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North Dakota Negligence Laws

According to the legal theory of negligence, an individual is held liable (or financially responsible) for any injuries caused by either doing something or failing to do something in a reasonable manner. An "injury," by the way, can include financial loss, emotional distress, and other wrongs caused by the negligent individual's act (or lack of action). For example, a motorist who slams into another driver while sending a text message on her phone -- causing injuries -- has not acted like a reasonable person and would be held liable for these injuries.

Negligence Law in North Dakota at a Glance

General information on how North Dakota handles negligence claims is listed in the following chart. See FindLaw's Negligence section for more articles.

Elements of a Negligence Case

A plaintiff must be able to prove the following five elements in order to collect damages for injuries resulting from the defendant's negligence:

  1. Defendant owed a duty to commit an act or refrain from committing an act
  2. Defendant breached this duty
  3. This breach of duty caused injury to the plaintiff
  4. Defendant's actions (or inactions) were the proximate cause of the injury (the defendant should have known that this action could have caused injuries)
  5. Plaintiff suffered actual damages (i.e., lost wages, hospital bills, suffering, etc.)
Code Section §32-03.2-02
Comparative Negligence -
Contributory Negligence-Limit to Plaintiff's Recovery

Contributory fault does not bar recovery in an action by any person to recover damages for death or injury to person or property unless the fault was as great as the combined fault of all other persons who contribute to the injury, but any damages allowed must be diminished in proportion to the amount of contributing fault attributable to the person recovering.

(If plaintiff's negligence is greater then 50%, recovery is completely barred).

Contribution Among Tortfeasors Yes; §§32-38-01 to 04
Uniform Act 32-38-01 to 04

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the enactment of newly signed legislation, higher court decisions, and other means. While we strive to ensure the accuracy of these pages, you also may want to contact a North Dakota personal injury law attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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North Dakota Negligence Law: Related Resources

Your Next Move: Get a Free Case Review

Negligence laws cover both personal injuries as well as damage to property. If you've suffered either and believe that someone else was at fault or are not clear whether anyone was at fault, you may be able to recover money for your losses. However, these types of cases can often turn on the smallest of details. That's why it's critical to speak with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible to review your case and protect your rights. Speak with a North Dakota personal injury attorney today for a free case review and to understand your options going forward.

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