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What is Negligence?

It comes as no surprise that as we go about our everyday lives, we are required to do so safely and without causing harm to ourselves or others. This standard of care is becoming more and more difficult to maintain, given the advent of new technology and the opportunity for distraction. A lack of accountability in our activities means some people carry out their daily lives without regard to those around them. From the distracted driver to the unobservant pet owner, when care is not taken to act reasonably for the circumstances, an injury can result.

Negligence is defined as falling below the level of attention required for the situation. The result of negligent behavior is injury to another. To make the determination as to whether a person or entity has acted negligently, consider the following elements:

● Whether a reasonable person would act the same in circumstances substantially the same: A good example is whether a reasonable driver would text and drive.

● Was the action an accident, or done with intent to cause injury?

● The type of activity: Some activities are dangerous by nature, but a level of caution for that particular activity must still be followed.

● The skill level, knowledge and experience of the person who caused the harm

● The condition of the person engaged in the activity, both physical and mental

The normally accepted setting for activities is taken into account when examining behavior. This means when you are driving a car and cause an accident, the normal setting against which your behavior is measured is that of driving a car. The road conditions and posted speed limit would also be factors to consider when looking at what is normal for the circumstances. Each case is different, so each case requires review of its specific facts.