What Constitutes Negligence in Personal Injury Cases

Personal injury cases often times come down to a question as to who is at fault, which usually means proving that the individual or company was negligent causing the injury. Regardless of the type of personal injury case or the accident involved, you have to prove that the other party was negligent in order for them to be required to pay you compensation for your injuries. 

image of car crash with emergency responders

Definition of Negligence

Negligence in personal injury cases is defined as the failure to use reasonable care in a given situation, but it really goes beyond this. You have to be able to prove that the responsible party actually caused the accident by not doing something, or doing something, that directly caused the accident.


One of the tests of negligence in personal injury cases is foreseeability. The responsible party must have been able to reasonably foresee the danger or hazard that resulted from their actions or lack of action. If a reasonable person could not have foreseen that the accident could happen the way that it did, then negligence is not proven and the party to the case may not have to pay compensation, or as much compensation.

Duty of Care

“Duty of care” is a term that essentially means that the party that harmed you had a responsibility to make sure that you were safe. For example, if you are on someone else’s property, they have a duty of care for your safety, and as such if they do not take precautions for your safety they may be negligent and may be required to pay for your injuries. Another example would be if you are driving. You have a duty of care to ensure the safety of other drivers to the best of your ability. If you cause an accident, you have violated that duty of care. A duty of care must be present in order for negligence to be established.

If you have recently been injured in a personal injury accident and have questions, then please contact our office for a free consultation to learn more.