Sep 18, 2012


Negligence is the breach of a legal duty to take care which results in damage to another, in other words Negligence is lack of proper care and attention or careless behavior. The Black’s Law dictionary on the other hand defines Negligence as the failure to exercise the standard of care that a reasonably prudent person would have exercised in a similar situation.

There are 3 elements that constitute negligence, which include;
i. A legal duty owed by A to B.
ii. A breach of that legal duty.
iii. Consequential damage to B which can be attributed to A’s conduct.

The principle of a legal duty or duty of care provides that one is liable for any of his actions which cause harm to his neighbour whether he intended to or not. This means that one must take reasonable care to avoid acts or omissions which you can reasonably foresee would be likely to injure your neighbour. The core idea of negligence is that people should exercise reasonable care when they act by taking account of the potential harm that they might foreseeably cause harm to other people

Who then is my neighbor you may ask?, your neighbor is any person who is so closely and directly affected by your action. The test for determining negligence is objective and depends on the principle of reasonableness, which means the question “what will a reasonable person in such situation do?”, is asked in other to determine negligence, thus each case is determined in the light of its own peculiar facts.

Any person who suffers damage from the negligent act of another and who is able to prove such negligence will be entitled to damages. Through civil litigation, if an injured person proves that another person acted negligently to cause his injury, he can recover damages to compensate for his harm. Proving a case for negligence can potentially entitle the injured plaintiff to compensation for harm to their body, property, mental well-being, financial status, or intimate relationships.