Personal injury lawsuits fall under the category of tort laws. These laws govern who is liable in cases where one party is injured in some way due to negligence or recklessness on the part of another. Examples of personal injury lawsuits include medical malpractice, auto accidents, premises liability, and other areas.
Proving liability in a personal injury lawsuit usually requires showing one party’s careless actions caused injury to another. Furthermore, plaintiffs must demonstrate the defendant owed a duty to act in a certain way and knew or should have known any deviation could result in harm to others.
Understanding the basic concepts of tort law are important to helping prove liability in your personal injury lawsuit. The main components of a personal injury lawsuit are:
- Duty: Did the party alleged to cause the accident owe the victim a legal duty to act in a certain way? The law generally holds all persons must take reasonable steps to ensure their actions will not cause undue harm to others. Examples include standards of care in hospitals and following driving laws while on the highway.
- Breach: Did the defendant act negligently by deviating from a standard of care? Proving negligence on the part of another is essential to winning a personal injury a lawsuit. Courts will often consider what reasonable individuals would expect in similar circumstances.
- Causation: Did the defendant’s alleged negligence actually cause the injury at hand? Personal injury lawsuits typically must prove the reckless actions directly led to the injury and a reasonable person would foresee such an outcome.
- Damages: Did the plaintiff suffer an injuries due to alleged negligence on the part of the defendant? Victims must show they were harmed in some way due to someone else’s negligence. Damages can include a physical injury, property damages, lost wages, incurring hospital bills, and pain and suffering.
California Contributory Negligence Laws
There are certain instances where a plaintiff’s own actions may detract from a defendant’s liability in personal injury lawsuits. These are commonly known as “contributory negligence” laws, meaning if the plaintiff somehow plays a part in their own injury, damage awards may be reduced.
California has “pure comparative negligence” laws. Under these laws, courts may reduce awards based on the percentage of fault by the victims. For example, if you were hurt in an accident and the court ruled you were 30 percent to blame, an award of $10,000 would be reduced by 30 percent to $7,000.
California Auto Accident Lawyers
Speaking to a qualified auto accident attorney can help you better understand your legal rights and remedies. Our seasoned attorneys have years of experience advocating for the rights of personal injury victims and will work hard to help you get the compensation your deserve.
Our attorneys can help you get compensation for your hospital bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. Strict time deadlines apply when filing personal injury lawsuits so contact us at your earliest convenience and preserve your rights.