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Negligence – How is a “Standard” Applied to a Situation?

When people hear about a personal injury case, many of them wonder what really happens as that claim moves towards trial. The short answer to that question is “a lot,” but there are several technicalities that must be adhered to in order to properly prove a claim. Below we’d like to explain the four elements necessary to prove that a defendant was in fact negligent, but if you’ve been injured, please contact the Milwaukee personal injury attorneys at Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ® today to schedule an initial consultation.


The concept of “duty” is one that’s well-grounded in the law and in precedent. Generally, every person owes the world around him or her a “duty” to not cause unnecessary harm to other people, property and other things. “Average” humans have only a general duty, while professionals such as doctors have heightened duty of care towards others when treating them because of their status as trained professionals.


Assuming that the presence of a duty on the part of the defendant has been established, the plaintiff must move on to prove that the defendant breached that duty either by acting or failing to act. The standard applied here is the “reasonable person” standard, which means that the decision maker in a case must decide what a “reasonable person” would have done or not done under similar circumstances. If it’s decided that the defendant did not act as most others would, breach of duty is usually established.


Once the first two elements have been proven, then the plaintiff must move on to prove causation, one of the most complicated legal theories that exists within the realm of personal injury law. Basically, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant’s breach of duty caused the injuries that occurred, and there are several tests that a court will apply to help determine this factor. In plain English, the plaintiff must show that without the defendant acting in a certain way, the plaintiff most likely would not have been injured.


If the plaintiff manages to prove the first three elements, his or her case is not proven overall at this point. He or she must also prove that there were damages suffered, and these need not be only monetary damages. A plaintiff can suffer damages by way of pain and suffering, extreme emotional distress and loss of companionship, among other things, but in order to hold someone accountable for causing an injury, the plaintiff must also show a loss.

As you see, proving fault and receiving a recovery in a personal injury case is no simple matter. If you have been injured, you need the help of an experienced Milwaukee personal injury attorney. If this describes your situation, contact the Milwaukee personal injury attorneys at Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ® today to schedule an initial consultation.