What is negligence? What are the five elements?

What is negligence? What are the five elements?

Negligence means the failure to take proper care to do something. For instance, most of us owe a duty of due care in our interactions with other people. This duty of care could be the duty of a driver to drive safely, the duty of a property owner to maintain the premises in a safe condition, the duty of an employer to provide a safe workplace, or the duty of a physician to treat patients with the appropriate standard of care.

The five elements of a personal injury negligence claim are: 1) a duty owed to the victim; 2) breach of that duty by failure to act with due care; 3) the breach of duty caused injury to the victim (known as cause in fact); 4) the breach of duty was the “proximate” (legal) cause of the injury (there were no intervening or superseding causes); and 5) the victim suffered a physical injury, property damage or other harm that can be compensated through money damages.

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