In most personal injury claims, whether they arise from a slip-and-fall or a car accident, the basis by which a person or company can be held liable is that of negligence. Typically, when one acts carelessly and causes injuries to another person, they are legally liable for damages under the negligence theory. The basis for assessment and determination of fault is used in most accident cases during settlement negotiations and at a trial.
The Elements of Negligence Claims
To win a negligence-based case, a plaintiff must prove certain elements to demonstrate that the defendant’s actions were negligent. These elements include:
• A duty of care owed by the defendant
• A breach of that duty through the defendant’s actions or failure to act
• Proof that the defendant’s behavior caused the harm
• Proof that the plaintiff suffered harm because of the act
When assessing negligence claims, a personal injury attorney in Palm Springs CA must determine whether a duty is owed. In some cases, a plaintiff/defendant relationship may automatically create a duty. Alternatively, a defendant may owe a legal duty in certain situations, for instance, when one is required to drive a car safely and with due care.
Next, courts determine whether the duty was breached when a plaintiff did (or didn’t do) something a reasonable person would have done. The “reasonable person” standard represents how an average individual would act. Simply put, the defendant is likely to be deemed negligent if an average person in a similar situation would have acted differently and if they would have known that injury may result from their actions.
The next element requires the plaintiff to prove that the defendant’s acts caused their injury. Another aspect of the causation element examines whether a defendant could have predicted the outcome of their actions. If a defendant’s acts caused injury through an unexpected occurrence, the plaintiff’s injuries would be classed as unforeseeable.
Damages are the final part of a negligence case. This element requires the court to award monetary compensation for expenses such as auto repair and medical treatment.
Call a Lawyer
If a person is injured by someone else’s negligent actions, a legal claim may be a viable option, especially if the victim has missed work and they owe medical bills. The victim should consult a a personal injury attorney in Palm Springs, CA like Samuel F. Trussell, Attorney At Law, to learn more about their case’s merits.