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What Are the Elements of Negligence?

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What Are the Elements of Negligence?

personal injury claim lawyerNegligence and Personal Injury

Negligence is defined as the failure to take proper care when completing an action. Negligence is the cause of many personal injury cases. If you were injured at the fault of another person, your personal injury lawyer will work to identify the four important elements of negligence.

Four Important Elements of Negligence in a Personal Injury Case

Duty of Care

In order for a person to be responsible for your injuries, they must have owed a legal duty of care to your safety and well-being. There are some relationships in which a legal duty of care is expected including law enforcement, medical providers, and property owners.

A legal duty of care can be more difficult to demonstrate in cases when a person visits another person’s property without approval. However, if a land or property owner opens up their property for business, they are agreeing to the fact that they will provide a safe and hazard-free environment. Additionally, medical care providers and police officers have both accepted employment in a career in which they are expected to offer a high level of care.

Breach of Duty

In order to build a personal injury case, it is important to demonstrate the exact actions that breached that legal duty of care. In most cases, negligence is responsible for this breach. Negligence might include:

  • Driver who failed to follow speed limit signs
  • Property owner who failed to make necessary repairs
  • Mechanic who skipped over important inspection steps
  • A physician who did not complete a full check-up

Each of these examples demonstrates someone’s lack of taking an action that they are expected to do, based on their employment responsibilities.


It is not enough to prove that the other party was negligent. We must also connect that act of negligence to the cause of the accident and the injuries that you suffered. We must demonstrate that the negligent actions of the other person are what led to the accident and the injuries.

Your legal team will work to determine causation with documents like:

  • Police report
  • Witness statements
  • Expert witness reports
  • Photograph and video evidence from the scene of the accident


In order to pursue a personal injury case, we must also be able to demonstrate actual damages. Even if a person acted in a way that was negligent but no one was harmed, it will be difficult to file a lawsuit. However, actual damages that were suffered as a result of the accident and the other person’s negligence may be eligible for compensation.

Additionally, the damages must be significant enough to collect compensation. Minor damages that do not calculate to much are unlikely to be compensated. The state of New Jersey allows the following costs to be recovered in a personal injury case:

  • Medical costs
  • Property damage
  • Physical therapy
  • Prescriptions
  • Necessary household renovations
  • Travel expenses

Depending on the extent of the case, some individuals may also be eligible for non-economic costs which include things like diminished earning capacity and pain and suffering. Although these costs can be more difficult to demonstrate, they are just as important in a personal injury case.

Contact a Clifton Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Negligence Case in New Jersey

Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to a personal injury in New Jersey? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Bramnick, Rodriguez, Grabas, Arnold & Mangan, LLC represent clients injured because of negligence in East Orange, Old Bridge, New Brunswick, Paterson, and throughout New Jersey. Call (908) 325-5571 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 1827 East 2nd St, Scotch Plains, NJ 07076 as well as offices in Westfield, Newark, East Brunswick, Clifton, Cherry Hill, and Elizabeth.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.




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