Negligence is a very broad term used to describe the failure of an individual, or entity, to exercise a specific degree of care. Because negligence is such a broad and all-encompassing term, many court cases filed contain some language referencing negligence and negligent acts.
If you have been charged with negligence, it is important to understand how your defense attorney will manage your case. Because negligence involves either an omission to act or the fact that you did act without care, your attorney will need to first investigate the full details of circumstances that led to the suit being filed.
To be guilty of general negligence, the person who has filed suit against you must prove that three elements of negligence are met. The elements include a “duty owed”, meaning you had a responsibility to extend care or protection, that you failed to meet the duty you owed in providing care and, finally, that there are damages that are directly related to your failure, or commission, to act. By related damages, the court will often refer to this as proximate damages.
If any of these elements are not found to be applicable to the negligence case, the court will often dismiss the case on the basis of lack of evidence. Therefore, it is your attorney’s primary responsibility to negate any one of these elements as a way to resolve the case without prolonging the legal process. It’s like how Baltimore accident lawyer works – fast and efficient.
In terms of “duty owed”, you may question whether or not you actually had a duty to serve or protect someone or something. In a situation where you had no prior obligation to protect, you may be found to have a “duty” to protect should you assume a voluntary position. The key to the defense when you serve in a voluntary situation, therefore, lies in the Good Samaritan laws that protect those who act in good faith. If your actions, however, only further complicate damages and are not with the best of intentions, a court may struggle to find there is no negligence involved.
Good Samaritan laws are in effect in all 50 states but may vary in their scope of coverage. By this we mean, Good Samaritan laws, for the most part, are extending to emergency personnel and to medical providers but may not always be extended as a defense to negligence for the ordinarily prudent person who serves as a volunteer. By the same token, your position as a bystander, and failing to render assistance, may also be considered negligence for failing to act when possible. Essentially, this is also a case considered in emergency personnel who choose to disregard a situation where their services are needed, even when they are not on-the-job.
Negligence is a very broad charge that is common in many lawsuits filed today. In the case of negligence defense, attorneys often approach the three elements of negligence in an effort to negate any one of them and, therefore, request dismissal of the court case. Because of Good Samaritan laws, there are many dynamics to defending negligence cases and should be guided by counsel who is familiar with the broad scope of legal application.