Negligence and How to Avoid It
Negligence here costs lives and limbs.
What causes the most accidents?
Negligence is what causes accidents. Even our own little accidents are caused by our own negligence. A slip and fall in a bathtub is somehow caused by our own negligence. Yes it often takes two to tango in this world or accidents. Let us look at avoiding accidents in our lives.
Please stop multitasking. Multitasking is the leading cause of modern day accidents.Please do not text or talk on the phone when you should be doing something else or are doing something else.
The easiest way to get this message across is to look at "distracted" driving. Please see this if you are confused: http://www.ntsb.gov/doclib/fact_sheets/PED_Ban_Fact_Sheet.pdf But the point here is in general. Being distracted in doing one thing can lead to disastrous unintended results. If you stay in the moment and take care of the business at hand you are 10 times more likely NOT to have an accident or cause one to someone else. Or to say it in the inverse, you are ten times more likely to cause an accident when you are distracted. See the National Safety Council statistics and you will see that we are being conservative here.
(here is a fun one -- if you are talking on the phone and doing something else -- we estimate that you are 100 times more likely to say something stupid. That does not bode well for good business practices. Our favorite is when talking to a business associate and driving we blurt out "oh shit" as we miss our turn off)
Are you negligent?
Do you put everything back where it belongs after using it?
This hub is not meant to make you worry,,,,, or is it?
Negligence is all around us. But somehow it does not cause accidents most of the time. Let us use the toy left on the floor in the kitchen. Let us call it a child's ten inch truck.Someone accidentally steps on that toy and goes flying to the floor and we have a broken hip.
Nobody steps on that toy and we have no problem. We really had a duty to pick up that toy. And people walking around with a child in the house have a duty to watch where the walk.
DUTY. We have a duty to conduct ourselves using reasonable care to protect ourselves and others from injury. Reasonable care means under the circumstances. (here is a fun concept in Latin: "Res gestae" or the circumstances surrounding. Note; terms used here are not the legal definitions but rather common sense applications)
BREACH. We fall below the above duty when we do not use reasonable care. Driving drunk is not reasonable care and skateboards left out where the postman walks up to your mailbox is not reasonable care. Not paying attention to what you are doing is also not reasonable care.
Hopefully from above you can see that a slip and fall is caused normally by someone leaving something where it does not belong and someone else not taking care of where they are walking. So pick stuff up and watch where you place your foot.
No I am not negligent that this rose has thorns.
For you to be liable two things must happen.
First your negligence must be the cause of something. Really now simple negligence is all around us but because we take care it does not cause any problem. In a store somebody drops and cooking oil glass container and oil goes all over the floor. And it sits there even after the poor fellow tells a clerk. Clearly a duty to clean it up. And clearly a breach of duty not to clean it up. And a beautiful school teaching mom does not see it and steps in it and almost falls but does not. Nothing was caused by the negligence so no liability. Unless her husband get pissed off and hits someone.
Second is that there must be an injury. Say our school teaching mom slips but her burly husband catches her and no one is hurt at all. (yes I know - except for the clerk he knocked out) No injury was caused by the negligence and so no liability ensues or attaches to that negligence.
Believe me I tried to make that as non legalistic as I could. But in this litigious society perhaps they sue. But that is for another discussion. The point here is that even though "the store" was negligent there is no liability in either scenario.
Note that in this case even if no one told the store if in stays on the store floor for an extended time the store is responsible for any injury even though they did not know. Stores have sweep logs and that is why you see employees with those dust mops walking the isles even though they hardly seem to be doing anything. They are quarter hourly checking for spills and such. No checking and liability sets in because it is reasonable for them to do so.
Talk about: not a care in the world!
So do not do the following
Leave stuff laying around where it does not belong,
Drive while distracted.
Leave a swimming pool open for children and idiots.
Play with fire.
Drain you excess water onto your neighbor's property.
Leave spills just laying around on the floor.
Leave electrical wiring open to tough or in wet areas.
Shoot guns other than at ranges or hunting.
Be drunk all the time -- or high.
Let your children do any of the above.
Leave the room while cooking.
Have slippery floors in your bathroom and shower or tub.
Specifically this was not meant to be legal.
We tried here to make this as simple as possible but truth be told most of the good stuff about negligence comes from the law. Dierker Consultancy has spent many years advising people how to act so as not to be negligent. The goal is to prevent personal or property loss. The area of expertise is generally known as risk management and it means just like it sounds.
There are two guiding forces: Insurance and the Law. So if you are concerned in any such matter consult and attorney or your insurance carrier. Or better yet a risk management expert. You can read more about these folks here: http://www.primacentral.org/ You can find all you want to about the law through the Restatement of Torts Second published by ALI and found here: http://www.ali.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=publications.ppage&node_id=120 .
Now go make it a carefree world.
Do not accidentally steal my stuff!
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