Negligence

Negligence is a broad term meaning the failure to exercise the care of a reasonably prudent person in a given situation. The reasonable care standard is sometimes provided by statute (such as a traffic law) and other times by our legal traditions. Negligence can occur in many areas, from car accidents, to medical diagnosis and treatment, and maintenance of premises, as well as many others.

Car Accidents

Everyone who drives on the road owes a duty of care to all of the other drivers, and when an accident occurs, the party responsible has been negligent. Drivers also owe a duty of care to pedestrians. Assessing negligence from a car accident is a very fact-specific inquiry, and behavior that is not negligent in one situation may be negligent in another. On a clear, sunny day, driving at the posted speed limit may be what a reasonably prudent person would do. However, when the roads are icy and there is snow, driving the speed limit may be far too fast for weather conditions and might well constitute negligence.

Medical Malpractice

When a person seeks medical treatment, the doctors, nurses, and hospitals all owe the patient a duty to provide a correct medical diagnosis, the correct medical treatment, and to provide that treatment properly. This standard of care is set by the local medical community, which takes into account the resources available to similarly situated medical professionals. Before a claim for medical negligence can be filed, another doctor from the same community must examine the medical records and find that the local community’s duty of care was breached.

Premises Liability

Private individuals and businesses have a duty to prevent injury to visitors who are on their premises with permission. The individual or business has a duty to warn visitors of any defects or dangers that they might encounter, of which the visitor would be unaware. A wet floor in a store requires a sign warning customers of the danger. A private individual, for example, must warn of any broken or uneven stairs or any holes in the yard the visitor could trip on. There is also a duty to prevent the unnatural accumulation of ice on a parking lot or sidewalk. These are but a few of the ways in which a property owner owes a duty of care to visitors.

If you or a loved one has been injured due to the negligence of another, it is important to see an attorney about your rights. The time to file a claim is limited, and delay can cost you your right to compensation.


Contact Attorney John J. Malm

John J. Malm & Associates is an experienced personal injury law firm representing individuals and families who have suffered an injury or loss due to an accident. You may be entitled to a substantial settlement if you have been injured. Call 630-527-4177, or 312-422-6855, and speak with Attorney John J. Malm.