June 18, 2015
As part of our commitment to making sure everyone in the Calgary area has access to the best and most accurate information possible regarding personal injury laws, we're publishing a series of articles that detail the foundations of these laws and the legal concepts they're built upon. It is our hope that a better informed public will help make Calgary a safer and more proactive community by helping its citizens become more aware of their legal and interpersonal responsibilities.
We started this informative series last week with an article explaining the legal concept of "duty of care." All personal injury lawsuits ultimately rest on this concept; if there was no duty of care owed to the injured party, there is no grounds for a lawsuit. If Person A causes an accident that injures Person B, there's no basis for a legal action unless Person A owed Person B a duty or care—Person A has to have been responsible for ensuring Person B's safety in some way. When Person A fails to live up to their duty of care—when they have been negligent—then grounds for a personal injury lawsuit in Calgary do exist.
Examining Negligence in Calgary's Personal Injury Laws
Like "duty of care," the legal concept of "negligence" has been handed down from English Common Law, defined first through court cases rather than legislation though now written laws have codified the concept and its effects to a large degree.
The two terms are also very closely related, with negligence occurring when someone fails to live up to their duty of care. The Legal Information Institute at Cornell University defines negligence as:
A failure to behave with the level of care that someone of ordinary prudence would have exercised under the same circumstances. The behavior usually consists of actions, but can also consist of omissions when there is some duty to act (e.g., a duty to help victims of one's previous conduct).
In non-legal speak, negligence is being careless or reckless enough compared to normal behavior that you risk hurting someone else. Driving recklessly, stacking heavy boxes too tall and haphazardly, building a subpar structure that ends up collapsing—negligence exists in each of these instances, and if that negligence leads to someone else's injuries, the negligent party deserves to be held legally and financially responsible.
When you act within your duty of care, you're taking responsibility for your actions and making sure that what you're doing is reasonable safe and unlikely to harm anyone. When you throw caution to the wind and simply hope for the best, you might end up lucky—or your negligence could land you in hot water.
When Negligence Causes You a Personal Injury in Calgary
If someone else's negligence has caused an injury to you or a family member, in the Calgary area or anywhere in Alberta, you're entitled to compensation—and to hold them accountable for their actions. Get the help you need by contacting Calgary's premier personal injury law firm today.
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