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Negligence in the United States

$8.76
33 Pages | 7,577 Words
Kimberly Jastrzembski, LLM (#111535)

This book describes negligence. When the risks of everyday life become reality, it is frequently the result of negligence. Negligence is the failure to act according to a standard set by law and may serve as the basis of a lawsuit and/or an insurance claim. Negligence has specifically defined elements. If each element is met - barring any defenses - fault is assigned to the negligent party or parties, and a judgment in the form of money is rendered to the injured party. The concept of negligence developed under English common law, which relies on prior case law in rendering judgments and is followed by a majority of the United States. Louisiana is the lone state that follows civil law, relying instead on written codes. Negligence may be as inevitable as human error. Thus, knowledge of negligence is sure to benefit a variety of individuals and professionals eventually.

This book is ideal for undergraduate pre-law or pre-med students; law school or medical school students; and/or those taking insurance-related courses. This book is also ideal for bar examinees, insurance professionals (claims adjusters, agents), healthcare professionals, and individuals simply looking to learn and arm themselves with knowledge.

An Introduction to Negligence in the United States

To err is human - life happens and so does negligence. The dictionary defines negligence as the failure to exercise the care that a reasonably prudent person would exercise in like circumstances (Merriam Webster n.d.). Negligence is the opposite of being careful or diligent - it encompasses virtually any unintentional, wrongful conduct that injures others (The Free Dictionary).

Accordingly, a person will no doubt encounter negligence along the path of life: while driving, shopping, attending a sports game or other public event, undergoing a medical procedure, and/or from services rendered by a professional. Many everyday activities involve risk. When that risk becomes reality, such as a vehicle accident and/or medical malpractice, it is frequently the result of negligence.

Negligence is the failure to act according to a standard established by law. It is a tort, which is a civil wrong (as opposed to criminal) causing some form of injury and that may serve as the basis of a lawsuit for damages and/or a liability insurance claim. Negligence has specifically defined elements - duty, breach, causation, and damages (subject to Louisiana variance) all of which must be met for proof of negligence.

The facts and circumstances surrounding a particular incident are evaluated in light of the elements of negligence. If each element is met, fault is assigned to the negligent party, or apportioned accordingly if multiple parties are involved. A judgment in the form of a money award is then rendered to compensate for the injury and return the injured party as close as possible to pre-injury position. In some cases, an additional amount of money may be awarded to punish the negligent behavior and deter similar behavior in the future.

Negligence is therefore a fundamental taught during first year of law school in torts courses. Applicants are tested heavily on negligence during bar examinations for attorney licensing; and licensing exams for other professions, such as insurance.

The concept of negligence developed under English common law. The majority of the United States follows common law, relying on prior case law to resolve disputes rather than written codes. Louisiana is the lone state that follows civil law, which does rely (predominantly) on written codes, possibly explaining a slightly different analysis of negligence. Louisiana s history of French and Spanish civil law combined with English criminal law to form a hybrid legal system.

Negligence may be as inevitable as human error, rendering unexpected consequences and unsuspecting victims. This is an unfortunate part of human life and this phenomenon is what is fueling the legal industry, the insurance industry, and even the healthcare industry. Thus, this book seeks to impart knowledge of negligence that is sure to benefit a variety of individuals and professionals, eventually.

About the Author

Kimberly Jastrzembski, LLM

Active since Sep 2012

The daughter of a U.S. Army officer, Kimberly was born in Bangkok, Thailand, and grew up in Europe as well as the United States, traveling extensively. With the world as her hometown, Kimberly developed an interest in the international aspects of business and politics. At the University of Southern California, she studied international relations. Kimberly earned her law degree in California and then endured the frozen tundra-like conditions of New Hampshire to earn an LL.M. in intellectual property law from Franklin Pierce Law Center. After returning to the welcomed warmth of Southern California, Kimberly enhanced her legal acumen by earning an LL.M. in entertainment and media law from Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles, completing her studies in London, England. Kimberly is now an attorney admitted to the State Bar of California and the State Bar of Florida.

Kimberly is very creative with a great appreciation for the arts. A devoted pet lover, Kimberly supports organizations dedicated to the rescue and humane treatment of animals. She also participates in charitable events honoring the memory of family, friends, and beloved pets lost to cancer.

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