Common law Negligence, as my tort tutor always used to try to drum into me, is the breach of duty of care owed by the Defendant to the Claimant, resulting in damage undesired by the Defendant to the Claimant. On the face of it that’s simple enough: somebody has to cause the accident (duty, breach) and that accident has to cause the injury suffered by the Claimant (causation). An analysis of the tort of negligence can therefore be split into three parts:

  1. Duty
  2. Breach
  3. Causation

(We’ll also look at defences to common law negligence).

Over the next couple of weeks we’re going to focus on each of these elements in turn, looking at first at the whole of the tort of negligence. After having conducted this broad survey we’ll then look at how specific ‘areas’ of personal injury law incorporate these common law elements. However, as you will undoubtedly know, Parliamentary statute also plays a strong role in the determining of liability for negligence. We’ll also therefore be taking a look at how statute affects the duties and rights of parties to negligence and the inter-relation of the common law and statute.

So, stick around. Hopefully we’ll both learn something!

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