In legal terms, negligence is defined as a "failure to exercise the degree of care expected of a person of ordinary prudence" which results in exposing others to "a foreseeable and unreasonable risk of harm."
However, determining negligence in an accident is rarely cut-and-dry, and the law recognizes multiple forms of negligence as a result.
In cases where negligence is comparative, multiple parties are at fault for an accident to varying degrees. These degrees are measured in percentages.
For example, one party might be found 70 percent at fault for an accident, while another party might be found 30 percent at fault, and a third party could bear none of the fault whatsoever.
Contributory negligence is the failure of an injured plaintiff to behave prudently, and so he or she contributes to his or her own injuries as a result. This may reduce the amount of compensation the person receives.
Collateral negligence is the negligence of an independent contractor, aside from the risk normally associated with his or her work. The contractor may be held liable, but his or her employer may not be.
Gross and Criminal Negligence
Gross negligence refers to conduct that exposes others to "an unreasonably high degree of risk" combined with a complete failure to make a reasonable attempt to protect them from that risk.
It may even be associated with a willful indifference to the safety of others. Criminal negligence is gross negligence that renders one guilty of a crime.
Negligence Per Se
Negligence per se involves negligence that consists of violating a statute intended to preserve public safety. Damages may be awarded if the plaintiff sustained injuries of the kind that the statute was meant to prevent.
Contact a Long Island Injury Attorney
Determining and proving negligence can be difficult on your own. Instead, make sure you have an experienced legal team on your side.The attorneys of Siler & Ingber, LLP have years of experience navigating personal injury cases successfully. Call us at 1-877-LAW-4343 or complete the form on our website for a free consultation.