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After a car accident, depending on the circumstances, you may be able to recover compensation for any injuries and other losses you suffered in the accident through a personal injury claim. However, a personal injury claim is only valid if there’s evidence that another driver was negligent. Drivers who violate traffic safety laws or behave in other unsafe manners are considered negligent, and proving their negligence is the key to a successful claim. 

At Setareh Law, we understand the intricacies of personal injury law and negligence. When you partner with us, you benefit from our experience, skills, and resources. Our legal team works tirelessly to ensure our clients achieve successful outcomes. Give yourself an advantage over the other driver by contacting our English and Spanish-speaking lawyers today. 

How to Establish Negligence in a California Personal Injury Claim?

Under the law, all drivers have a duty to exercise a reasonable amount of care to avoid injuring others. Adhering to their duty of care means obeying traffic laws, driving reasonably safely considering the road conditions, and being aware of road conditions. Additionally, in the event of an accident, drivers are required to stop and check if anyone has been injured. If someone is injured or killed, drivers must immediately stop at the scene, exchange information, and wait for law enforcement. 

When drivers fail to meet the standard of reasonable care, they are considered negligent. To recover compensation from them, your attorney must prove their negligence by establishing the four basic elements of negligence. These are: 

Duty of Care

As mentioned above, all drivers must exercise reasonable care. The first step to building a negligence case is creating a legal link between the plaintiff (the person filing the claim) and the defendant (the at-fault party). The legal relationship between a plaintiff and a defendant in a personal injury claim is the legal duty of care. For a legal action to occur, there must be clear legal standing to proceed. Without this, a legal claim or lawsuit cannot be pursued.

Breach of Duty

A breach of duty is a behavior that falls outside the scope of reasonable care. Breach of duty includes reckless, careless, or malicious driving. Examples of common ways that drivers breach their duty of care include:

  • Break checking
  • Tailgating
  • Not turning on turn signals 
  • Failing to follow the speed limit
  • Distracted driving
  • Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Not obeying traffic signals 
  • Aggressive driving
  • Failing to properly maintain a vehicle 

These behaviors place the driver and others on the road in danger and, therefore, breach their legal duty to exercise reasonable care to prevent harming others.

Causation

It’s not enough to prove that the defendant breached their duty of care. You also have to build a legal connection between their negligent behavior and the accident, as well as to your injuries and other subsequent losses. Your attorney must create a clear picture that without the defendant’s reckless action, the accident wouldn’t have occurred and you wouldn’t have been injured. 

Damages

Damages can refer to two things in personal injury. The first way it may be used is to refer to the injury, property damage, or other losses you suffered. The second and most common way it’s used is to refer to the monetary compensation you can receive. 

Your attorney must prove that your injuries and other losses are because of the accident and that you require the amount you are demanding in compensation to move forward with your life. 

Find a Skilled Car Accident Attorney at Setareh Law

Car accident claims are often resolved through detailed and intricate negotiations with insurance adjusters. However, insurance companies often try to deny or undervalue claims. A seasoned attorney knows how insurance companies operate and won’t let their client accept lowball offers.

At Setareh Law, we fight for your right to full and fair compensation. Our team understands how to build strong claims that ensure our clients get the best possible results. Protect your right to fair compensation by contacting us today. Call us at (310) 659-1826 or complete our online contact form.