There are four primary elements that must be proven in a negligence case. They are:
- Duty: The defendant owes a duty to the plaintiff. For example, a property owner has the duty to maintain their premises in a safe manner so that visitors are not injured by slipping on oily or greasy floors.
- Breach of duty: The injured party must prove that the defendant failed to exercise reasonable care and did not fulfill the duty.
- Proximate cause: The accident must have occurred as a result of the defendant’s actions or failure to act. For example, if a person tripped and fell on the slippery floor, it must be proven that this was the proximate cause of the resulting injuries.
- Damages: The plaintiff must prove that they were actually harmed by the defendant’s negligent conduct. If the plaintiff fell and suffered head injuries, for example, damages exist in this case.