Negligence

Negligence in United States

Negligence Definition

The breach of a legal noncontractual duty to use care, with no precise intention of producing a particular injury thereby. See Shear. & R. Neg. §3; Beven, Emp. Liab. An inadvertent imperfection by a responsible human agent in the discharge of a legal duty, which produces, in an orderly and natural sequence, a damage to another. Whart. Neg. § 3. Any lack of carefulness in one’s conduct, whether in doing, or in abstaining from doing, wherefrom by reason of its not filling the full measure of the law’s requirement in the particular circumstances there comes to another a legal injury. Bish. Non-Cont. Law, §436. Negligence has been defined as the doing or omission of something which a reasonable prudent person would not have done or omitted under the circumstances (95 U. S. 439) ; but this is rather a statement of what constitutes proper care, and moreover omits the element of a duty imposed by law which is broken by the negligent act or omission (Pollock, Torts, 352).

Negligence in Foreign Legal Encyclopedias

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Negligence Negligence in the World Legal Encyclopedia.
Negligence Negligence in the European Legal Encyclopedia.
Negligence Negligence in the Asian Legal Encyclopedia.
Negligence Negligence in the UK Legal Encyclopedia.
Negligence Negligence in the Australian Legal Encyclopedia.

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Browse the American Encyclopedia of Law for Negligence

Scan Negligence in the appropriate area of law:

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Negligence Negligence in the Family Law Portal of the American Encyclopedia of Law.
Negligence Negligence in the IP Portal of the American Encyclopedia of Law.
Negligence Negligence in the Commercial Law Portal of the American Encyclopedia of Law.
Negligence Negligence in the Criminal Law Portal of the American Encyclopedia of Law.
Negligence Negligence in the Antritrust Portal of the American Encyclopedia of Law.
Negligence Negligence in the Bankruptcy Law Portal of the American Encyclopedia of Law.
Negligence Negligence in the Constitutional Law Portal of the American Encyclopedia of Law.
Negligence Negligence in the Tax Law Portal of the American Encyclopedia of Law.
Negligence Negligence in the and Finance and Banking Portal of the American Encyclopedia of Law.
Negligence Negligence in the Employment and Labor Portal of the American Encyclopedia of Law.
Negligence Negligence in the Personal Injury and Tort Portal of the American Encyclopedia of Law.
Negligence Negligence in the Environmental Law Portal of the American Encyclopedia of Law.

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Legal Issue for Attorneys

The breach of a legal noncontractual duty to use care, with no precise intention of producing a particular injury thereby. See Shear. & R. Neg. §3; Beven, Emp. Liab. An inadvertent imperfection by a responsible human agent in the discharge of a legal duty, which produces, in an orderly and natural sequence, a damage to another. Whart. Neg. § 3. Any lack of carefulness in one’s conduct, whether in doing, or in abstaining from doing, wherefrom by reason of its not filling the full measure of the law’s requirement in the particular circumstances there comes to another a legal injury. Bish. Non-Cont. Law, §436. Negligence has been defined as the doing or omission of something which a reasonable prudent person would not have done or omitted under the circumstances (95 U. S. 439) ; but this is rather a statement of what constitutes proper care, and moreover omits the element of a duty imposed by law which is broken by the negligent act or omission (Pollock, Torts, 352).

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This definition of Negligence Is based on the The Cyclopedic Law Dictionary . This definition needs to be proofread..

Practical Information

Note: Some of this information was last updated in 1982

The failure to use reasonable care to avoid injury to another. The standard of care that should be used is that degree of care that would have been used by a reasonable person in the light of all of the circumstances of the case. For example, a doctor in treating a patient must act with the skill of the average member of the profession. If the defendant’s negligence is the proximate cause (in U.S. law) of injury to the plaintiff, and the plaintiff is free from contributory negligence (in U.S. law), he or she is entitled to damages (in U.S. law).

(Revised by Ann De Vries)

What is Negligence?

For a meaning of it, read Negligence in the Legal Dictionary here. Browse and search more U.S. and international free legal definitions and legal terms related to Negligence.

Negligence in Environmental Law

In law, negligence is a type of conduct that can be the basis of liability. It is a tort, a term that commonly describes a civil (as opposed to criminal) wrong. However, an action that is a tort may also be a crime.

The concept of negligence dates back to early English law, so negligence has been well-defined at least in theory. In practice, negligence must be proven. The person who is harmed must prove all the elements of the tort through facts. To prove negligence, the injured party must show that (1) the accused (the defendant) had a duty to do something or a duty to refrain from doing something; (2) the defendant failed to meet the duty; (3) the breach of duty is the proximate cause of an injury; and (4) the person bringing the lawsuit is the one injured. If any of these components are missing, the injured party may not be able to prove negligence.

