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Los Angeles Negligence Lawyer

Whether it comes in the form of action or inaction, negligence is something that can be extremely harmful. Negligence can lead to a catastrophic car crash, a dangerous medication error, a hazardous workplace, or numerous other issues that can severely injure a person. After being injured due to the reckless or negligent actions of another party, a victim can be left dealing with severe pain, emotional trauma, mounting medical bills, or even permanent disability.

California’s personal injury and negligence laws can help injury victims to recover compensation for their losses. By filing a personal injury claim or lawsuit, an injury victim can pursue damages for many types of losses, including compensation for property damage, lost wages, medical expenses, and emotional distress. While nothing can fully erase the physical and emotional pain an injury victim has endured, being able to recover damages can give victims access to the resources they need to have the best possible recovery after their accident.

If you or a loved one has been harmed due to someone else’s negligence, contact LA Lawyers Group to receive a free consultation with one of our expert personal injury attorneys. Our legal team has an in-depth understanding of California’s personal injury laws, which can vary based on the circumstances involved in each unique case. Our personal injury lawyers have years of experience handling personal injury cases in Southern California, including cases involving nursing home negligence, negligent security, medical negligence, child care negligence, premises liability, and negligent vehicle drivers. No matter what type of negligence is involved in your case, our personal injury lawyers are here to fight for your rights and protect your best interests.

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Understanding the Legal Definition of Negligence in California

Understanding the Legal Definition of Negligence in California

California law defines negligence as the failure to use reasonable care to avoid harming oneself or others, which may also be described as failing to provide a duty of care. California law recognizes that everyone owes a certain general duty of care to others. Then, in addition to owing a general duty of care, some people owe a special duty of care due to their relationship to others. For example, operators of common carriers, such as busses or airplanes, owe a particularly high duty of care to their passengers. 

When a person breaches a duty of care, this could be considered negligent in the eyes of the law. If this negligence causes harm to another party, the negligent party may be found legally liable for the harmed party’s losses. Therefore, the harmed party may be able to recover damages from the negligent party through a personal injury claim or lawsuit.

Pure Comparative Negligence and Multiple Party Liability in California

Each state has its own system governing how negligence affects liability in accident cases and other tort cases. California is a pure comparative negligence state, which means that fault in a California negligence case can be assigned to more than one party. When more than one party is at fault in a California negligence case, liability is assigned in percentages. 

It’s important for California injury victims to understand pure comparative negligence because it allows victims who are partially at fault for their injuries to pursue damages regardless. In some states, any percentage of fault disqualifies an injury victim from damages. In other states, the injury victim’s percentage of fault has to be below a certain number in order for them to have legal recourse. However, in California, as long as a plaintiff is not entirely at fault for their losses, they can still seek damages from other at-fault parties. They will just have these damages reduced by their percentage of fault. For example, if a plaintiff has $100,000 in damages but is 20% at fault for their losses, they could still pursue $80,000 from other at-fault parties. 

If you are an injury victim and are partially at fault for the incident that caused your injury, expert legal representation can be invaluable. A personal injury lawyer can work to furnish proof of each involved party’s negligence, and therefore liability, in order to ensure that their client is not held liable for a higher percentage of fault than would be fair and accurate.

Pure Comparative Negligence and Multiple Party Liability in California
Proving Negligence in a California Personal Injury Case

Proving Negligence in a California Personal Injury Case

In order to successfully prove negligence and recover damages in a personal injury case, the plaintiff must prove: 

  1. That the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care;
  2. That the defendant breached that duty of care through negligence;
  3. That the plaintiff was harmed;
  4. That the defendant’s negligence was a substantial factor in causing the plaintiff harm. 

An experienced attorney that specializes in cases involving negligence can help their client furnish all available proof of these four elements in order to create the strongest possible case. They can also prepare to refute likely defenses from the at-fault party, such as these common defenses: 

  • The defendant did not owe a plaintiff a duty of care; 
  • The plaintiff caused their own injury; or
  • The plaintiff assumed the risk of the injury by engaging in inherently risky behavior. 

A personal injury lawyer can conduct their own investigation in order to prove who is truly liable for an injury and have evidence ready to show fault in the case. Additionally, if one of these defenses-- that the plaintiff caused their own injury-- is partially true, but not completely true, a personal injury attorney can help their client prove their percentage of fault in order to ensure that they are not assigned any more fault than would be appropriate.

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Examples of Negligence in Personal Injury Cases
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The ways in which negligence can cause harm are as numerous and varied as the ways in which a person or entity can be negligent. Some examples of more common types of negligence in personal injury cases include:

Nursing Home Negligence

Negligence at a nursing home can cause immense harm to nursing home residents. Examples of nursing home negligence include failing to provide sanitary living conditions, failing to properly assist residents with hygiene, hiring under qualified employees, and failing to provide residents with adequate medical treatment.

Medical Negligence

Medical negligence, or medical malpractice, occurs when a medical professional breaches their professional duty of care due to negligence. Examples of health care provider negligence may include misdiagnosis, surgical errors, providing a wrong treatment, and failing to properly inform a patient of a treatment’s benefits and risks.

Government Negligence

In California, a government entity may be found liable for accidents and injuries in certain circumstances, including when certain types of negligence have occured. Examples of government negligence that could make a government entity liable for an injury include negligent actions from a government employee and a local government’s failure to reasonably maintain city streets.

Property Owner Negligence

In California, property owners have a legal duty to keep their property safe from foreseeable hazards. This duty is called premises liability and it can apply to a broad range of incidents. Examples of ways in which a property owner could be negligent in maintaining their property include failing to perform necessary elevator maintenance, failing to install required swimming pool fencing, failing to provide adequate security (negligent security), and failing to clean up dangerous spills.

