The term negligence can be used as a legal term to refer to the way harm or damage was inflicted on a wronged party in a court case. It is common for personal injury cases to involve cases of negligence. This is because negligence can cause damage and harm to others, who can then seek out compensation for the harm they endured due to that negligence. 

What is Negligence?

negligence definition

Negligence is a noun that refers to the failure to exercise reasonable caution and care. It has to do with what is expected from a prudent person in any circumstance. A prudent person is someone with reason and discernment that can exercise a reasonable sense of caution.

For example, a reasonable person would put up a sign if a staircase was dangerous, not wanting anyone to use the stairs and get injured. But someone who is negligent might not exercise this reasonable amount of caution and might not bother putting up a sign to warn others of the danger.

Someone could get injured due to this person's negligence, and if that happens, the injured party could sue the negligent party for monetary compensation.

So, in legal terms, negligence is a word used when describing an allegedly negligent party, whose lack of reasonable caution and forethought caused harm to another. 

The Prudent-Person Rule

You may hear the term "prudent person" a lot when learning about cases of negligence. A prudent person is actually a legal term and refers to a legal principle known as the prudent-person rule. 

The prudent-person rule can also be known as the prudent investor rule, as the term can sometimes be used in finances as well. 

The prudent-person rule began as the prudent man rule in the 1830s. It is a principle that refers to what is expected in a court of law from any prudent, or reasonable person. It outlines that the average person should exercise prudence, or discretion, wisdom, and forethought.

In finances, this principle often refers to how an investor should make investment choices as an average person, as if they were managing their own investment portfolio. 

In a negligence case, this principle might refer to the idea that the negligent party should have exercised average caution as a prudent person to prevent harm to others. 

prudent person definition

Negligence Definition in Law

You might find a slightly different negligence definition in law then you would in everyday life. In the day to day, this word could be used to describe someone who was careless in a harmless way, but in law, this word describes individuals and entities that were careless in harmful ways.

These harmful instances of negligence can result in lengthy settlement cases where harmed individuals can seek compensation. This compensation can then help pay for expenses like medical bills or treatment that the harmed parties may need due to that negligence. 

But what does it mean to be negligent in the eyes of the law and what might that entail? The negligence definition in law refers to a failure to exercise a reasonable level of care and caution for others. An act of negligence may include a purposeful act, or a unconscious one. It can also include acts of omission, where rather than committing an act of negligence, an act of caution was not taken. 

In Conclusion,

If you have been subject to harm due to someone else's negligence, then you may be able to seek out compensation for the harm and damage that was done. Most likely, you will want to seek out a personal injury attorney who can help you with this particular kind of case.