Negligence is a legal theory that a plaintiff must prove in order to hold an individual, group, or company legally responsible for the harm they suffered. This means that proving negligence in personal injury claims is crucial to pursuing compensation for the losses you suffered. If you are successful in establishing it, you could receive financial reimbursement for your medical expenses and lost income.
If someone has acted negligently and brought you harm, our Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorneys with El Dabe Ritter Trial Lawyers can help build your case and put you on the road to recovery.
Elements of a Negligence Claim
To win a personal injury lawsuit brought on the basis of negligence, you must prove the four elements of negligence. These are concepts used to show that the defendant, or the person who is allegedly at fault for your accident, acted negligently. The four elements include:
- Duty of Care
The first step in bringing a negligence claim is to examine whether or not the defendant owed you a legal duty of care, which means they are legally required to act in a way that will not bring you harm. In a medical malpractice case, for example, a doctor is expected to provide their patient with the accepted standard of medical care. Drivers are required to operate their vehicles with care too.
- Breach of Duty
Once you have established that the defendant owed you a duty of care, you must show that they breached this duty through their actions or inactions. You must convince the court that a reasonable person placed in the same circumstances would have acted differently.
Thirdly, you must show that the defendant’s breach of duty was the actual and direct cause of your injury. This is because you can only receive compensation if your losses are directly related to the defendant’s negligent actions. For example, if a drunk driver lost control of their vehicle and, in turn, hit you while you were crossing the road at a designated area, you may proceed with your case.
Finally, you must show the court that you suffered damages as a result of the accident. Commonly covered damages in personal injury cases include:
- Medical expenses
- Aftercare and rehabilitation
- Lost income
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
The defendant in your case may argue that you played a part in the accident. If you are found to have contributed in one way or another, your compensation amount could be reduced by a certain percentage. For example, if you are found to be 30% at fault for the accident, you may receive 70% of the initial award amount.
Should the defendant prove that you were 50% responsible for the accident, you will lose your eligibility for compensation.
Talk to a Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney
As already mentioned, proving negligence in personal injury claims is key to pursuing compensation for your accident injuries.
If you or a loved one has been injured due to someone else’s negligence, our Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorneys can help you recover your deserved compensation. Contact El Dabe Ritter Trial Lawyers today online or at 888-544-2136 to schedule your free initial consultation.