If you or someone you know has been hurt by negligence on the part of a business or an individual, you might have a legal claim.
The legal definition of negligence is when someone is harmed in some way by another person’s incompetence to reasonably protect others or their interests. Unfortunately, cases of negligence are common—more so in Florida than anywhere else in the United States.
Many Floridians know of someone who is unable to work due to negligence on the part of an employer, business owner, or individual. In more extreme cases, the person may be unable to work for the rest of his or her life. And even for minor injuries, the significant expenses of treatment and lost wages can add up to a lot.
Forms of Negligence
Negligence can occur in many forms. Here are a few common examples:
- Not giving someone his or her medication, risking their health
- Administering the wrong medication or incorrect dosage, creating complications
- Removing a respirator and forgetting to replace it
- Failure to document something vital
- Leaving a surgical sponge or instrument inside someone
- Failure to provide reasonable security and protection around a swimming pool
- Indifference to fixing a loose floorboard in a home, causing someone to trip and get injured
- Causing a car accident due to driving distracted or under the influence
- An improperly installed fixture falling on a person
- Injuries resulting from failure to fix loose or protruding objects, such as nails or bolts, that can cause injury
- A company vehicle’s back-up beeper not functioning properly, causing the driver to injure someone
As this list of examples is not exhaustive, identifying negligence is something that can be fairly easily done. When it comes to victims of neglect, the more challenging part tends to be the need to negotiate with the at-fault party’s insurance adjuster. It is this person’s job to disqualify your claim and not pay any compensation—even if it is deserved.
The average American experiences mild neglect from businesses but forgets about it when the manager apologizes if no medical intervention is required. Unfortunately, the average American is not a lawyer, nor does he or she know the intricacies of negligence laws.
This is why it is important to consult legal counsel when dealing with negligence claims—so that you, the victim, are adequately guided and well-informed.
Categories of Negligence
Negligence cases fall into two categories.
When someone wilfully shows a complete disregard for others’ safety, it is considered to be negligence. The person either acts unreasonable or does something a reasonable person would not, and it results in an injury. One aspect of gross negligence is an action that “shocks the conscience.”
For example, if people are injured in a fire where there were no available fire extinguishers or the exits were blocked or locked, and the building owner is aware of fire laws, he is guilty of gross negligence for failure to provide reasonable necessities.
When someone does not take “reasonable action” to prevent someone from being harmed, it is considered vicarious negligence. The responsible party is held liable for not acting responsibly to supervise another person (or animal) that caused the injury.
For example, your neighbor’s dog is frequently loose, and when you are outside, the dog bites you, resulting in a visit to the emergency room. Your neighbor is vicariously negligent by repeatedly not restraining and securing the animal.
Proving a Negligence Claim in Plant City, Florida
If you or a loved one has been the victim of negligence in Plant City, Florida, turn to the team of expert negligence attorneys at O’Toole Law Group. We can help you establish a legal case of negligence by proving the at-fault party’s responsibility, failure to fulfill a required duty, and that his/her negligent behavior was what caused your injuries.
We understand that an injury can be devastating and life-changing, and we will do whatever we can to help you get what you are owed. Contact us today to get started.