What Is Negligence

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Negligence refers to conduct that falls below the standards established by law for the protection of others against unreasonable risk of harm. A person has acted negligently if he or she has departed from the conduct expected of a reasonable person acting under similar circumstances. In order to establish negligence as a Cause of Action under the law of torts, a plaintiff must prove that the defendant had a duty to the plaintiff, the defendant breached that duty by failing to conform to the required standard of conduct, the defendant's negligent conduct was the cause of the harm to the plaintiff, and the plaintiff was, in fact, harmed or damaged. The reasonable person standard provides a standard by which the conduct of others is judged and it distinguishes negligence from intentional torts, such as assault and battery.

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