When a person files a claim for injuries caused by another, the person who caused the damage can be legally liable for any consequential damage. This comes from the legal principle of negligence. Generally, a person who acts carelessly and causes injury to another is legally responsible for any resulting harm. The basis for determining fault is used in most claims concerning an accident or injury.
Elements of a Negligence Lawsuit
The injured party (the plaintiff) is required to prove four elements to establish that the party at fault (the defendant) acted negligently:
- Duty: Under the circumstances, the plaintiff was owed a legal duty from the defendant.
- Breach: The defendant acted or failed to act in a certain matter and therefore breached this legal duty.
- Causation: The plaintiff’s injury was actually caused by the defendant’s actions or inactions.
- Damages: As a result of the defendant’s actions, the plaintiff was injured or damaged.
Element #1: Duty
The first step is to evaluate whether the defendant owed a legal duty of care to the plaintiff. In certain circumstances, the defendant has a legal duty to act reasonably. For example, a person is required to safely operate a vehicle with appropriate care. A special relationship, like that between a doctor and patient, also creates a legal duty.
Element #2: Breach of Duty
Next, the court will determine if the defendant breached this legal duty by failing to act as a reasonably prudent person would act under similar conditions. The legal standard of a reasonably prudent person reflects how an average person would responsibly behave in a particular situation.
Element #3: Causation
The plaintiff must then show that the defendant’s negligent behavior was the actual cause of the injury and that it was reasonably foreseeable that the defendant’s actions would cause harm to another. If the plaintiff’s injuries were caused by a random, unanticipated act, the court could find that the defendant is not liable because the injury was not foreseeable.
Element #4: Damages
Finally, the court must be able to reward the plaintiff with compensation for his or her injuries. The plaintiff usually receives monetary relief for expenses and other damages incurred because of those injuries.
Seek an Attorney to Evaluate Your Personal Injury Claim
If you have suffered injuries because of another person’s negligence, contact an Inland Empire personal injury lawyer. Victims who are injured because of another person’s recklessness or negligence may file a personal injury claim. Our devoted attorneys will ensure that you receive compensation from the reckless party who caused your injuries.
At Moga Law Firm, we will evaluate your claim to make sure you receive full and just compensation for your damages. You can recover monetary rewards for your injuries including medical expenses, pain and suffering, loss of wages, and emotional distress. Our experienced Upland, CA personal injury attorneys are fully capable of handling a variety of accident and injury claims. Your initial consultation is free and no legal fees are owed until we recover for your claim. Call 909-931-2444 to ensure your claim is investigated properly and filed on time.