Negligence has an important place in personal injury law as a legal theory applied in many types of cases in which an accident has occurred. Anyone who has observed or been party to a civil case involving injury, usually a car accident, can likely recall how important determining negligence is to the outcome of a case. The theory of negligence, which is the controlling theory in many civil cases, has reached even the highest court in the U.S.
There are several types of negligence used in courts across the nation. In Missouri, comparative negligence is the legal doctrine applied by courts. Comparative negligence is a more lenient theory of negligence when compared with contributory negligence, as it allows a plaintiff to collect damages even if they were partially at fault for their own injuries. In order for negligence to be established a court must evaluate the five elements of negligence against the facts of the case.