1) Meaning :
Negligence is the breach of a duty caused by the omission which a reasonable man guided by those considerations which ordinarily regulate the conduct of human affairs would do or doing something which is a prudent and reasonable man would not do. According to Pollock, it consists of the objective standard of conduct of a reasonable man.
2) Definition –
Some of the Important definitions of Negligence are as follows
a) Prof Winfield –
According to professor Winfield Negligence is the breach of a legal duty to take care, which results in damage, undesired by the defendant to the plaintiff.
b) Baron Alderson-
Negligence is the omission to do something, which a reasonable man guided upon those considerations, which ordinarily regulate human affairs, would do or doing something, which a prudent or reasonable man would not do.
Theories of Negligence –
There are two theories of negligence as follows
1) Subjective theory
2) Objective theory
1) Subjective theory –
Sir John Salmond is the chief exponent of the subjective theory of negligence. this theory is also supported by professor Winfield. The subjective theory is based on ‘mens-rea’ (mental element) in the tortious liability. It is a state of mind or inadvertence as to conduct and consequence.
2) Objective theory –
The objective theory is based upon the view that the negligence is an independent tort. The main supporter of the objective theory is Sir Frederick Pollock. According to this theory, negligence is not a state of mind but a conduct which falls below the standard prescribed by law for protection of others against unreasonable risk of harm