To obtain compensation in a California personal injury lawsuit, you’ll need to show that you were harmed because of the defendant’s negligence. There are several elements that need to be established in your quest to prove that the defendant should be held liable for your medical bills, lost wages and other damages.
A duty of care was breached
You must first show that the defendant owed you a duty of care and that this duty was violated. Typically, you’ll do this by showing that whoever harmed you took actions that a reasonable person would know not to take. For instance, if you were hurt in a car crash caused by an impaired driver, both elements would likely be satisfied. This is because motorists owe each other a duty of care simply by operating their vehicles. Furthermore, driving while impaired is an unreasonably risky act.
You incurred a financial loss
An individual’s actions generally can’t rise to the level of negligence if you didn’t incur a financial loss. In most cases, a financial loss can be anything from car repair bills to any fees paid to see a doctor after any type of accident. In a personal injury case, you will likely be entitled to recoup any actual losses incurred in addition to other damages that might be available under state law.
If you are hurt because of someone else’s actions, you may be entitled to actual, punitive and other types of damages. Medical bills, witness statements and other lines of evidence might be used to prove that the defendant’s behavior rises to the level of negligence. While most cases are settled outside of court, you may also choose to take your case to trial if settlement talks don’t yield a desirable result.