Anyone familiar with the law proceeding will be aware of the four elements of negligence that an attorney representing a victim has to show before a defendant such as a person, or a company alleged of a wrongdoing. The defendant must shown to have a legal duty to the plaintiff under the circumstance where the case takes place and that the individual or company breaches it by acting or failing to act in a certain way. Part of the process is to show a causal relationship between the plaintiff’s injury and the defendant’s action, resulting in damages, such as the plaintiff is harmed or injured. If the attorney fails to show the presence of just one of the elements, the case will fail.
An apparently simple case may not be seen as such in the eye of law. An often cited example of a “bone inside boneless chicken nuggets”. In a restaurant, a customer is shocked to find a bone in a supposedly boneless chicken nugget, just a moment before he swallows it. Can an attorney, representing this customer, hold the restaurant as being negligent? In this case, the presence of the “damage” element of the negligence is debatable, because shock is not normally considered a harm. The harm will be easier to show if, for example, the bone is already lodged inside the customer’s throat, requiring medical treatment to remove it.
If, for another example, the restaurant serves coffee at a dangerously high temperature, and another customer burns their fingers when attempting to open the lid of the coffee cup, the damage element is obvious; however, the court may find that the customer themselves is negligent, as it is a general practice that one apply caution when handling high-temperature items. Here the court uses the principle of comparative negligence to determine that the plaintiff actually contributes to their injury and may hold the restaurant not responsible for the accident.
Experienced attorneys have knowledge of different circumstances involving negligence suits. They have worked with a wide variety of perspectives on how to see a case and thus would have the best idea of which cases are plausible to proceed and which are not. It is important to look for their help when dealing with a negligence case.
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