Negligence - What is It and How
Do You Prove It?
Accidents happen every day to people from all walks of
life. Many people think that accidents only happen to other people and take
it for granted that others will look out for them. Unfortunately people can
behave negligently without even realising it. This can cause accidents that
injure other people. This is clear from the frequency of road traffic
accidents and cases of workplace injury. The majority of accidents are
somebody’s fault; around two thirds can be attributed to negligence, whether
it is a car crash or a slip or trip in a public place.
So what is negligence?
Negligence is defined in law as: ‘The failure to exercise
the care that an ordinary prudent person would exercise: either doing that
which a prudent person would not do, or failing to do that which a prudent
person would do.’
An example of negligence is when an employee is subjected to hazardous
working conditions such as tripping over a box that has been left in a
walkway or slips over a mess than hasn’t been cleared up. In these cases the
employer would be negligent if it can be proven that they did not adhere to
their duty of care. Duty of care can be defined as ‘a duty to do everything
reasonably practicable to protect others from harm’. If an employer has
failed in this duty then they are liable to compensate the injured person.
Types of personal injury litigation
There are three main types of personal injury claims that can be made:
• Road traffic accident claims are usually straightforward and include
damage to property as well as personal injury.
• Employers liability claims describe cases where a claimant was injured
during the course of their employment. This can include repetitive strain
injury or asbestos related illness.
• Public liability claims are claims which arise out of public use of
products or premises, for example when a person trips over a loose paving
How do you prove negligence?
Every case has at least two sides however, it is the responsibility of
the person making the claim (the claimant) to prove his case and persuade
the Court that the person who they feel is to blame for the accident (the
defendant) was in breach of statutory or common law duty owed to him or her.
There are several types of evidence that would support a claimant’s case and
help to prove negligence. They are as follows:
• Witness statements
• Medical records
• Expert evidence
• Employment records and occupational health file
• Photographic and video evidence
• Invoices, estimates and receipts
• Reports from public servants such as police officers
These pieces of evidence can apply to any of the personal injury types
It also needs to be proven that the defendant owes him a duty of care,
that the defendant is in breach of that duty and that the breach has caused
losses (i.e. damage to property, or a personal injury) which were reasonably
foreseeable. It is important to remember however that an employer’s duty of
care is not conclusive. A duty of reasonable care is expected from
employers. Individuals should take a certain amount of care towards their
own personal wellbeing and safety and realise that accidents can happen.
For free legal advice regarding making a personal injury claim visit
www.the-claim-solicitors.co.uk or to learn more about negligence and to make
a claim, or alternatively you can call us on 0800 197 32 32.
www.the-claim-solicitors.co.uk have many years experience of handling
personal injury claims. They help people to claim compensation after non
Editorial notes: The Claim Solicitors provides full accident litigation
compensation services. Helps people to claim compensation for all types of
injury from whiplash to head injuries.
By Sophie Evans
Compensation following a non fault accident.