Many injured persons, potentially guided by a personal injury lawyer, could be contemplating whether to sue for negligence or not. The answer to this question is in the affirmative. However, for your personal injury lawsuit, founded on negligence, to succeed, you must demonstrate that the defendant owed a legal duty of care and that the defendant breached the same. A personal injury lawyer can be crucial in helping any injured person who wishes to institute legal action for gross negligence understand its full import and purport to successfully prove negligence.
Essential Elements of a Negligence Suit
Whereas it could be easy to talk about instituting a negligence claim, various elements must be established for such a claim to be successful. These elements are: the existence of a duty of care, breach of that duty by the defendant, causal link also known as causation and the claimant must have sustained some damage. These elements are global and apply in California as well as other parts of the world. They are also mutually sequential. Each of these elements is subsequently addressed.
Duty of Care
The element of duty of care is the first element to be established by a claimant in a negligence claim. This element places a legal responsibility on every person to take care not to harm any person, termed as neighbor in law, whom they can reasonably foresee having the said harm. This element is key being among those which ought to be established at preliminary stages.
Breach of Duty of Care
Upon establishment of the element of duty of care, it is upon the affected party to demonstrate that there is a breach of the said duty. This breach is established by first establishing that there is a duty of care and that despite its existence, the defendant proceeded without caution to cause harm to the victim. The standard test for breach of duty of care is that of objective test; a reasonable man’s test.
Upon establishing the first two elements aforesaid, the claimant must demonstrate that the defendant’s breach directly resulted in the damage sustained. The element of causation is both in the actual and legal sense. Thus, there is both the legal proximal cause and for test used to denote the actual or factual causation. The factual causation assesses the defendant’s action or inaction that resulted in the contemplated damage sustained by the complainant. Legal causation is assessed by taking into account various factors of course on reasonableness.
Harm Sustained Resultant from Breach
Upon establishing the preceding three elements, it is apparent that the claimant must have sustained harm that is directly attributable to the defendant. This element must be established for the negligence claim to be successful. The aspect of harm takes various forms such as physical, psychological or mental harm.
Factors to take into account while instituting a negligence suit in California.
There are various defences available to the tort of negligence. The defences available are many and the same are the major setbacks against negligence suit. Californian jurisdiction uses the doctrine of comparative negligence. This aspect of comparative negligence is also known as contributory negligence. If the claimant has some contribution to the harm sustained would mean that the claim would be diminished to the extent of contribution.
Negligence being a tort is subject to statutory timelines popularly referred to as statute of limitations. The claimant must institute a suit within specific timelines provided in the law. Failure to institute a negligence suit within the specified timelines would render the suit almost defective for want of timelines.
Immunity for Governmental Institutions
There are various immunities that government institutions and officers have pertaining to the tort of negligence and no successful suit can be instituted in the pendency of such circumstances. Where such immunities exist, the institution of a suit in the form of a tort of negligence could be challenging.
The aspect of Contributory Negligence
The aspect of comparative negligence in California connotes that even though there could be the contribution of negligence on the part of the claimant, the latter would still be the one entitled to damages. Noteworthy, however, the proportion of damages is reduced proportionately by the level of contribution. This is the position that is well captured under Section 1714(a) of the California Civil Code which obligates all persons to restrain their conduct that may harm others whom they can foresee.
Following a personal injury in California, the victim should contact an attorney for proper legal representation. Contact Big Ben Law to ensure you get the best legal representation. We are ready to address your claim with the attention required.
Like in many other jurisdictions, negligence claims in California necessitate a comprehensive presentation of evidence to establish liability and quantify damages. The quality and applicability of the evidence offered, as well as the reliability of the expert witnesses, are frequently critical factors in the success of such claims. Both plaintiffs and defendants must rely on a range of evidence and expert testimony to prove these factors.
Accurate assessment and quantification are necessary for both economic and non-economic damages. Expert testimony regarding the degree of the plaintiff’s damages may be requested from financial experts, medical professionals, and other specialists.
The Judicial System
The courts are the neutral arbiters that adjudicate disputes arising from negligent suits. Due diligence must be put in place to ensure that everyone gets the right procedure in following up the suit as instituted. Get in touch with Big Ben attorneys to ensure that you get the best representation for your negligence suit.
Upon establishing the preceding elements of negligence aforesaid, the claimant is eligible to get one or a combination of the following damages:
Pecuniary Damages. This category of damages is meant to cater for special damages incurred in treatments, lost wages and property damage.
Non-Monetary Damages: these are damages aimed at ensuring that losses that cannot be quantified are settled.
Retributive Damages: these are damages that are aimed at curbing the recurrence of condemned conduct in future.
Why Retain an Attorney
Given the intricacy of the legal system and the possible ramifications, legal counsel is essential in negligence lawsuits in California as well as in any other jurisdictions. Competent attorneys are key in ensuring that necessary and viable evidence is produced in legal proceedings. Furthermore, a personal injury attorney helps in arranging how each piece of proof is to be produced. An experienced personal injury attorney must be an expert in personal injury law and should assist you in establishing negligence. Personal injury lawyer must be thorough in their work when proving negligence. They must show that a reasonable person could not have done what the defendant did.
Promoting Out of Court Settlement
Attorneys are key in prompting parties to effect alternative dispute resolution instead of passing through the legal system. This step helps in cost-cutting and in ensuring that parties retain autonomy in resolving their issues while reaching an amicable solution.
Understanding the Court system and the Variety of Damages
Legal experts are good at not only ensuring that legal processes are followed but also advising on the nature of damages available in any given claim.
Ensuring Compliance with the Statute of Limitations
As discussed in the foregoing, torts are time-bound and governed by the statute of limitations in California, just like in many other jurisdictions. Understanding “how does California’s no-fault law work” is also essential, as it impacts personal injury claims. What an attorney does is to ensure that the victim meets these deadlines and that the suit is filed within the prescribed time, while also navigating the complexities of California’s no-fault system.
Advocates deal with voluminous documents which are filed in court and those that come from the defence side.
Assessing the Viability of the Suit
A competent attorney always helps in helping the victim assess the strength of their cases before the same are filed in courts.
Emerging Issues in Law
A personal injury lawyer helps their clients to understand the law and what parties are expected to do in personal injury cases. The victims are assured of protection of their interests while the attorneys also live up to the rule of law.
In conclusion, the importance of legal representation in negligence cases cannot be underestimated. Lawyers play critical roles in ensuring that negligence claims are successful. As seen from the foregoing, their role moves from preliminaries to the main suit and even to the extent of ensuring that everything is in its place.
In California, negligence claims are brought to ensure that parties particularly victims obtain justice. It is through negligence claims that claimants can obtain compensation following their misfortunes.
Finally, the claimant must also establish all the elements of negligence sequentially laid hereinabove. Attorney representation is key in the whole process. Call Big Ben Law Firm today to ensure that you obtain proper representation.