What is Negligence?
A negligent act occurs when one individual damages the person or property of another without any "intent" to injure. This may occur due to the carelessness of the first individual. For example, a driver who is careless, and causes an auto accident by failing to obey the traffic laws may be considered negligent and would be responsible for any damages caused to any person or property.
In order to prevail in a negligence action, the injured party needs to prove that the other party had a duty of reasonable care, did not maintain reasonable care, and that the failure to maintain such reasonable care resulted in injuries to the aggrieved party. For example, referring to the auto accident mentioned above, all drivers have the duty to operate their vehicle safely. If they fail to do so, and this failure injures any other person, or another's property, then they would meet all of the criteria to be held negligent and therefore accountable for and damages caused to the injured party.
The majority of negligent actions include slip and fall situations, motor vehicle accidents, products liability cases, and injuries resulting from the malpractice of a medical professional or institution.