Negligence occurs when someone fails to take the expected reasonable care in a particular situation. This often leads to a personal injury and, as a victim, you have the right to file a claim and collect compensation for any injuries, loss, or hardships you suffer as a result.
States’ policymakers have established statutes on how to identify negligence, prove fault, and determine the amount of compensation to be awarded. How do California negligence laws work and what can a reputable personal injury lawyer do to help you recover?
How to Prove Negligence
To win a personal injury case, you’ll need to prove the defendant was at fault by showing how the negligence occurred. This starts with proving:
- Duty of Care – Demonstrating the defendant had reasonable care to take towards your safety. For instance, drivers have a duty to drive safely in a way that doesn’t harm other road users.
- Breached Duty of Care – A duty of care is breached when the accused fails to take this reasonable care, such as driving under the influence or knowingly failing to recall defective products.
- The Breach Caused Your Injuries – Proving the incident, and not any other external factors, caused your injuries. An expert witness might be required in some cases.
- Damages You’ve Suffered from the Accident – Lastly, you’ll need to show proof of damages resulting from the accident, such as a report from your employer on days spent out of work or medical bills.
- California’s Pure Comparative Negligence Laws
California applies the pure comparative negligence system to navigate personal injury cases.
Pure comparative negligence means you’ll seek compensation from the at-fault party after an accident, but only up to the extent of their fault percentage. Let’s break this down further with an example.
If another driver collided with you because they were distracted but the investigation also finds you were driving a little over the speed limits, you might bear 20% of fault for the accident. If your total compensation is $1M, you’ll receive an amount less your fault, which would be $800,000.
With this law, an insurance company might try to place some fault on you so they pay out the least settlement possible, but your attorney can help you fight the insurance company’s tactics to diminish your compensation.
Learn More from a Personal Injury Lawyer
When you suffer from a personal injury, the last thing you want to be figuring out is the complex legalities involving negligence laws. This is a time for you and your loved ones to heal physically and mentally from the aftermath of the accident.
Let a personal injury lawyer from Crowell Law Offices handle the rest, from the initial investigation, gathering evidence, quantifying the value of your loss, negotiating a settlement, and even representing your interest in court, when necessary.
When you’re ready to take back control of your life, start with a free case review by calling 916-303-2800 or by completing the form below to connect with an attorney.