Santa Clara Personal Injury Attorneys Explaining Elements of Negligence

When someone is harmed by the negligence of someone else, that person has legal rights that arise including the possibility of filing a California personal injury lawsuit against the party allegedly responsible for the harm that was suffered. However, those that find themselves in this position need to secure the help of a personal injury attorney in Santa Clara as soon as possible, as proving the elements of negligence without the help of an experienced Santa Clara lawyer would be extremely difficult. Below are the elements of negligence that exist in California.

Legal Duty of Care

The first element of negligence that must be established is that the defendant owed the plaintiff a legal duty of care. This duty of care is basically a requirement laid out by California law that states that people are expected to act in certain ways that do not put those who will be near them or who could be affected by their actions in situations of risk or danger. A personal injury attorney in Santa Clara who has handled these cases in the past will be able to explain this notion to the court.

Breach of the Legal Duty

After the plaintiff has established that a legal duty of care was present that bound the defendant, the next element of proof concerns the breach of this duty. Santa Clara personal injury lawyers will prove this breach by showing the court that the defendant's conduct was not up to the standard of what a reasonable person would have done in a similar situation.


Causation is by far the most complicated element of negligence, and it has led to confusion among judges and Santa Clara lawyers alike. In its most basic terms, causation is basically the link that exists between the defendant's breach of duty and the injuries and damages suffered by the plaintiff. This link can be either direct or indirect, but there must be a connection between the defendant's actions and the result endured by the plaintiff.


Finally, if all of the elements above are established, the plaintiff must prove that he or she has suffered actual damages as a result of the defendant's conduct. This can be done by providing medical costs or records of lost income, but skilled personal injury attorneys in Santa Clara will also be able to prove that the plaintiff should be compensated for such forms of loss as pain and suffering.

Ultimately, proving a California personal injury case based on negligence is no small task.

If you or someone you love has been harmed by someone else, seek the help of Santa Clara personal injury attorneys who have been holding those responsible for these injuries accountable for many years. Contact the Scarlett Law Group today to schedule a free initial consultation.

  • 2015 Litigator Awards Ranked Top 1% Lawyers