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What is Negligence?

Negligence generally refers to a person acting carelessly, directly leading to the injuries of another person. 

We have all probably heard the words “negligent” or “negligence” at some point in our lives, but what exactly is it? Generally speaking, negligence is when someone acts carelessly, leading to the injury of another person. In the legal context, the person who acted negligently will be held legally responsible for the other person’s injuries. Here is some more information on what exactly negligence is.


The first element of negligence is the duty of care. When assessing a claim, the first thing that is looked at is whether or not the person responsible owed the plaintiff a duty of care. In cases of medical negligence, once a doctor-patient relationship is established, the doctor has a legal duty to provide the patient with the best care possible. In situations such as auto accidents, the person responsible had a legal duty of care to operate their motor vehicle safely and follow the rules of the road.

Breach of Duty

The next element of negligence is the breaching of the duty of care that a person had. This means that the defendant failed to hold up to the duty of care in comparison to another “reasonably competent person” in similar circumstances. A reasonably competent person is a legal standard that refers to how the average person would respond in a similar situation. For example, a reasonably competent person is expected to follow the speed limit, so in the instance that a person who caused an accident was speeding, they breached their duty of care.


Negligence does not only refer to the careless act that took place. In order for negligence to stand in court, you must be able to prove causation as well. This means that the careless act of a person directly led to the injuries of another. If a medical professional made a mistake during a surgical procedure but it didn’t directly cause any injuries, then a negligence claim can’t be brought on.


The last element of negligence has to do with compensation. In order for a negligence claim to be brought on, there has to be some type of monetary compensation that can be given to the victim, legally referred to as damages. This includes compensation for medical visits, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Have You or a Loved One Suffered Injuries as a Result of Negligence? Contact The Snyder Law Group Today

The Snyder Law Group, LLC, proudly represents clients throughout Maryland and Washington, D.C. Our experienced Baltimore attorneys understand the frustration that comes with an insurance company, medical professional, or other party that refuses to accept liability for negligent or reckless behavior. You can take heart in knowing there are talented and experienced lawyers ready to work for you. We are experienced in handling personal injury claims of medical malpractice or injury resulting from serious car and truck accidents, and have secured hundreds of millions in verdicts settlements*. Please visit our website,, for more information and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google +, and LinkedIn.


Call 410-THE-FIRM. Don't just sue them. SNYDER THEM

This entry was posted on Friday, November 16th, 2018 at 8:30 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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