Negligence Claim for Personal Injury

Title: Negligence

 

 

Introduction

In cases involving personal injuries, in establishing fault on another, the concept of negligence is relied upon. However, succeeding in such claims, the injured party is required to prove all the necessary elements that need to be present in negligence claims. Thus, in the present case, the paper intends to present the most appropriate advice to advise Payn in relation to the question whether he has any responsibility to Liz under the tort of negligence. Depending on whether he bears any responsibility, any remedy that Liz may be able to claim from him shall be explained.

Application

In the present case Payn, a member of the No Direction band is involved in an argument just before the event organized by Simon. Unfortunately, he is overwhelmed by emotions and leaves the stage during the performance. In his haste, he knocks over Liz at the front of the stage causing her to fall and break her wrist.

Assuming that Liz brings a claim on negligence, it would be important to establish if in causing Liz to break her list, whether Payn acted in such a manner that justify a claim of negligence being brought against him. The law has established that certain elements must be proved to establish a fault in negligence cases.  These elements are: i) The Existence of the duty of care, ii) breach of that duty of care, iii) injuries as a result of that breach and iv) some detrimental loss suffered due to that breach. In the present case, Payn may be in breach of the duty of care based on the concept of neighbor’s principle. This principle was established in Donoghue v Stevenson [1932] AC 562 whereby Lord Atkin pointed out that one must not cause injuries to his/her neighbor.  He explained that in law, a neighbor is someone who is likely to be directly affected by once actions and hence one ought to reasonably have them in contemplation as being affected when they are directing their mind to the acts or omissions which are called in question (Davies& Tomasin,1990). The effect of the above principle to the current case is that Payn ought to have acted with all reasonableness so as to avoid causing injuries to anyone.

The element of foreseeability as seen in Caparo Industries plc v Dickman [1990] 1 All ER 568 is of great essence in this case. Payn would be liable for negligence if it is shown that the harm caused to Liz was foreseeable. Negligence is more pronounced where a risk of harm is foreseen but nonetheless, nothing is done about it to prevent such harm from occurring. In such a cases liability due to negligence cannot be avoided. Therefore, Payn would not be liable if it is shown that the risk of causing injuries to Liz was unforeseeable. However, if the contrary is true, he is likely to bear responsibility for negligence.

In a close assessment of how the injuries were caused. The element of foreseeability is there. Payn ought to have foreseen that walking hastily without applying extra care in a crowded place was likely to cause injuries to others. Additionally, he would be solely liable for the injuries caused to Liz. This is because the concept of occupier’s liability cannot release him from the liability considering the circumstances of his case. The accident was not due to the fault on the part of the owner of the premises where the event was held. The law can sometimes impose liability on the occupier if an invitee is injured within his/her premises. However, such liability cannot be imposed in the current case since the injury cased to Liz was due to Payn's negligent act

"Barnett v Chelsea & Kensington Hospital Management Committee [1968] 1 all ER 1068" is a famous case that gave rise to the ‘‘but for’’ test. This test is applied where the court wants to determine causation of a certain negligent act ( Stauch, Tingle& Wheat ,1998). In the above case, a patient had died after receiving some treatment. It was established that the doctor had acted negligently in the process, but since it was certain that the patient would have died even if the doctor had not acted in a negligent manner, the court held that the doctor’s negligence was not the cause of death. To come up with these findings, the court applied the ‘but for’ test.

If the above test is applied to establish the cause of injuries cased to Liz, Payn would be held liable. This is because but for his negligent act of ‘‘hastily walking’’ out of the concert, Liz would not have broken her wrist.

Conclusion

Considering the facts presented in the case scenario, a duty of care existed, and Payn owed Liz a duty of care. The said duty of care is then breached where Payn walks hastily knocking down Liz and causing her to break her wrist. As a result, Liz suffers injuries which must cost her some monitory loss due to medical expenses. Assuming she is an employee, she may not be able to work as a result of the injuries suffered.

Having established the above, Payn is liable for negligence and is liable to pay both special and general damages. Special damages cater for monetary compensation while general damages take care of the nonmonetary compensation. The above-mentioned classes of damages would be sought by Liz seeking to have her placed in the position she was before the accident. Thus, Payn would be liable to compensate Liz for any expenses that she may have incurred as a result of the injury. Hence, the court may order him to cater for medical expenses as the special damages as well as compensation for pain and suffering by way of general damages which represents the non-monetary recoveries.

 

 

Bibliography

Cases

Donoghue v Stevenson [1932] AC 562

Caparo Industries plc v Dickman [1990] 1 All ER 568

Barnett v Chelsea & Kensington Hospital Management Committee [1968] 1 all ER 1068

Books

DAVIES, V. J., & TOMASIN, K. (1990). Construction safety handbook. London, Thomas Telford.

STAUCH, M., TINGLE, J., & WHEAT, K. (1998). Sourcebook on medical law. London [u.a.], Cavendish.

KORTMANN, J. (2005). Altruism in private law: liability for nonfeasance and negotiorum gestio. New York, Oxford, Oxford University Press.

NORTH, P. M. (2014). Occupiers' liability.

OKRENT, C. J. (2014). Torts and personal injury law.

WALSTON-DUNHAM, B. (2009). Introduction to law. Clifton Park, NY, Delmar Cengage Learning.

SHAPO, M. S. (2013). Shapo on the law of products liability.

KIDNER, R. (2012). Casebook on torts. Oxford, Oxford University Press.

 

 

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