Negligence

The recklessness, carelessness, or negligence of others should not cost you and your family. If you have been injured, protect your rights by calling a personal injury attorney now.

If you or a loved one suffered a personal injury, you need to understand your rights. Even if you think you were partially at fault, accidents are complex events and you may be able to recovery for the reckless, careless or negligent conduct of the others involved. For these reasons, you need someone experienced with accident analysis to determine whether you were the victim, and if so, from whom you can lawfully recover for your injuries.

In Arizona, negligence is defined as “the failure to use reasonable care.” Revised Arizona Jury Instructions (CIVIL), 5th, Fault 1. An individual or company’s action or failure to take action can constitute negligence because all have a duty to “act as a reasonably careful person would act under the circumstances.?” In a negligence action, the plaintiff must prove four things: duty; breach; causation; and damages. To discuss your negligence claim, contact a personal injury attorney.

Duty

Duties are prevalent in modern society. As property owners, we all have a duty to maintain our property so that it is safe for use by guests. This includes our homes, businesses, and motor vehicles. When we drive, we owe other motorists and pedestrians a duty to use our automobiles safely and with reasonable care. We also owe them a duty to make sure our vehicles are in proper working condition, including functional brakes and serviceable tires. Negligence also includes entrusting others with our property. If an individual lends a car to someone they know to be a dangerous driver, the person lending the car may have failed to use reasonable care. Likewise, if a company hires someone with a history of motor vehicle crashes for which the employee was at fault, entrusting that employee with a company car may not be a good idea. Businesses also owe their customers a duty to perform the services for which they have been hired in a competent manner. For more information on the duties we owe one another, contact a personal injury attorney.

Breach

When individuals or companies fail to act with reasonable care, they may have breached a duty to you. Because we have a duty to maintain our premises in a safe condition, failing to do so may breach the duty we owe our guests. For example, a local convenience store may breach a duty to you and/or other customers by leaving something slippery on the floor without warning shoppers. When we drive irresponsibly, we are breaching a duty to others sharing the road. Texting or using your cell phone while driving is a failure to use reasonable care. So is driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. For information on how someone may have breached a duty to you, contact a personal injury attorney.

Causation

Causation occurs when the other party’s breach, or failure to use reasonable care, causes you or another some form of injury. Another’s negligence causes an injury “if it helps produce the injury and if the injury would not have happened without the negligence.”  Revised Arizona Jury Instructions (CIVIL), 5th, Fault 2. In other words, when the store employees failed to clean the floor or warn you of the slippery condition, the store’s inaction may have caused your injury if you fell and broke your hip. Likewise, if another motorist is texting and runs into you, the motorist’s failure to use reasonable care caused any injury you suffered in the crash. To learn how the acts or omissions of others may have caused your injuries, contact a personal injury attorney.

Damages

Even if a duty was breach, there can be no recovery if you did not sustain any damages. When you have suffered personal injury and/or property damage, damages are easier to prove. Damages include medical expenses, property damage and lost wages for time missed from work. They may even include an award for pain and suffering, lost future wages or ability to earn, disfigurement, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of affection. Revised Arizona Jury Instructions (CIVIL), 5th, Personal Injury Damages 1.  In cases involving egregious or intentional conduct, they may even include an award of punitive damages.  Revised Arizona Jury Instructions (CIVIL), 5th, Personal Injury Damages 4. Contact a personal injury attorney to learn more about the full extent of your damages.

Whatever your circumstances, you should contact a personal injury attorney to discuss your options. Even if you were partially at fault for the accident, you may still be able to recover because others may also have been at fault.