Term of the Day – Negligence
The Workers Comp term for today talks about the different definitions of negligence. I was taught this definition a long time ago and it has always stuck with me. Negligence= duty owed + duty breached – contributory.
Dictionaries define it as “the failure to use reasonable care, resulting in harm to another.” It is basically used to get compensation for injuries and damages from someone who fails to protect another person from avoidable harm.
There are many different types
- Contributory Negligence, which I used in my definition, bars the plaintiff from recovering any damages if they are found in any way to be responsible for causing their own injuries, even if the defendant was negligent as well.
- States are either Contributory or Comparative Negligence jurisdictions. In Comparative , it is first decided how much fault each person has. The amount of damages is then portioned out between them, each paying only their ratio of fault. For example, if the plaintiff is found to be responsible for 10% of their own injuries, the defendant is required to pay the remaining 90% of the damages.
The basic definition of Workers Compensation insurance removes most negligence with a workers compensation injury. The employer cannot say that an injured employee was contributory negligent to deny or diminish benefits. The injured employee cannot pursue legal action outside of the Workers Comp claim against the employer – better known as exclusive remedy. However, this does not remove possible responsible third parties from negligence.
Update 2018 – Wisconsin just ruled that employers can be held negligent in Workers Compensation.