawing a line between proofs and imputations for thorough analysis and correct resolution. This aids the courts in order to award right compensation to the victims or families who suffered injuries from unprecedented accident. In most cases, a personal injury attorney is needed to solve and prove the issue in civil courts.


About the Author:

Atty. Daniel Dolan II is an experienced Florida Personal Injury Attorney. He is the founder of the Dolan Law Firm recognized in Miami, Florida. Atty. Dolan is competent primarily in dealing with cases involving motor personal injury cases, vehicle accident lawsuits, wrongful deaths claims, medical malpractice and mass torts. Furthermore, he is an eagle member of the Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers, and chosen to serve as chairman of the Dade County Legislative Recruitment Task Force.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>