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What is Negligence?
We often hear the term ‘negligence’ in our daily routines; but the meaning might not always be the same. The traditional definition on Google for negligence is ‘failure to take reasonable care of something that may result in a loss’, but that’s not all.
The legal definition of negligence involves a lot more complications than just failure to take reasonable care. Negligence in law means the person has neglected the needs of another person and in turn has caused them harm or loss. When the case is brought to court, the person who was neglected becomes the plaintiff against the defendant he is wishing to sue for negligence.
To prove negligence against a person, there must be four essentials elements:
While evaluating negligence, the initial step is to hope to see whether the defendant owed the plaintiff a legitimate duty of care. In certain conditions, the connection between the plaintiff and the defendant may make a legitimate obligation.
Breach of Duty
Next, the court will see whether the defendant breached this duty by doing (or not accomplishing something) that a sensible person would do under comparable conditions. This is also called negligence of duty, which gives a benchmark of how a person should be behaving in a normal circumstance. Expressed just, the defendant probably will be discovered negligent if the normal individual, comprehending what the respondent knew at that point, would have realized that somebody may have been harmed because of their activities – and would have acted uniquely in contrast to the defendant in that circumstance.
The third component necessitates that the plaintiff show that the defendant’s carelessness really caused them physical harm. Of course, somebody may be acting negligent, yet the offended party can possibly recuperate if this negligence by one way or another causes the injury. For instance, it wouldn’t be reasonable to sue somebody who was carelessly messaging and driving for an absolutely disconnected minor collision that happened right over the road – on the grounds that the driver was careless.
Another part of this component is whether the defendant could sensibly have anticipated that their activities may cause an injury. On the off chance that the defendant’s activities by one way or another caused the plaintiff injury through an arbitrary, sudden demonstration of nature, the injury would in all probability be esteemed unforeseeable – and the defendant won’t be found guilty.
The last component of negligence is damages. This element necessitates that the court have the option to repay the offended party for their physical damage- ordinarily through money related remuneration for costs, for example, clinical consideration or property fix.
There are several routine examples of criminal negligence that you could be sued for if you’re not careful. Here are some of the most common examples of negligence.
- A father who leaves a young toddler alone in the house to go out and have a couple of drinks with his friends could face charges for criminal negligence.
- A person who drives 40 miles over the speed limit in a really dangerous way and who causes a car accident and injures someone could be charged with criminal negligence.
- A teenager who breaks texting-and-driving laws and who is typing a text message when she gets into a car accident and kills someone could be considered criminally negligent.
- A nurse in a nursing home who forgets to feed a patient who needs help to eat, causing the patient to starve to death, could be considered criminally negligent.
- A caregiver in a hospital who isn’t paying attention and who gives someone a deadly dose of a medication could be considered criminally negligent.
- A doctor who prescribes addictive drugs to a known drug addict because the doctor gets paid for his or her services could be considered criminally negligent.
Negligence Examples in Nursing
Nursing and healthcare is a profession that has direct dealing with the lives of human beings, and even the loosest negligence can cost them their lives. There are many examples of negligence in nursing, and some of which have been brought to court as well.
- Failure to prevent patient falls, for example after anaesthetic or painkillers are taken or due to incorrect application of hoists.
- Failing to report observations to doctors or communicate important changes in a patient’s status.
- Cannulating wrist veins without knowing the anatomy of the wrist, or failing to check and ensure cannula is inserted correctly.
- Failure to notice the leaking of intravenous fluids containing iron, calcium, chemotherapy drugs resulting in necrosis or permanent staining of the arm.
- Incorrect insertion of naso-gastric tubes and failure to check the tube is in the stomach before feeding causing aspiration pneumonia and possible death.
- Failing to recognise surgical site infections or signs of sepsis.
- Failing to provide alternating pressure air mattresses to prevent pressure ulcers, risking the need to amputate lower limbs if left unattended.
- Failing to provide one-on-one staff for patients with dementia who may then climb, wander and fall.
- Premature or inappropriate discharge from hospital or care.
These may seem like ordinary things that happen in the hospital, but negligence can cause people their lives or result in a major health crisis. It is important to be very careful while handling healthcare instruments, especially that new interns or trainees should always work under the supervision of experienced, senior doctors.
Negligence can either be intentional or unintentional, where a person may not be very careful with how they handle things, but the result can be deadly. The victims of negligence often suffer severe physical injuries and other damages, which is why they bring cases against the defendants to the court in the hope to find justice.
Sometimes the defendants are rightfully punished, but sometimes, cases of negligence often hang dry when it comes to serving justice.