Injured - The FindLaw Accident, Injury and Tort Law Blog

Negligence and Other Injuries

Negligence is the most commonly used legal principle in personal injury lawsuits. Essentially, the concept of negligence rests on the idea that the defendant owed some sort of a duty to the injured party and that duty was somehow breached. The duty is usually breached through an action or inaction of the defendant. The breach of the injury must have been the proximate cause of the injury.

There also exists an element of foreseeability in negligence. For there to be a valid negligence claim, the injury must have been foreseeable in the actions (or inaction) of the defendant and the injured party must have been within a "zone of danger". The concept of foreseeability is sometimes different among the states but the general premise is the same.


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Well yeah, right? Of course you want an attorney with trial experience. But when it comes to personal injury attorneys, trial experience isn't everything, especially when it's the wrong kind of experience.

There are a lot of reasons to hire a lawyer, and trial experience can be one of them. So find out how to assess that experience before hiring your personal injury attorney.

Yesterday morning, an Amtrak commuter train left the track south of Seattle and sent cars plummeting off an overpass onto I-5, killing three and injuring dozens more. Early reports indicate that the train, making its first run on a new route, may have been traveling over 80 miles per hour a quarter mile before the crash site, where the speed limits drops from 79 mph to 30 mph to accommodate a curve in the track.

If it turns out the engineer failed to obey the posted speed limit, what kind of liability would Amtrak be looking at?

The fires that ravaging Northern California were barely snuffed out when Southern California was set ablaze last week. Wildfires in Los Angeles, Ventura, and San Diego Counties have burned over 150,000 acres, along with countless homes, and President Trump just approved a California disaster declaration and put the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency in charge of disaster relief efforts in the state.

But what are homeowners left to do if their homes have been damaged by the wildfires? Here's a look.

After the appalling accusations levied at elder care facilities in Florida and California in the face of natural disasters, people are justifiably a little more worried about how their elder relatives are being cared for. What constitutes elder abuse? How do we know when it's happening? And how can we deal with elder or nursing home abuse when it happens?

Here are three legal tips when it comes to identifying and responding to elder abuse, from our archives:

Following the horrific accusations regarding a Florida nursing home in the wake of Hurricane Irma, you would hope California facilities would be on high alert during any natural disasters, like, say, a wildfire. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case.

"These people were left stranded," attorney Kathryn Stebner told the Los Angeles Times. "They had no keys, no cell service, no walkie-talkies. The three caregivers on hand did not know about any evacuation plan ... and in fact, were waiting for an executive director, who did not show up. How could they have gotten out?"

The crowds; the anticipation; the joy; and the pain. There really is nothing like the exhilaration and hysteria of Black Friday. One day every year, American shoppers lose their collective minds in an effort to save a few bucks on Christmas presents. But the damage and injuries sustained on Black Friday can last years or even lifetimes.

So here are the five most common Black Friday injuries, how to avoid them, and what to do if you can't:

With what we now know about how germs are spread, one might think that if someone gets them sick, they'll be able to sue the person who got them sick. While, generally, you can sue anyone for anything, particularly when you've been clearly wronged by another's negligence, doing so is not always a good idea.

Typically, cases involving the transmission of illnesses are plagued with some rather high hurdles. At the outset, not only will a victim be required to prove that the defendant actually got them sick, but also that it was intentional or negligent. And even though the first part might seem clear to you, if the illness can be spread in different ways, or is easily communicated in the air, or on surfaces, it's going to be really hard to prove. Though certain situations, like housing environments leading to illness, or STD transmissions, might be a bit more cut and dry.

Just about everyone would like to sample something before they buy it. We try on clothes and shoes before purchasing, get sips of wine before assenting to the whole bottle, and hear snippets of music before downloading an entire song or album.

It's no surprise that we'd like to try on our makeup before we buy it as well. What else could account for the ubiquitous free samples at makeup counters in malls and stores nationwide? But exactly how we sample makeup has become a central issue in a lawsuit filed by a California woman who claims a lipstick sample from a Sephora store gave her oral herpes.

The July confrontation in Utah made headlines nationwide: a University Hospital nurse standing off a Salt Lake City police officer, refusing to allow blood to be drawn from an unconscious patient involved in a car crash. Alex Wubbels correctly pointed out to Detective Jeff Payne the patient was not under arrest, Payne did not have a warrant to obtain the blood, and that he could not obtain consent from the unconscious man.

Payne arrested Wubbels anyway, ostensibly for obstruction of justice, but the nurse was released less than an hour later and never charged. Today, Wubbels and her attorney announced they have reached a settlement with the city and the university that owns the hospital for $500,000.

On April 26, 2012, Jessica Jauch was pulled over in Choctaw County, Mississippi and arrested on an outstanding felony warrant for selling a controlled substance. For the next 96 days she sat in jail, without access to an attorney or a judge.

The charges underlying that warrant turned out to be false, so Jauch filed a civil rights lawsuit against Choctaw County and Sheriff Cloyd Halford. While a lower court dismissed her claims based on the grand jury's indictment, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated the suit, ruling that Jauch had been denied "basic procedural due process" by the county and Sheriff Halford in being held so long.