You Cannot Prove Negligence in California without Proving These Four Elements
If you have been injured in a California accident that was caused by someone acting negligently, then you might have grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit. However, this does require that you prove that the other party was negligent – and doing that requires that you prove four different elements. Keep reading to learn what they are, and then contact Law Offices of Fernando D. Vargas at 909-982-0707 if you would like to request a free legal consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney.
- The Defendant Owed You a Duty of Care Duty of care refers to the responsibility a person has to keep others safe. For example, if you were legally on someone’s property because they invited you there, then they owe you a duty of care to keep their property reasonably safe. However, if you were trespassing and not legally on their property, then they did not owe you a duty of care.
- The Duty of Care Was Violated Of course, just because someone owed you a duty of care does not mean that your accident or injury was their fault. That is why you must prove that the at-fault party did not meet their duty of care. For example, if you were at a store, there was a wet floor, and the owner knew and did not clean it up or warn you, then they would likely be found to have violated their duty of care.
- The Violation of Duty of Care Directly Caused Your Injury Even if the party had a duty of care to you, and they violated that duty, you cannot sue them unless that violation resulted in your injury. For example, if you were hit by a car as a pedestrian, you would need to have suffered an injury in order to sue them. If they simply nudged you, there was no visible injury, and a doctor agrees you were not injured, then there are no damages to sue for.
- You Suffered Damages Due to the Injury Even if they were at fault for your injury, if you did not suffer any damages due to the injury, then you do not have grounds for a personal injury case. To receive compensation, you must have enough financial stress to warrant receiving compensation. For example, did you have medical bills, did you miss work, or did you have property damage due to the accident? If so, then you might have a claim.
Are you still not sure if you have a valid case? Do you want help determining what your next best move is? Contact Law Offices of Fernando D. Vargas at 909-982-0707 now to request a free legal consultation. We can go over the basics of what you are dealing with and help you determine the best way forward.