Negligent Drivers

Most car accidents are caused by reckless or negligent driver behavior. Examples of negligent driving include driving while texting, driving aggressively, ignoring traffic signals, driving while fatigued, and driving under the influence.

Employer Negligence

An employer could be negligent during many parts of the hiring, training, and employment processes. Examples of employer negligence may include hiring under qualified employees, inadequate supervision, and poor employee training.

Child Care Negligence

Child care negligence can greatly endanger the health and safety of children in the child care worker’s charge. Examples of child care negligence include failing to properly supervise children, failing to adhere to a child’s special dietary needs, failing to report injuries to parents, and failing to screen employees.

Accidents and Incidents Commonly Caused By Negligence

Our expert personal injury and medical malpractice lawyers can handle negligence cases that involve a variety of circumstances, including: 

  • Accidents Caused by Negligent Security 
  • Accidents That Cause Spinal Cord Injuries
  • Accidents That Cause Traumatic Brain Injuries
  • Bicycle Accidents 
  • Construction Accidents 
  • Food Delivery Accidents 
  • Medical Malpractice Incidents, Including: 
    • Anesthesia Errors
    • Birth Injuries
    • Intubation Errors
    • Laboratory Mistakes 
    • Medication Errors
    • Misdiagnosis or Delay in Diagnosis
    • Radiation Errors 
    • Surgical Errors
    • Wrongful Death
  • Motor Vehicle Accidents, Including: 
    • Bus Accidents
    • Car Accidents
    • Motorcycle Accidents
    • Truck Accidents 
  • Pedestrian Accidents 
  • Scooter Accidents 
  • Slip and Fall Accidents 
  • Uber and Lyft Accidents
Accidents and Incidents Commonly Caused By Negligence
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Damages Available in a California Negligence Case
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Personal injury victims can be entitled to recover compensation from the negligent party that caused their losses. Legally, the compensation the law imposes for a breach of duty is referred to as “damages.” In a California negligence case, victims can be entitled to a variety of damages, including compensatory damages and punitive damages. When a person dies due to the negligent actions of another party, the deceased person’s family cannot access the same type of damages a living victim could, but may be entitled to pursue damages through filing a wrongful death claim.
Compensatory Damages
Compensatory damages are intended to compensate an injured party for their losses. There are two categories of compensatory damages: economic compensatory damages and non-economic compensatory damages. Economic damages are intended to compensate the victim for their tangible economic losses (such as their health care costs).

Some examples of economic damages that may be available to victims harmed by negligence include:
●   Medical Bills
●   Future Medical Expenses
●   Rehabilitation Expenses
●   Lost Wages
●   Loss of Future Income
●   Property Damage
Non-Economic Compensatory Damages
Non-economic damages are intended to compensate them for their more intangible losses (such as their emotional distress).

Some examples of non-economic damages that may be available to victims harmed by negligence include:
●   Emotional Distress
●   Pain and Suffering
●   Physical Disability
●   Physical Disfigurement
●   Loss of Enjoyment of Life
Punitive Damages
While compensatory damages are generally available to victims of negligence, punitive damages are more rarely available. Punitive damages are a type of compensation awarded to a plaintiff as a way of punishing a defendant who has displayed particularly egregious behavior. A judge can choose to award a plaintiff punitive damages on top of compensatory damages when presented with clear and convincing evidence that a defendant has acted with “oppression, fraud, or malice.”

An example of a circumstance in which a judge may decide to award punitive damages would be a nursing home negligence case in which the nursing home attempted to conceal the negligence occurring at their facility by creating fraudulent records.
Damages Related to Wrongful Death

When a person dies due to the negligence of another party, certain surviving family members may be entitled to recover compensation for their losses by filing a wrongful death claim. California law states that plaintiffs in a wrongful death claim may recover “just” damages. What is “just” may vary widely depending on the circumstances involved in each unique wrongful death claim. Some examples of damages that are often available in a wrongful death claim include: 

  • Funeral Expenses and Burial Expenses
  • Loss of Companionship 
  • Loss of Financial Support 
  • Loss of Household Services
  • Loss of Moral Support
  • Loss of Prospective Gifts or Benefits
  • Loss of Training, Guidance, and Advice

Surviving family members can recover a variety of damages by filing a wrongful death claim, but it’s important to note that there are certain damages that are unavailable in a wrongful death case. Surviving family members can only recover compensation for their losses, not the decedent’s personal losses. For example, surviving family members cannot recover compensation for the pain their loved one experienced before their death or for the medical bills their loved one accrued before their death. However, family members may be able to recover these types of damages by filing a survival action on behalf of the decedent’s estate.

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Get Help From a Los Angeles Negligence Law Firm

If you’ve suffered harm due to the negligence of another party, reach out to LA Lawyers Group to receive a free case evaluation. Our expert Los Angeles personal injury attorneys have years of experience successfully handling negligence cases, including cases involving premises liability, driver negligence, employer negligence, medical malpractice, nursing home negligence, and matters of negligent security. The personal injury and medical malpractice attorneys at our law office have successfully settled and won cases for clients from across Los Angeles County and Orange County, including those from Glendale, Burbank, Beverly Hills, Pasadena, Santa Monica, Venice, Torrance, and Long Beach.

Call our personal injury law firm today at (213)LAWYERS (529-9377) to receive your free consultation with one of our Los Angeles negligence lawyers.

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L.A. Lawyers

4529 Sherman Oaks Ave
Sherman Oaks, CA 91403
Phone: (213) LAWYERS

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