When holding someone accountable for causing a personal injury, there are certain legal principles that come into play and must be proven before someone can be held legally liable for their actions. “Negligence” is one such legal doctrine, allowing Missouri residents to hold someone accountable for careless behavior that caused injury.
A negligence case must prove certain elements. The plaintiff, who is the injured party, must prove four items in order to demonstrate negligence. The first element is a “duty.” Duty refers to a legal duty of care owed by the defendant, who is the person or party accused of negligence, to the plaintiff. The relationship between the two parties can create a legal duty, or the situation can. For example, a doctor may owe a patient a duty of care, whereas a motorist owes a reasonable standard of care to others on the road.
Whatever duty has been established, it must be shown to have been breached in a negligence case. This means the plaintiff must show that something was done or not done, and a reasonable person would not have behaved similarly. Thirdly, the plaintiff must show that the injury was caused by the breach of the duty. This might also require showing that defendants should have reasonably foreseen the consequences of their actions. Lastly, the court should be able to determine monetary compensation for the plaintiff for injuries in the form of medical bills or property damage expenses. Anyone who believes they have a valid personal injury claim may need to get more information about their unique legal situation.