Generally, acts of negligence involve relationships recognised at law in which a reasonable person would consider that a party is required to take care and skill to avoid causing harm to another, such as the relationship between:
- a principal and agent;
- employer and employee;
- professional service provider and client; or
- occupier of premises and visitors to those premises.
The harm caused by a negligent act or omission needs to be reasonably foreseeable and sufficiently connected to that act or omission. These factors are assessed by the court on a case by case basis. For example, damages payable by a party could be reduced because the harmed party was either aware of a risk or contributed to the damages suffered. A defendant may also be able to claim that another person was wholly or partially responsible for the damages caused, such as the manufacturer or seller of a product sharing liability with the installer of the product. Therefore, negligence actions involve a degree of uncertainty due the relevance of the particular circumstances to the outcome and it is particularly important to considered the applicable circumstances before providing advice.
Some jurisdictions have modified the principles applicable to negligence law with respect to the standards required or damages available in an effort to limit negligence litigation. For example, the Civil Liability Act 2002 (WA) imposes an additional requirement that the risk of damages not be insignificant and also caps certain damages like damages due to personal injury.
The general time limitation for commencing negligence actions is 6 years. However, personal injury claims need to be made within 3 years of the event.
Rowe Bristol Lawyers is experienced in providing legal advice and services in relation to negligence actions, including:
- considering the circumstances of the matter and assessing prospects of success in the circumstances;
- calculating the damages suffered due to the negligent conduct;
- representing the client with respect the negligence proceedings; and
- liaising with the other party or its insurer with respect to settlement of the matter.
If you require legal advice in relation to negligence actions, please contact us to arrange a meeting so that we may consider your specific circumstances.
The above information is provided as general information only and should not be relied upon as legal advice. The accuracy of this information may have changed from the date when it was published.
Please note that Rowe Bristol Lawyers does not represent clients with respect to personal injury matters, but we are happy to refer you to specialist practitioners where applicable.