Environmental law has incorporated the theory of negligence in several respects. Some statutes specifically state that negligence may be the basis of a criminal lawsuit against a person. However, it is more commonly used in individual or class action suits.

To illustrate, assume Landowner has a brook running through his property. Landowner often fishes in the water, both for relaxation and food. Manufacturer, who owns property about a block away, makes pesticides and stores them in a building near the brook to await transportation. One day Manufacturer drops a drum of pesticide from a forklift and the drum cracks. The contents run into the water and later wind up being carried through Landowner’s property. Landowner catches a fish and eats it. He gets very ill because the fish has been poisoned by the pesticide. Assuming that Landowner makes the connection, the elements of negligence are present: (1) Manufacturer has a duty to handle pesticides carefully so the environment and people are not harmed; (2) Manufacturer has breached that duty; (3) as a direct result of that breach, an injury has occurred; (4) Landowner has suffered an injury.

Sometimes the duty is supplied by a statute. For example, companies must obey the Clean Water Act and the terms of their permits. The release of a pollutant into the stream is an unpermitted discharge and certainly was not anticipated in a permit. Therefore, Landowner would not have to prove Manufacturer had a commonsense duty to be careful but could simply show that the duty is required by law.

Environmental torts are new, so they are still evolving. In many cases, the theories are confused and the label of negligence may be replaced in some instances by trespass or nuisance. The example above might be brought as a nuisance because Manufacturer interfered with the peaceful enjoyment of Landowner’s property. It can also be a trespass, because the chemicals moved from Manufacturer’s to Landowner’s real estate. See also strict liability; toxic tort.
Based on “Environment and the Law. A Dictionary”.

Roofers Negligence

This section examines the Roofers Negligence subject in its related phase of trial. In some cases, other key elements related to trials, such as personal injury, business, and criminal litigation, are also addressed.

Meaning of Negligence

In plain or simple terms, Negligence means: Failure to exercise the care that an ordinarily prudent person would exercise in the same circumstances.

Basic Meaning of Negligence

Negligence means: failure to exercise ordinary care; omission to do something which a reasonable prudent person would do under ordinary circumstances or the doing of something which a reasonable and prudent would not do; the lack of due care (exercised by a wrongdoer who has not acted as a reasonable person would).

Negligence (Equitable Salvage)

This section introduces, discusses and describes the basics of negligence. Then, cross references and a brief overview about Equitable Salvage is provided. Finally, the subject of Salvage in relation with negligence is examined. Note that a list of cross references, bibliography and other resources appears at the end of this entry.

Resources

See Also

  • Legal Topics.
  • Alcohol; Automobiles; Good Samaritan Doctrine; Guest Statutes; Last Clear Chance; MacPherson v. Buick Motor Co.; Natural and Probable Consequences; Palsgraf v. Long Island Railroad Company; Product Liability; Rescue; Rylands v. Fletcher; Strict Liability.

    Further Reading (Articles)

    Negligence, Gale Encyclopedia of Everyday Law; January 1, 2006

    Comparative Negligence Defense in Tax Return Preparation Malpractice Actions, The CPA Journal; November 1, 2012; Soled, Jay A.

    On Determining Negligence: Hand Formula Balancing, the Reasonable Person Standard, and the Jury, Vanderbilt Law Review; April 1, 2001; Gilles, Stephen G.

    Gross Negligence, Negligence and Other Phrases, Mondaq Business Briefing; June 27, 2012

    Contributory negligence.(LAW & MEDICINE)(Report), Family Practice News; December 1, 2010; Tan, S.Y.

    Clinical negligence reforms: good news for patients?, Consumer Policy Review; January 1, 2005; Walsh, Peter

    Contributory negligence.(LAW & MEDICINE), Internal Medicine News; November 15, 2010; Tan, S.Y.

    Gross negligence.(LAW & MEDICINE)(Case overview), Internal Medicine News; May 15, 2009; Tan, S.Y.

    What Makes Negligence ‘Gross’ And When Is Misconduct ‘Wilful’?, Mondaq Business Briefing; May 7, 2006; Duguid, Bryan

    Gross Negligence Interpreted and Applied, Mondaq Business Briefing; March 19, 2013; Carney, Liam

    Dismissal for negligence not so simple; The employer carries the burden of proving that negligence exists.(Workplace), The Star (South Africa); November 5, 2008

    Ain’t Misbehavin’: Are ‘Negligence’, ‘Gross Negligence’ and ‘Serious Misconduct’ the Same Thing?, Mondaq Business Briefing; March 9, 2014; Byrnes, Michael

    The Trouble with Negligence, Vanderbilt Law Review; April 1, 2001; Abraham, Kenneth S.

