San Francisco Personal Injury Lawyers
Proving Negligence in Court
Many people who are inundated with advertisements on the radio, television
and the Internet mistakenly believe that obtaining monetary compensation in a
personal injury lawsuit is a relatively simple matter. Rest assured that these advertisements
want people to think it’s a quick and easy process, but proving
negligence in court involves and requires skill, experience and an intimate
knowledge of the law. Below are the four elements of negligence that must
be proven in order for an injured plaintiff to prevail in a personal injury lawsuit.
Negligence Element One – Duty of Care
The first element of negligence that a San Francisco personal injury lawyer
must prove involves the establishment of a legal duty of care. The law
states that a person owes others a duty to not put them into situations
of unreasonable risk of harm or injury, but there are limits to this duty
that usually involve people who could be foreseen to be put in danger
by the defendant.
Negligence Element Two – Breach of the Duty of Care
After an attorney has successfully proven the existence of a duty of care
that was owed to the plaintiff by the defendant, the next step is to prove
that this duty was breached by the defendant. Basically, the law calls
for those deciding a case to use a ‘reasonable person’ standard,
in that a breach of the duty of care has occurred if the defendant failed
to act in a way that a reasonable person would have in similar circumstances.
Negligence Element Three – Causation
After the first two elements of negligence have been proven, the San Francisco
personal injury attorney must then prove the most complicated element
in personal injury law that is known as causation. Generally, the plaintiff
must show that the defendant’s breach of the duty of care either
directly or indirectly led to or caused the injuries and damages suffered
by the plaintiff. There have been hundreds of cases over the years that
have attempted to clarify this element.
Negligence Element Four – Damages
Finally, if all three of the elements of negligence above are proven, the
plaintiff must show that he or she has suffered actual damages. These
damages can be quantifiable in terms of medical costs, lost income and
property damage, but they can also be less tangible and include such damages
as pain and suffering or loss of companionship.
As you see, proving negligence in a San Francisco personal injury lawsuit
involves a high degree of skill. If you or someone you love has been harmed
by someone else, contact the experienced and successful San Francisco
personal injury lawyers at the Scarlett Law Group today to
schedule a free initial consultation.