Personal injury lawsuits are of vital importance because they are structured to protect your rights if you have been gravely injured or maimed. One of the most common types of personal injury cases is negligence, and it can happen when an individual behaves in a manner that is not only illegal, but also dangerous to others. Furthermore, it is important that you understand what is involved in a negligence lawsuit, especially if you suspect that you or someone close to you has been injured due to someone’s criminal negligence.          

Negligence in Law

To begin with, let’s discuss how the law defines negligence. From a legal standpoint, negligence is when someone fails to exercise care toward others in a way that a prudent or reasonable individual would do during the same circumstances — or taking an action that said reasonable person would not. 

Negligence is also accidental and separate from intentional torts and crimes. Committing assault or trespassing are examples that would fall under the legal umbrella that defines intention. On the other hand, some crimes such as reckless driving can constitute negligence.

Negligence Cases Examples

Negligence cases examples include anything from someone driving over the speed limit and causing a car wreck, to a parent leaving a small child at home for prolonged periods of time, to a healthcare worker who injures a patient by giving them the wrong medication.   

Sometimes negligence cases examples aren’t so clearly defined. In Connecticut, there are four elements of negligence a plaintiff has the burden to establish before they can prove criminal negligence occurred in a personal injury case. The elements are as follows: 1) duty, 2) a breach of that duty, 3) causation and 4) damages. 

Breaking Down the Elements

This section has more details of the four elements that constitute negligence case examples.


Duty, in this sense, means the legal obligation between people. In general, people must demonstrate reasonable care so as not to put other people at an unreasonable risk of injury. For instance, when you drive on the road, you must demonstrate a statutory duty of care to people by obeying traffic laws. At the same time, you also have a common-law duty as a motorist to operate your vehicle in a cautionary, safe and responsible manner. 

Breach of Duty

Refers to a person who fails to uphold their legal duty by not following the standards described in the previous paragraph. 


Causation refers to when a person’s actions or inactions actually cause another’s injury. Additionally, in court it means that a defendant’s breach in a negligence lawsuit has been proven as the direct cause of the plaintiff’s damages. At that point, the defendant will be found liable for breach of legal duty.


Damages are what a plaintiff adversely undergoes after personal injury and can include pain and suffering, medical bills, property damage and more. Damages can also include punitive damages, which are additional damages that aren’t intended to reward the plaintiff for any losses or injuries. Instead, they are geared at punishing the defendant for reckless, wanton or outrageous conduct.  

Twenty-two states have no limits on punitive damages a plaintiff can receive. Connecticut, however, caps punitive damages at the costs of attorney fees and litigation. 

Modified Comparative Negligence

Connecticut follows modified comparative negligence doctrine. This signifies that in cases of modified comparative negligence, the court will allocate damages among the parties involved in negligence lawsuits. The doctrine also limits those who can recover damages to solely those who are less than half at fault for the accident. 

If the plaintiff’s negligence is no more than the defendant’s or a combination of the defendants’ negligence, then the plaintiff is still allowed to recover damages. If the court finds the plaintiff negligent, then damages are lowered according to the percentage of the said plaintiff’s negligence. 

Scotland, Connecticut Car Crash

Two people, including a former UConn Fire Captain, were injured in a serious car crash in Scotland on April 21. State police on the scene said one vehicle crossed into another vehicle’s lane. 

Emergency personnel responded to the scene just before 8 p.m. at the 300 block of Huntington Road in the rural town of Windham County. According to Fox 21 news, “Two Life Star helicopters were dispatched to transport the injured parties.”

UConn spokesperson Stephanie Reitz spoke about former Fire Captain Dana Barrow Jr saying, 

“Dana has dedicated himself personally and professionally to public service throughout his life, and is widely known for his huge heart and his kindness, sincerity and work ethic. His UConn family joins his many other friends and family throughout eastern Connecticut in wishing him a full and speedy recovery.”

Melissa Carducci-Brooks was charged with driving under the influence. The 40-year-old was also charged with failure to maintain insurance. 

Documentation of the injury

In negligence cases, as in all personal injury cases, documentation is extremely important. Be sure to collect all documentation related to the incident. This can include pictures related to your injury, medical bills, written and electronic correspondence, police report, voice mails, etc. Doing so helps your attorney review and build a solid case that can help prove criminal negligence was committed by the person that injured you. 

If you or someone close to you has been hurt in an accident involving negligence, you will need the assistance of an experienced attorney. Waterbury attorney Tim Moynahan and the Moynahan Law Firm have decades of experience with all types of personal injury accidents and wrongful death cases. You can call today to receive a FREE case evaluation and speak with one of the most respected personal injury lawyers in Connecticut. The Moynahan Law Firm are experts at handling negligence lawsuits, and we pride ourselves on helping those victimized by criminal negligence.

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