    Gross Negligence: Could Do Better!, Mondaq Business Briefing; March 27, 2012; Angell, Jonathan

    Commentary: Contributory Negligence – Let the Legislature Decide, The Daily Record (Baltimore); August 26, 2012; Board, Advisory

    Gross Negligence: How Bad Does it Have to Be?, Mondaq Business Briefing; July 21, 2010; Grosse, April

    Meaning Of Gross Negligence Explained. Mondaq Business Briefing; November 29, 2011

    Liability insurance under the negligence rule. RAND Journal of Economics; September 22, 2009; Fagart, Marie-Cecile Fluet, Claude

    Comparative negligence, 5th ed.(Brief article)(Book review), Reference & Research Book News; October 1, 2011

    Md. Court of Appeals: Decision on Contributory Negligence Must Be Legislature’s, The Daily Record (Baltimore); July 9, 2013; Lash, Steve

    Negligence in State Statute Topics

    Introduction to Negligence (State statute topic)

    The purpose of Negligence is to provide a broad appreciation of the Negligence legal topic. Select from the list of U.S. legal topics for information (other than Negligence).

    Roofers Negligence

    This section examines the Roofers Negligence subject in its related phase of trial. In some cases, other key elements related to trials, such as personal injury, business, and criminal litigation, are also addressed.

    Meaning of Negligence

    In plain or simple terms, Negligence means: Failure to exercise the care that an ordinarily prudent person would exercise in the same circumstances.

    Basic Meaning of Negligence

    Negligence means: failure to exercise ordinary care; omission to do something which a reasonable prudent person would do under ordinary circumstances or the doing of something which a reasonable and prudent would not do; the lack of due care (exercised by a wrongdoer who has not acted as a reasonable person would).

    Resources

    Further Reading

    Negligence meaning

    The failure to meet the duties of social obligation, general judged by the standard of a reasonably prudent person. See standard of care, due care.

    Amoco Chemical Corp. v. Hill, Del.Super., 318 A.2d 614, 617.
    Pence v. Ketchum , 326 So. 2d 831, 836 (La. 1976)

    Negligence in the context of Juvenile and Family Law

    Definition ofNegligence published by the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges:Failure to exercise the care that an ordinarily prudent person would exercise in the same circumstances

    Negligence: Open and Free Legal Research of US Law

    Federal Primary Materials

    The U.S. federal government system consists of executive, legislative, and judicial branches, each of which creates information that can be the subject of legal research about Negligence. This part provides references, in relation to Negligence, to the legislative process, the federal judiciary, and the primary sources of federal law (cases, statutes, and regulations).

    Federal primary materials about Negligence by content types:

    Laws and Regulations

    US Constitution
    Federal Statutory Codes and Legislation

    Federal Case Law and Court Materials

    U.S. Courts of Appeals
    United States courts of appeals, inclouding bankruptcy courts and bankcruptcy appellate panels:

    Federal Administrative Materials and Resources

    Presidential Materials

    Materials that emanate from the President’s lawmaking function include executive orders for officers in departments and agencies and proclamations for announcing ceremonial or commemorative policies. Presidential materials available include:

    Executive Materials

    Federal Legislative History Materials

    Legislative history traces the legislative process of a particular bill (about Negligence and other subjects) for the main purpose of determining the legislators’ intent behind the enactment of a law to explain or clarify ambiguities in the language or the perceived meaning of that law (about Negligence or other topics), or locating the current status of a bill and monitoring its progress.

    State Administrative Materials and Resources

    State regulations are rules and procedures promulgated by state agencies (which may apply to Negligence and other topics); they are a binding source of law. In addition to promulgating regulations, state administrative boards and agencies often have judicial or quasi-judicial authority and may issue administrative decisions affecting Negligence. Finding these decisions can be challenging. In many cases, researchers about Negligence should check state agency web sites for their regulations, decisions, forms, and other information of interest.

    State rules and regulations are found in codes of regulations and administrative codes (official compilation of all rules and regulations, organized by subject matter). Search here:

    State opinions of the Attorney General (official written advisory opinions on issues of state law related to Negligence when formerly requested by a designated government officer):

    Tools and Forms

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