If you’re planning on filing a lawsuit, you probably have what you believe to be evidence that you were wronged in some regard. Understanding evidence, however, does take some real legal knowledge. In fact, you may find that, upon meeting with your attorney, they don’t really believe that the things you consider to be evidence […]
Police Sued Over Privacy Violations
CNN reported that a police department in Washington is facing a lawsuit over violating the rights of inmates. The reporting details that 11 women and 1 man are suing a police department over alleged instances where the inmates—who were all arrested on suspicion of drunk driving—were recorded while they were undressing and using the toilet. […]
Frivolous Lawsuits Get too Much Publicity
The idea behind a lawsuit is to give a person who was wronged because of another person’s negligence away to get compensated. This can include suing manufacturers for putting dangerous products out on the market when they should’ve known better, suing motorists who are prone to driving dangerously and end up hurting or killing someone […]
Dog Bites and Liability
Unfortunately, many dog owners are not responsible with their animals. In fact, it’s quite reasonable to argue that the biggest cause of dog bites has nothing to do with dogs, but with the people who are in charge of taking care of those dogs. There are differences on a state-by-state basis as to how much […]
Daycare Worker Arrested for Raping Children
For parents with children in daycare, a nightmare scenario seems to be unfolding in Ohio. According to NewsOK, a daycare worker has been arrested on two counts of rape. The woman, according to the article, had engaged in sexual conduct with an infant and made a video of herself doing it. Police claim that they […]
Class Action Against LinkedIn Reveals Importance of TOS
If you’ve gotten emails that appear to be from a friend of yours but that were actually from LinkedIn giving a pitch for the website, you’re not alone. In fact, a lawsuit has been filed against the business social networking website alleging that the company breaks into email accounts, uses the contact list to send […]
Can You Sue a Company for Mishandling Your Information?
Today, it’s not uncommon for companies with whom people do very casual business – cellular phone companies, Internet service providers, etc. – to have some very sensitive information about their clients. For example, Social Security numbers are routinely used as forms of identification and many companies require that information in order to open an account. […]
Why Do Personal Injury Attorneys Turn Down Cases?
There are instances when a personal injury attorney may turn down your claim. This may leave you wondering if there is any hope for justice but, keep in mind the fact that civil lawsuits are not really about justice; they’re about compensation. If you’ve been turned down as a client by an attorney, some or […]
How Do You Sue on Behalf of a Child
Some of the largest jury awards are actually handed out to children. These occur in cases involving medical malpractice during birth, car accidents that permanently damage a child and in other cases. Obviously, a child cannot enter into a contract or take any other legal action of their own accord. Parents are the ones who […]
What’s the Difference Between Negligence and Incompetence?
Knowing The Difference Between Negligence and Incompetence is Critical
There is a difference between the words negligence and incompetence. The word negligence is generally heard in legal proceedings when an attorney is trying to establish that their client somehow came to harm because of the negligent actions of a defendant. A defendant who is negligent may or may not be incompetent. A negligent action, however, does not need to be incompetent, nor does it need to be a sign of general incompetence.
The word incompetent simply means that a person does not posess the requisite skills to perform a given task. It doesn’t mean that the person is lacking in intelligence, is habitually careless or anything other than their lack of specific skills.
For example, a person may be a fully competent driver, but put them on a professional racetrack and they will instantly be exposed as being completely incompetent when it comes to driving a racecar. Incompetence is situational and related to the job being performed. A negligent doctor can actually be an incredibly accomplished physician and not incompetent in any regard. It’s important to understand this where lawsuits are concerned.
Negligence implies that somebody either failed to do something in a competent manner or a careful manner. A physician who was incompetent in delivering care, for instance, may be found to have been negligent by a jury. A physician who very competently delivered the wrong care, however, would also be likely to be found to have been negligent, if their patient were to have come to harm.
Negligence always takes into account the person being accused of it. For instance, using the above example with drivers, being able to perform the types of maneuvers that police officers, racecar drivers, EMTs and other professional drivers can perform is not expected of your average everyday driver. In such cases, you’ll commonly hear terms such as “a reasonable person” or “a normal person”. These might seem like rather subjective descriptions, but they refer to what can reasonably be expected of the average person in a given situation.
A perfectly competent driver may be outrageously negligent in a given situation. For example, a driver who gets behind the wheel drunk is being negligent. He may be an excellent driver, but driving intoxicated constitutes a negligent act. When you’re looking at lawsuits, remember that words are everything. Keep in mind that, simply because somebody was fully competent at their job, it doesn’t mean that they weren’t negligent in regards to how they made you come to harm.
It is always prudent to consult an attorney in serious legal matters. Most attorneys practicing injury law offer free consultation and in many cases, have contigency based fees.