What is the Missouri Negligence Law?
Negligence is careless conduct that can affect anyone at any time. Assume you are jogging on the sidewalk and a reversing car collides with you. Was the driver negligent, or were you? Assuming you were severely hurt that day, can you prove that the driver was negligent and claim compensation for the injuries? What if the driver proves that you were negligent as well, will you receive any compensation? That’s what negligence laws are made for!
Negligence Law Definition
Negligence is more than careless conduct. As per the negligence law definition, it is the failure to take proper care that results in damage or injury to someone. It is not doing something a reasonable person would do, and doing something a reasonable person would not do in a situation. Whether negligence exists, is decided in a courtroom by a judge or the jury. As per the negligence laws by state, the person who has suffered the injury, called the plaintiff has a legal responsibility to prove that injury was caused by the negligence of the defendant.
As per the negligence laws definition, there are four terms of negligence that the plaintiff has to prove to be eligible to claim for injury.
- Duty is a simple legal obligation. The defendant must have owed a duty to the plaintiff.
- A breach is a violation of the duty. The defendant must have breached his /her duty in order for the plaintiff to claim negligence
- The breach of duty must have caused harm to the plaintiff which otherwise wouldn’t have happened.
- The plaintiff must have suffered harm or injury in order to sue the defendant for negligence.
The negligence law definition holds true in every state of the U.S. Though the definition is the same, the negligence laws by state differ from one state to another.
Negligence Law Missouri
In the U.S., every state follows the comparative negligence laws and only a handful of states follow the contributory negligence laws. The negligence laws Missouri do not recognize the legal doctrine of contributory negligence. As per Missouri negligence law, if the plaintiff is partially responsible or is in fault for the injuries suffered, he or she is entitled to claim damages proportionate to the defendant’s percentage of fault. Negligence law Missouri recognizes the comparative negligence laws.
Consider the example stated above. As per the contributory negligence laws Missouri, if you are the plaintiff who has suffered an injury while jogging, you can file a lawsuit against the driver, the defendant. The punishment for negligence in Missouri depends on the severity of the injury. The compensation also varies accordingly. But if the defendant proves that you own a part of the fault, say 25%, then as per the Missouri negligence law, you are entitled to only 75% of the compensation for injuries.
The negligence laws by state differ from one state to another, but the punishment for negligence in Missouri is in accordance with the rest of the states in the U.S.
Punishment for Negligence in Missouri
The punishment for negligence in Missouri for breaking the negligence laws by state is any or all of the following.
- Jail term for a specified period
- Court fees and fine
- Suspension or revocation of a license
The punishment varies according to the severity of the offense. If your negligence has caused death to another person, then as per Missouri negligence law, it is either a class C felony or a Class E felony.
Class C felony refers to involuntary manslaughter in the first degree. Involuntary manslaughter means the person had no intention of killing another. The death was a result of carelessness or negligence. As per Missouri negligence law, the punishment for a Class C felony is a fine up to $10,000 and three to ten years in prison. As for class E felony which refers to criminal negligence, the court can impose a fine of up to $10,000 and punishable up to four years in prison.