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Accidents in the Workplace: The 4 Elements of Proving Negligence

Have you been injured in a workplace accident? Has this prevented you from working and following your normal everyday routine? If an incident in your workplace has caused you pain and suffering due to the negligence of your employer, you may be entitled to compensation. In order to prove negligence, there are 4 elements that must be established.

Element #1: Duty

Duty is defined as a legal obligation on the part of an organization or individual to take reasonable precautions to ensure safety; especially while engaging in activities that could cause harm to others. In the workplace, this means that the employer has a legal obligation to take reasonable steps to prevent injury or harm from befalling its employees.

Element #2: Breach

A breach is defined as a violation of duty. When one does not do what they are supposed to do when it comes to fulfilling their duty of care, it constitutes a breach. An example of a breach could be failing to put up a “wet floor” sign at the site of a spill. If an employee slips and falls and injures themselves, the employer could be held liable.

Element #3: Causation

Proving that an organization or individual committed a breach of duty is not enough to prove negligence. You must also prove that this breach actually caused the injury. If there was no real injury, there is no case for negligence. If the employee who slipped on the wet floor does not sustain any serious injuries, they will not be able to prove negligence.

Element #4: Damages

The plaintiff in a personal injury case that involves negligence must also prove that there was real harm inflicted by the injury. If there was no actual harm inflicted, then negligence can’t be proved. The employee who slipped on the floor and received an injury would need to prove that this injury caused bodily harm. This is why it is important to go to a doctor immediately after getting injured. Your medical records can show that you received injuries as the result of negligence.

If you believe that you were harmed in an accident as a result of negligence on the part of your employer, you need to make sure that all 4 of these elements are present in the incident. If you are unsure about whether or not you have a negligence case, contact us for an initial consultation.