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Breach of Duty

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Breach of Duty

If you have been injured in an accident in Las Vegas, NV, your legal options can be difficult to navigate. Breach of duty is one of many legal terms that you may hear in the realm of personal injury law. It is an essential element of a negligence claim, which is the most common type of personal injury claim. 

De Castroverde Accident & Injury Lawyers has been serving injury victims and their families in the Las Vegas, NV community for decades. Our team has 100 years of combined experience and has secured hundreds of millions for our clients. 

We aim to empower current and prospective clients with information about personal injury law. In this resource, we will explain negligence and breach of duty, in addition to going over what these concepts mean for your personal injury claim.

What Is Negligence?

What Is Negligence?

In order to understand what a breach of duty is, one must first understand negligence. Negligence occurs when individuals or entities do not meet the standard of care expected of them, causing others to be harmed. Most personal injury claims are brought on the basis of negligence.

In order to successfully bring a negligence claim, a plaintiff must prove four legal elements: duty of care, breach of duty, causation, and damages. 

Duty of Care

First, a plaintiff must prove that the defendant owed a duty of care. This refers to the legal obligation an individual or entity has to act reasonably and prudently to avoid causing harm to others. 

For instance, drivers have a duty to operate their vehicles safely, and medical professionals have a duty to provide a standard level of care to their patients.

Breach of Duty

Second, a plaintiff must prove that the defendant breached his or her duty of care. This occurs when someone fails to meet the established standard of care or does not act reasonably under the circumstances, leading to potential harm. 

In the context of personal injury, a breach of duty is a critical element that needs to be proven for a successful negligence claim.

Causation

Third, the plaintiff has the burden of proving that the defendant’s breach of duty was the cause of the injuries or harm suffered by the plaintiff. The plaintiff must establish two types of causation: actual causation and proximate causation

Actual causation means that the plaintiff’s injury would not have happened if not for the defendant’s breach of duty. Proximate causation means that the defendant’s breach is a reasonably foreseeable cause of the plaintiff’s injury.

Damages

Fourth and finally, the plaintiff must prove that he or she has suffered measurable harm, or damages. Plaintiffs can receive damages for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.

Plaintiffs have the burden of proof on all four of these elements. If proof is not offered for any one of these elements, then the whole claim may be dismissed, even if it is a valid claim.

What Counts as a Breach of Duty?

A breach of duty is evaluated based on the duty of care that applies to the situation. This standard is usually based on a holistic review of what is reasonable under the circumstances. In cases of professional negligence, the standard of care will be set based on industry standards and best practices of professionals with similar training. 

In some cases, violating a law is treated as a breach of duty in and of itself. This is a slightly different basis for bringing a personal injury claim, called negligence per se. In these cases, a defendant’s breach of duty is not based on a holistic review of the circumstances, but rather based on violation of the law.

Examples of Breach of Duty in Personal Injury Cases

A breach of duty can arise in many different contexts and circumstances in personal injury cases. Here are a few examples:

  • Medical Malpractice: Failure to provide the standard of care expected in the medical field would be a breach of duty for medical professionals. This kind of breach is common in medical malpractice claims.
  • Premises Liability: Failing to maintain a safe environment on a property and remove hazards can constitute a breach of duty for property owners. This kind of breach is common in slip and fall accidents.
  • Motor Vehicle Accidents: Violating traffic laws, distracted driving, or failing to adhere to safety regulations are all examples of a breach of duty for drivers.

A breach of duty can occur in any situation where an individual or organization owes a duty of care.

Proving Breach of Duty

A plaintiff has the burden of proof for his or her negligence claim. A plaintiff must prove that each of the elements of negligence has been satisfied by a preponderance of the evidence. This means that it is more likely than not that the element has been satisfied. 

Establishing a breach of duty involves presenting evidence that convinces a court or jury that the defendant’s actions fell short of the expected standard of care. Here are the steps one might take to prove breach of duty:

  1. Establish the standard of care expected of the defendant. Define what a reasonable person or entity would have done in similar circumstances.
  2. Refer to any relevant evidence and documentation. Medical records, surveillance footage, or other relevant documents can show a deviation from the expected standard of care.
  3. Demonstrate how the evidence illustrates a breach of duty. Your lawyer can place the evidence into a context that demonstrates a breach of duty. Sometimes, your attorney might enlist expert assistance to this end. 

Establishing breach of duty opens the door for a viable negligence claim. Understanding how breach of duty fits into personal injury claims, as well as how to prove breach of duty, can increase your chances of obtaining compensation.

Consult With a Trusted Las Vegas Personal Injury Lawyer

If you have been injured due to someone’s breach of duty, consulting with an experienced Las Vegas personal injury attorney is vital. Contact De Castroverde Accident & Injury Lawyers at (702) 222-9999 to schedule your free consultation today. We are here to provide the guidance and support you need.

Areas We Serve

At De Castroverde Accident & Injury Lawyers our personal injury attorneys serve the following localities: Angel Park, Anthem, Boulder City, Downtown Las Vegas, East Las Vegas, Gibson Springs, Green Valley, Henderson, Lake Las Vegas, MacDonald Ranch, McCullough Hills, Mission Hills, Paradise, Peccole Ranch, Queensridge, Reno, Seven Hills, Smoke Ranch, Spring Valley, Summerlin, The Lakes, The Strip, Whitney, and more.
We also represent accident victims in Oakland, CA.

About Our Firm

De Castroverde Accident & Injury Lawyers, located in Las Vegas, NV, is a personal injury law firm established over 30 years ago.
We have 100+ years of combined experience securing hundreds of millions for injured people throughout Nevada. If you’ve been injured due to someone else’s negligence, contact us today to discuss your case.

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