What Is Negligence?
Negligence is the term that refers to an individual’s failure to behave with the level of care that someone of ordinary prudence would have exercised under the same circumstances. The behavior usually consists of actions, but can also consist of omissions when there is some duty to act
Simply put, negligence is a legal concept under which all people are held responsible for their actions or their lack of action. We all owe others a basic duty of care. When someone’s behavior or actions don’t meet that basic duty, negligence has occurred. This is the area of law that proves why a negligent person should be held accountable and financially responsible for any injuries that occurred as a result of their carelessness.
Negligence plays a key role in personal injury law, and many California residents will find themselves a victim of someone else’s negligence at some point. For that very reason, it’s important to have an understanding of the law of negligence in California.
What Are The Elements Of Negligence Under California Law?
There are four basic elements of negligence under California state law: duty, breach, causation, and damages.
Duty demonstrates the expectation to use reasonable care with regard to others, i.e, “ a duty of care”. This duty is covered by the law. For example, shopkeepers owe a duty of reasonable care to those who patronize their stores. If there are tripping and slipping hazards on the floor, this duty of care has been breached. All drivers owe a duty of care to others on the road as well. If one driver gets behind the wheel while intoxicated and puts others at risk, they’ve breached their duty of care. This “breach” is the term that describes the wrongful conduct/unlawful act.
Causation is broken down into legal and factual causation. Causation is a very detailed, nuanced concept that could be meticulously explained in hundreds of ways. A simple summary of causation is the relationship between someone’s breach of care and the damage that occurred. If a shopkeeper failed to mop up a slipper spill on the ground, and you fell and broke your leg, you have causation which can be used in court to demonstrate the shopkeeper’s negligence.
Damages are less complicated than breach and causation. Damages include the cost of your medical care, your lost wages and diminished future earnings, your pain and suffering, and damages to your property. Anything you’ve had to spend – your time, money, emotional labor – due to someone else’s negligence, is referred to as damages.
There are many landmark California court cases, such as Lee v. West Coast Life Insurance Company, that have grappled with the concept of negligence in order to pay out damages to those who’ve been injured. If you have suffered an injury and have reason to believe someone breached a duty of care, causing the injury to occur, contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.
What Is The Statute Of Limitations For Negligence In California?
Under California state law, the statute of limitations for negligence depends on the specific circumstances and entails of the case. For a personal injury case specifically, there is a two year statute of limitations. This means, an individual who has suffered an injury due to someone else’s negligence, carelessness or recklessness has two years from the date of the incident to seek damages via filing a personal injury claim.
How Much Does It Cost To Speak With A Personal Injury Lawyer About Negligence?
At McKennon Law Group PC, the vast majority of our clients retain us on a contingency fee basis. This means that our fee is calculated as a percentage of the total recovery we achieve for our client. Some specific cases are charged hourly fees, and in certain rare circumstances, we can offer a fixed flat rate.
We offer a free, no-obligation phone consultation to any California resident who has been injured due to someone’s negligence. We offer three fee options so that every person who seeks our help can have a range of options available that suits them.
Schedule Your Free Personal Injury Consultation With McKennon Law Group PC Today
If you are stuck paying medical bills for an injury that someone else caused, are out of work and don’t know what to do, you have the right to hold this negligent person accountable in a California state court. You have the right to seek compensation. Our attorneys will build a strong personal injury case that highlights that person’s negligence or breach of care, demonstrating causation, and defend your right to damages.
Call McKennon Law Group PC today to schedule your complimentary case evaluation.