Elements of a Negligent Tort

Subject: Law
Pages: 3
Words: 649
Reading time:
3 min
Study level: Master

A tort refers to a civil wrong while negligence is a state of having a “don’t care” attitude. Negligent tort refers to an act that is committed as a result of failure by an individual to act in a reasonable manner to another person to whom such an individual is required, under law, to owe a duty. In normal circumstances, negligent torts are not termed to be deliberate or intentional but rather arise as a result of injury due to a breach of duty. Some of the common negligent torts include cases involving medical malpractices, accidents that result from slipping, and car accidents. Under law, torts have been recognized to be civil wrongs, which can form, a basis of a law suit (Mallo et al, 2010).

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For any elements of a negligent tort to occur or happen, then a breach of duty arising from a known care of standard should prevail and, it must be ascertained that the actual harm that was caused to the plaintiff was a result of a breach of duty. The major purpose of suing for a tort is to provide relief to the plaintiff as a result of damages which were incurred. In addition, it serves as a lesson to others who may commit the same offense. However, some torts are also taken to be crimes which can be punishable through imprisonment of the concerned person or individuals. Both current and expected losses, which are expected to arise in future, may form the basis of the damages that a plaintiff may seek to recover coupled with damages which may lead to suffering and pain, loss of capability to earn and other medical expenses that are reasonable (Mallo et al, 2010).

There are three categories of torts namely negligent torts, intentional torts and strict liability torts. When an individual hits another person intentionally, then this will be termed as an intentional tort while accidents occurring as a result of one failing to follow the laid down traffic rules are referred to as negligent torts. Selling of defective products is deemed to be a strict liability tort. Where an individual fails to behave in a manner of care in which any prudent person could have done under normal circumstances, such a person is deemed to be negligent. Negligent torts, therefore, not only comprise of actions, but it also consists of omissions arising from failure of a person to act. When there is a duty to act and the person mandated to do so fail then a plaintiff is in a position to institute a negligent tort against the accused person (Shakespeare, 1600).

In order to institute a case for negligence tort (a prima facie) against the accused person, then five elements are normally needed. There should be the presence of a legal duty which is mandated with exercising reasonable care. On the other hand, there should be a strong failure of the accused person in exercising reasonable care (Whistleblower, n.d.). Physical harm arising from negligent conduct of the accused person can also form the basis of a prima facie against the accused individual. Any physical harm whether proximate cause or actual damages which indicate that the harm caused fell within the area of liability is also important. Several civil litigations have formed a basis of many negligence cases in which many plaintiffs have gone to court to sue for damages based on the injuries sustained, damage to property as a result of business miscalculations, and errors (Einstein, n.d).

It is, therefore, vital that people become responsible for their actions without expecting to be told or reminded (Sinclair, n.d.). This can best be summed by William Shakespeare’s quote that “Let every eye negotiate for its self and trust no agent” (Shakespeare, 1600). Most mistakes in the world have been due to the people who do not do anything about the world that has gone dangerous (Einstein, n.d).


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  3. Shakespeare, W. (Circa 1600). Much ado about nothing. Quote retrieved from Brainyquotes.com. BrainyMedia.com. Web.
  4. Sinclair, U. (n.d.). Quote. Web.
  5. Whistleblower. (n.d.). WordNet.com. Princeton University. Web.