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The Legal Theory of Negligence

The victim that has suffered a personal injury has the right to file a claim against the defendant. Still, that filer/claimant should not expect to win the desired compensation in the absence of proof that the defendant was negligent.

What is negligence?

That is behavior that is thoughtless and careless. The same thoughtless and careless behavior causes harm to one or more people.

What are the necessary elements of negligence?

It must be shown that the person accused of negligence had a duty of care towards the accuser, normally the person most affected by the accused neglectful behavior. For instance, each driver on the road has a duty of care towards all the other drivers.

Next, it must be shown that the accused/defendant had breached that duty of care in the moments that led up to the accident. For example, was there evidence that one particular driver broke the law by driving too fast, by going the wrong way on a one-way street, or by driving through a stop sign? If such evidence exists, then that would be proof that the defendant breached his or her duty of care.

If no law was broken, how could it be shown that a defendant breached his or her duty of care? In that instance, the legal system would call for an examination of what action seemed reasonable at that point in time. Did the defendant take that action? If the defendant took a different action, or did nothing, then that would be seen as proof that he or she breached a duty of care.

The third element is probably that most important one. Can it be shown that the defendant’s neglectful behavior caused the injury that was suffered by the plaintiff? The need for that link underscores the importance of scheduling a visit to the doctor within the first 24 hours, following the occurrence of an accident.

An Injury lawyer in La Puente knows that any accident victims that fail to see a physician during that first 24 hours invite the issuance of a denial by the insurance company. It could claim that victim’s activities helped to make the injury worse. The failure to seek immediate treatment would have dissolved the necessary link between the defendant’s actions and the claimed injury.

The final element concerns what has happened to the victim of the negligence. Did he or she suffer any kind of financial loss? Did he or she sustain any type of injury? A yes answer to either of those questions counts as evidence that the fourth element played a role in pointing-out the level of negligence in the defendant’s actions. The absence of any element destroys a claim of negligence. An insurance company would love to destroy that claim.

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