Suing for Negligence
Everyone is injured at some point in the course of their lives. Although many of these incidents do not require legal action, some incidents can result in suing for negligence. Negligence is doing something a reasonable person would not do or omit to do something a reasonable person would do in that context. For instance, if a shopkeeper fails to put a ‘wet floor’ sign on a recently mopped floor, a customer can slip and fall. The injury is a result of the shopkeeper’s negligence.
These negligence claims are typically filed in a smalls claims court, and are classified into 2 types:
|Type of Negligence||Description||Examples|
|Ordinary Negligence||When a person fails to take necessary and reasonable precautions, leading to the injury of another||
|Gross Negligence||This is the total disregard or extreme indifference to the safety and security of others||
When to Sue for Negligence
To ensure that your negligence claim is valid, there are certain elements that must be proved. This is to confirm the relationship between the claimant and the accused and to clearly prove that the case involves negligence. Below lists what you have to prove to possibly win a negligence claim:
- The accused’s duty. You should be able to clearly state what the accused duty was to you in that context. For instance, a doctor would have a legal duty of care towards their patients.
- Detailed breach of duty. The accused duty in that context is not enough – you must be able to prove that the accused did not uphold their duty directly to you. You can compare the accused’s actions (or inaction) to those of others who did not breach their duty. For example, you can compare a reckless driver to a safe driver.
- Show the implications of their breach of duty. A negligence claim is only valid if the accused’s actions had some impact on you. This could be in the form of emotional distress, physical or mental injury, or financial loss.
The Standard Process for Making a Negligence Claim
After having gone through the checklist to ensure that your claim of negligence in a personal injury is valid, it’s time to start the claim process. This process is usually long-drawn and very demanding, with little guarantee of a positive outcome.
- Contact legal counsel. Before taking on this task, get legal counsel to walk you through the entire process. Provide a summary of your claim, at which point they will decide if the claim holds any validity.
- Obtain all medical records. Be sure to have a complete set of your medical records, which will be assessed by a medical professional as well as a member of your legal team.
- Get testimonies from experts. To prove that there was a breach of duty and resulting effects, the relevant experts will comment on the claim and prepare reports. For instance, only a mechanic will be able to comment on the breach of duty of another mechanic.
- Decide on how much you are owed. Because most negligence claims are filed in a small claims court, the value placed on the claim would typically be between $5,000 and $10,000.
- Provide a letter of claim to the accused. After all evidence has been put together, the next step is to present the accused of the defendant with the claim. The letter will summarize the claim and monetary amount requested.
- Consider the accused’s response. In the event that the accused responds to the letter of claim, your legal team may draw up a rebuttal that could determine if they decide to continue with your claim or not.
- If your legal team decides to continue with your claims process, the court proceedings begin. Note that this does not guarantee a trial. The court proceedings start with a time table to encourage resolution or a settlement. When both parties fail to reach a settlement, a trial begins (which generally takes 18-24 months).
The Frustrations of Suing for Negligence
There are a number of frustrations you will probably face when filing a negligence lawsuit. Claimants are likely to face the following hurdles:
- Most claimants will have to incur a significant financial burden in the form of legal fees. Although the expected result is financial compensation, this is not always the case as the claim might be dismissed.
- Some claimants find it difficult to clearly state the breach of duty by the accused. Without solid evidence of this fact, their claim is likely to be dismissed.
- The standard system for filing a negligence claim is long-drawn and there is no guarantee that the claim will result in one’s favor.
Sue for Negligence with DoNotPay
You don’t need to hire an attorney for your small claims case. Get started on your negligence claim with DoNotPay:
- Log-in to DoNotPay and select the Sue Now product
- Enter the dollar amount you are owed
- Choose whether you need a demand letter or court filing forms
- Describe the reason for the lawsuit and submit any applicable information, including a statement and photo proof
Once you’re done, DoNotPay will provide a customized demand letter or small claims court filing forms for you to fill out. We’ll even take care of sending the demand letter to the defendant.
Companies DoNotPay Has Helped Sue
As the world’s first robot lawyer, DoNotPay helps you sue anyone or any company at your convenience. It helps you get the necessary forms to file in small claims court and gives you a demand letter to send to the recipient! Here are some big brands DoNotPay users have sued using the Sue Now product: