Liability and negligence are two terms frequently used in personal injury cases in courts of law. Compensation a victim receives often depends upon the ability of their attorney to conclusively prove that the injury was a result of either negligence or an act of commission by someone that increased the likelihood of the accident causing injury. These are closely related concepts; if the attorney can convince the jury about the responsibility of a person, company, or event in connection with the injury to their client, they can certainly get a decent compensation amount for the victim. Let’s explore the differences between liability and negligence.
- Responsibility can be direct, as in liability, or indirect, as in the case of negligence.
- Liability is mostly an act of commission, whereas negligence is an act of omission.
- Negligence leads to liability; if a mishap can be proved to have taken place because of an act of someone, that person can be charged with liability.
For example, if a doctor ignores certain symptoms and administers a drug that leads to an adverse reaction causing the death of their patient, they can be charged with negligence in duty. A factory owner who does not pay attention to wear and tear in a machine and does not get it serviced or parts replaced can be charged with negligence if the machine gives way and any worker is injured in the process. If, on the other hand, you were hurt while driving your car because of another person’s rash driving, they can be made to pay compensation to you for your injuries and mental harassment, as well as damages to your car. Thus, it is clear that negligence is the opposite of liability in the sense that a person is charged with doing something that leads to an accident in the case of liability, and not taking proper action in time to prevent a mishap leads to being charged with negligence.
Negligence can lead to liability. If someone causes a car accident leading to severe injuries to another person and they are found driving while drunk, it is clear that it is a case of negligence, as the careless conduct of the driver led to a situation that caused the mishap. If a doctor, in a hurry, does not apply stitches to an injured person properly, these stitches may give way, causing a lot of trouble for the victim. The doctor can be held guilty on counts of negligence, as their inability to perform their duty diligently caused suffering for the patient.