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Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer | Panio Law Offices

Legal Theory of Negligence in Personal Injury Cases

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Negligence is a legal doctrine that often serves as the basis for a wide range of personal injury cases (See our post on Damages in Personal Injury Cases). From medical malpractice to vehicle accidents to product liability, the kinds of personal injury claims that often hinge on the establishment of negligence are many. But what, exactly, is negligence and how can it be established in association with a personal injury case? This is a very complex issue and often must be examined on a case-by-case basis when it comes to personal injury claims.

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Duty of Care and Personal Injury

Negligence is a basis for many successful personal injury claims and when negligence is proven, what the defendant did or didn’t do to constitute it often hinges on what is called a “duty of reasonable care.”

What is a duty of reasonable care? That can be a tricky nut to crack. Often, definitions of negligence differ from circumstance to circumstance based on conditions, relationships of individuals involved. So it is often necessary to contact an experienced personal injury attorney when you have a question about liability or fault in an accident.

For instance, a man walks into a home that is being remodeled and clearly marked as a construction site to inquire about a contractor’s services or a job with the contracting company or any innocuous question about the residence. When he knocks on the door there is no answer. He finds no one in the foyer, yet he enters further and calls out to find anyone who might be around. In the process he knocks over a scaffold, injuring himself in the process. Is he likely to receive a personal injury claim as a result? The answer is likely not. The man entered a clearly marked construction site without authorization. He took no precaution in wearing a hard hat or reasonable care when in the space and as such, his own actions constituted negligence.

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