A person who causes someone else to suffer personal injury can be held liable if found to be negligent by law. It must be noted that negligence has a specific legal definition. However, it is necessary to understand this definition to determine if someone is negligent. And as a result of the person being negligent this will create legal liability.
Basically there is a legal right in the state of Florida to file a civil lawsuit against a negligent individual. Such negligence is a failure to exercise ordinary care. Therefore, civil lawsuits brought against the defendant who is negligent are known as negligence torts. Negligent torts are separate from intentional torts, which occur when a person harms or hurts another on purpose.
According to the Cornell Law School Legal Information Institute negligence is defined as “a failure to behave with the level of care that someone of ordinary prudence would have exercised under same circumstances. The behavior usually consists of actions, but can also consist of omissions when there is some duty to act.” The legal definition is not the same as the general definition of negligence used in other contexts. When it comes to proving negligence in a legal sense it requires not only proving that a breach of ordinary care but also the existence of some duty to exercise care was owed in the first place.
For example, a driver owes a duty of care to other drivers to obey the rules of the road and drive safely. However, because different types of duties exist there are different standards that have been developed to judge negligence. For example, in an ordinary case such as one brought against the driver in a car accident. A objective reasonable person test is used in order to determine and judge negligence. Therefore, one of the key steps involved in any negligence case is establishing the following:
- there exists a duty of care
- what that duty is
Only thereafter, can there be a determination of a breach of duty and that negligence existed.