Understanding the Elements of Negligence

March 9, 2021 in Uncategorized | MARTIN WREN, P.C. | LEAVE A COMMENT

Personal Injury Lawyer

Negligence in a Personal Injury Claim

If you want to file a personal injury claim, then you will be told that you have to prove negligence. When proving negligence, there are several elements. When you meet with a personal injury lawyer, he or she will help you build your case and can determine if your case classifies as negligence. Here is what you need to know about the elements of negligence.


Your negligence case will hinge on whether the other party owed you a duty. If someone owes you a duty, he or she has to act in a certain manner with a certain standard of care towards you. For example, drivers have a duty of care to other drivers. Their duty is to drive safely so that they do not cause injury to others.

For instance, if someone is loading a truck on a public sidewalk by throwing items and those items hit a passerby, then this is a breach of duty. The person loading the truck should have been careful of those passing by. However, if someone were loading the truck on private property, unaware that anyone was trespassing, they would not have breached a duty.

Breach of Duty

To breach a duty, the other party failed to exercise reasonable care. For example, if a grocery store fails to clean up a spill resulting in another party injuring themselves, the store breached its duty. Once the store employees became aware of the spill, it was their duty to clean it up so that no injuries occurred. 

Cause and Proximate Cause

The actual cause is straightforward. It means that you would not have suffered any damages had it not been for the defendant’s actions. Proximate cause, on the other hand, is a legal cause. This might not be the first event in a sequence that caused the injury or the last event. It is, however, an action that produced foreseeable consequences. 


Another important element is the damages. You could not seek compensation if there were no damages. Even in a case where someone acted recklessly and could have caused you harm, you cannot file a claim. Damages could include medical bills for physical injuries, property damage or the pain and suffering from the incident.

If you plan to file a personal injury lawsuit, you need to have the proper documentation to prove your case. Ensure that you have any medical or police reports, along with bills and evidence of the incident. When you meet with a personal injury lawyer, he or she can help you figure out what your next move should be. If you would like to speak with a personal injury lawyer in Charlottesville, VA, then a lawyer from MartinWren, P.C., may be of assistance to you.

Contact Our Virginia Lawyers

We serve clients throughout Virginia — from Charlottesville and Central Virginia to metropolitan Richmond; Harrisonburg and the Shenandoah Valley to Roanoke; and the cities of Hampton Roads to the Northern Virginia cities of  Fairfax, Alexandria and Arlington.

To speak with one of our attorneys, please call us at (434) 817-3100.

Our Virginia personal injury lawyers at MartinWren, P.C. have a statewide practice and offer free consultations at a time and location that is convenient for you.  We will gladly meet with you at your home or at the hospital, even on nights and weekends.


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