1. Duty – the defendant owed a legal duty to the plaintiffThere are cases when a defendant owes the plaintiff a legal duty of care. For negligence to happen there must be a standard of care for a given situation, for instance a motorist must adhere to the same care a reasonable person would by obeying traffic laws and paying attention to other drivers and pedestrians. Another example is the legal duty of care a doctor owes a patient to provide competent medical health care.
2. Breach – the defendant breached that legal duty by acting or failing to act in a certain wayIt must be determined that the defendant breached that duty by doing or not doing something. The courts use the standard of a reasonably prudent person, as the assessment of whether or not an average person would have known that their actions would injure someone, knowing what they knew at that time. The jury will usually take into consideration what the defendant knows, has experienced, and perceives.
3. Causation – it was the defendant’s inaction or inaction that caused the injuryThe next element of proving negligence is proving that the defendant’s negligence was the cause of the plaintiff’s injury. Someone acting negligent and someone sustaining an injury can happen in tangent with each other, but not necessarily mean one causes the other. The two scenarios are not always mutually inclusive. For example, you cannot sue someone who was texting and driving for an accident that happened a block away just because they were negligent. The outcome of a possible injury should also be reasonably foreseen. Random acts of nature cannot be predicted, and you most likely will not be able to sue a defendant for something that happened by chance.
4. Damages – the plaintiff was injured as a result of defendant’s actionsFinally, the court must be able to compensate for damages. The damages in a personal injury case are calculated based on the losses suffered by the plaintiff. Monetary compensation can cover expenses for medical care and treatment, and other damages may include lost wages or future lost wages. The best way to successfully prove these four elements in a personal injury lawsuit is to consult with a lawyer. Our Temecula personal injury lawyers have years of experience in personal injury cases and will be able to assist you in all aspects of a personal injury lawsuit. Your injury and suffering should be taken seriously, that is why you deserve the best counsel possible so that you can build the strongest case possible. Let us help you receive maximum recovery from the harm that has been placed on you.
Personal injury settlementPersonal injury cases most commonly end in a settlement. A settlement is a negotiation which ends legal action through a monetary payment. These are usually done with the help of the opposing parties, their attorneys, and insurance companies. If you have been offered a settlement, there are several factors you should take into consideration before accepting. One of our extremely experienced personal injury attorneys in Temecula will be able to help analyze your case and pick the best road to go down. In deciding whether or not you should take the settlement or go to court, you will want to consider:
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- The strength of and weakness of your case
- Chances of winning at trial
- The verdicts and settlements of similar cases
- Strengths and weaknesses of your opponent’s evidence
- Possible difficulties in going to trial
- What your attorney thinks your case is worth
- The minimum amount you will accept to end the trial
- How much of your settlement will go to lawyer’s fees
- The defendant’s monetary resources
- Possible unfavorable publicity
- Personal information that may be exposed
- The length of the trial
To speak with a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer, call (213) 389-3765.