Frequently Asked Questions
What is the legal definition of negligence and how can it impact a party in a lawsuit?
Negligence, in legal terms, is defined as a behavior that creates an unnecessary risk of injury to another party. If a person is harmed due to this negligence, the negligent party is legally bound to compensate the injured party. The impact of negligence on a party in a lawsuit can be significant, as it can determine the amount of damages the defendant has to pay the plaintiff. This is influenced by each state's rules about joint and several liability, and whether they follow contributory negligence or some form of comparative negligence. Contributory negligence, for instance, can prevent a plaintiff from collecting damages if their negligence contributed to the accident, regardless of the extent of their injuries or the recklessness of the other party. This can make proving fault in a negligence case very challenging. An example of this is when Susie, who was slightly speeding, couldn't collect damages from Tom, the reckless driver who caused the accident.
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