Michigan negligence lawyers frequently file lawsuits alleging different types of negligence on behalf of injured clients. Many people have heard the term "negligent" and have some idea what it means in general, but the term has a specific definition in a legal setting. The theory of negligence is often the basis for lawsuit, like a car accident case, a slip and fall case, and even a medical malpractice case.
Our legal system recognizes two different kinds of cases: criminal and civil. In a criminal case, the government brings an action in the name of its citizens against a defendant who has been accused of committing a crime. A civil case is one in which an individual or corporation brings a complaint or legal action against another, to protect his, her or its legal rights and/or collect money damages.
Civil cases often include tort claims. A tort is a legal term that means a civil wrong, and is recognized in the law as grounds for a lawsuit. Typically, tort claims are based upon the doctrine of negligence. Negligence is a legal cause of action that is based upon the breach of a duty by one person to another. The tort of negligence is commonly recognized as requiring four elements: a duty, the breach of that duty, proximate cause, and damages.
A duty, is an obligation, recognized by the law, requiring a person to conform to a certain standard of conduct, for the protection of others against unreasonable risks. A duty can be established by the common law (the system of laws and rules developed and passed down over time by our courts) or a statutory duty (a duty created by a law or statute as enacted by the legislature). Examples of statutory duties are the duties motorists owe one and other as set forth in the Michigan Vehicle Code and the duties of dog owners in the Michigan Dog Bite Statute.
A breach of the duty is the failure on a person’s part to conform to the duty (i.e. standard of conduct required by law). For example, if a motorist violates a motor vehicle statute, that would be a breach of a statutory duty.
Proximate Cause is the causal connection between the conduct (i.e. breach of the duty) and the resulting injury. An example of proximate cause is when a violation of a motor vehicle statute (i.e. breach of the statutory duty) causes an auto accident that results in personal injury to another motorist or pedestrian.
Michigan negligence lawsuits will not be successful unless there are provable injuries or "damages", which flow from the breach of the duty of care. There are two different types of damages: economic loss; and non-economic loss. "Economic loss" damages include measurable financial loss such as lost wages, medical bills etc.. The second type, “non-economic loss” damages, means damages or loss (usually due to personal injury) due to pain, suffering, disability, physical impairment, disfigurement etc.
Michigan negligence cases involve various different types of claims for personal injuries including, but not limited to claims involving: auto accident, wrongful death case, truck accident, dog bite, slip and fall, toxic tort, lead poisoning, medical malpractice, food poisoning, dram shop (the negligent furnishing of alcohol), etc.
The law firm of Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C. specializes in handling many different types of negligence cases and would be happy to speak with you. If you have a Michigan negligence case, you should contact our office immediately.