Negligence And Insurance
What Does Negligence Mean In Insurance?. One definition of tort is that of a wrong committed by one person against another for which the law provides a civil remedy in the form of damages.
Some easily visualized examples of torts are: assault and battery, trespass, conversion, defamation, and malicious destruction of property. These are all considered intentional torts.
The most common form of a tort is the one committed unintentionally. It is a wrong that is committed because of negligence not intent.
What does negligence mean in insurance? Several statutes define negligence through wrongful death statutes, the Jones Act, dramshop liability statutes, and more, but most of the law of negligence is defined more based on common law rather than statutory.
The definition is based on the reported opinions of courts that have decided similar points in the past rather than definitions rendered through legislative enactment.
It is a firmly established rule of the common law that every person's conduct is to be such as to avoid injury to the person or the property of another.
This article will review some of the basic elements that impinge on the question of negligence as it relates to liability in insurance.
Because the laws in this area are subject to change and in many instances flow out of judicial findings, the status of some of these issues will be changed over the years through both judicial and legislative actions.
So to be sure you have the most current information, please check the current status of these doctrines your own state, or states your business operations in.
What does negligence mean in insurance? Learn about this important business insurance principal, and how someone is found finically responsible when someone or something was injured or damaged.
Below are some answers to commonly asked insurance negligence questions:
- What Is The Definition Of Negligence In Insurance
- What Is Meant By Degree Of Care Regarding Negligence?
- What Is An Attractive Nuisance?
- What Is Contributory Negligence?
- What Is Comparative Negligence?
- What Is The Difference Between Comparative Negligence & Contributory Negligence?
- What Does 'Res Ipsa Loquitur' Mean Regarding Negligence?
- What Is The difference Between Strict And Absolute Liability?
- What Is A Negligent Tort?
- What Is An Employer's Liability For Negligent Employee Acts?
- What Is Vicarious Liability?
What Is The Definition Of Negligence In Insurance?
Negligence definitions may vary by case law but are generally defined by such terms as the "failure to exercise care," or "failure to do what a reasonable person would have done under the circumstances" or "doing something which a reasonable person would not have done under the circumstances."
Of course these definitions require even further definition in order to determine the type of care that should have been exercised and what exactly would a reasonable person do in the particular circumstances.
In a tort liability situation, even though a person has committed negligence or acted negligently so as to cause an injury to the person or property of another, that person will not be held liable for the damages of the latter unless that negligence was the proximate cause of the damages.
This means that it is not sufficient merely to show that an injury was caused by the actions of a second party. The mere fact that there was an accident does not in itself establish a presumption of negligence.
What does negligence mean in insurance? In almost every instance, the person claiming damages must prove the negligence of the other, and that the proven negligence was the direct or proximate cause of the injury or the damages.
This means that the question of whether or not there was negligence is often the question of fact that must be resolved by a court.
What Is Meant By Degree Of Care Regarding Negligence?
The duty owed depends on the particular circumstances of the case. Thus, a person owes a greater degree of care to someone who has been invited to a premises (an invitee) than to a trespasser.
Some states distinguish between the degree of care owed to business guests or invitees and that owed to social guests to whom a lesser degree is required. If the person's premises is readily accessible to children, there may be a requirement for greater care to them than to adults.
Courts in some jurisdictions are rejecting the distinctions among invitees, licensees and trespassers and are substituting foreseeability and reasonable care as a basis for determining liability. The degree of care required depends on the nature of the activities conducted by the individual or firm, and the type of product being handled.
A higher degree of care is expected from one who keeps a lion on premises than from another who has a house cat. Similarly, a person who manufactures a motorcycle is expected to take more precautions to prevent its causing injury than the person who manufactures office supplies.
The degree of care expected in each instance is commensurate with the risk involved. For example:
- Because Ariel and Lana were on a public sidewalk, their degree of care was the same.
- If the accident occurred in a store owned by Lana, Lana would have a very high degree of care for Ariel because she would be a customer and an invitee.
- If Ariel was a vendor at Lana's store, the degree would be less because she would be on his premises for her own interests as well as Lana's.
- If Ariel entered the store after hours, Lana would have very little degree of care because Ariel would be a trespasser.
The location of an accident and the relationship of the parties involved in the accident help to determine negligence.