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What is “negligence”?

Negligence is the failure to use reasonable care to prevent harm to others. A person is negligent if he or she does something that a reasonably careful person would not do in the same situation or fails to do something that a reasonably careful person would do in the same situation.  

In some cases, a person is considered criminally negligent. Some examples of situations where a person may face charges for criminal negligence include:

  • A parent who leaves a two-year-old child alone in the house in order to go out to a bar and have a good time;
  • A person who dangerously drives 40 miles over the speed limit and causes a car accident that injures someone; 
  • A person who breaks texting-and-driving laws and causes a car accident that injures or kills another person while typing a text message; 
  • A caregiver in a nursing home who doesn’t feed a patient causing the patient to starve to death; and
  • A doctor who prescribes addictive drugs to a known drug addict because the doctor gets paid for his or her services.

When a person is negligent or careless in a way that causes harm to someone else, the victim of the negligence can sue. This is called civil liability or civil negligence. Some instances of civil negligence include:

  • Property owners who let steps to their house crumble or leave a broken railing could be considered negligent if they invite friends over to their house and their friends trip on the railing and steps and hurt themselves;
  • A restaurant owner who mops the slippery floor and doesn’t put up a “Wet Floor” sign;
  • A doctor who operates on the wrong patient or on the wrong body part because he misreads the chart; 
  • A company that releases a dangerous drug without fully testing the medication and identifying all of the side effects; and 
  • A person who owns a dog that he knows is dangerous and who takes the dog to the park where the dog bites a small child. 

Please contact our team of experienced injury attorneys today to discuss your personal injury case.

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