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What Are The Elements of Negligence Claim for An Auto Accident in Florida?

If you have been involved in a an SUV or car accident in the Tampa Bay area call Tampa Personal Injury Attorney, Martin J. Hernandez at 813-755-9500
Auto Accident Negligence in Florida

Most personal injury lawsuits involve negligence on the part of another person. Negligence is the failure to behave how another reasonably prudent individual should behave in the same or similar circumstance. A Tampa personal injury lawyer must establish these four elements of negligence to win a personal injury claim:

  1. Duty;
  2. Breach of Duty;
  3. Causation; and
  4. Damages


The first question you must ask yourself is: 

Did the other party owe you a legal duty of care? 

Sometimes the nature of the relationship between the two parties creates a legal duty. Such as a mechanic who owes a customer a legal duty to provide them with skilled work. Or the other party might owe the injured party a legal duty to act with reasonable care in a specific situation—for example, a driver should operate their motor vehicle safely using a certain level of due care.

Breach of Duty

If the other party owed you a duty of care, the next question is:

Did that Party Violate or Breach their Duty of Care?

Someone breaches a duty by doing (or not doing) something that a reasonably prudent person should do in a similar situation. The term “reasonably prudent person” means how the average responsible person should act under certain circumstances. Certain states (like Washington State) even went on to define a “reasonably prudent person” as: 

A reasonably prudent person is an individual who uses good judgment or common sense in handling practical matters. The actions of a person exercising common sense in a similar situation are the guide in determining whether an individual’s actions were reasonable.

For instance, an average person should stop at a stop sign or keep their dog on a leash in public.

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The next step is to prove that the other party’s negligence caused your injury. Their negligence must connect to your injury somehow. Otherwise, the other party is not liable for your injuries.

Suppose a driver was negligently texting and driving. They cannot be blamed for an unrelated auto accident that happened across the street simply because they were driving negligently at the time of the accident if they had nothing to do with it (in other words, they did not cause the other accident).

Another part of the causation element looks at whether the at-fault party should have reasonably foreseen that their actions or inactions might cause an injury. This rarely happens—almost always, someone can prevent an accident.


The final element of a negligence claim is “damages.” This element requires that the judge or jury compensate the injured party for their injury. Without damages, there is not a claim for compensation. Compensation is typically money for expenses such as medical care, property repair, and pain and suffering.

Depending on the case, other monetary damages might include:

  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of consortium
  • Humiliation
  • Mental anguish, including depression and anxiety

Your Tampa personal injury attorneys must prove all four of these damages in order to prove a claim.

Tampa Auto Accident Injury Lawyer

Call or Text Your Auto Accident Lawyer and Personal Injury Attorney at 813-755-9500

No one wants to eliminate the enjoyment and happiness that the fall and holiday season brings to all of us. But it is easy to see how careless planning and failure to take common-sense precautions could lead to a tragedy that would overshadow any holiday joy. Following the simple steps outlined here can help you and your family genuinely enjoy a safe and fun-filled season.

Holidays are a fun time of year but also the most dangerous so it is important to be vigilant while having fun. After a record high few years of pedestrian accidents, this should be a priority for everyone.

When you are completely exposed to crash impact, an accident can result in devastating damage for you and just minimal damage to the car and driver. Your injuries and expenses after could be life-changing, and it is only right for you to want justice.

Many accident victims are unsure about whether or not to get an attorney, especially while going through such a hard and painful time. That is completely understandable, but lawyers know the legal side of recovering from accident losses, which can benefit you in some major ways. Hiring an attorney you trust can maximize your compensation, give you peace of mind, and help you return to your life.

Trial Attorney Martin J. Hernandez can build a legal case for you to hold the at-fault party responsible–not only for your financial losses, but for the pain and suffering you’ve had to go through. To learn more about what your claim might be worth, call or text us at (813) 755-9500 or find us online to set up your free consultation.

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