Sadly, each year, millions of people are injured in motor vehicle accidents. As a result, victims will have to deal with their damages – which includes, but is not limited to: lost wages, vehicle repairs/replacement costs, lost future earning capacity, therapy (occupational or physical), pain and suffering, disfigurement, loss of consortium, and medical bills.
In California, when one driver negligently causes injury (or damage) to another driver, that driver is liable to the injured party for the damages caused. The injured party will need to show that the negligent party caused the injuries, harm or damages sustained. Moreover, the legal standard for negligence is as follows:
- The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care;
- The defendant breached the duty of care owed to the plaintiff through negligence;
- The defendant was the actual cause of plaintiff’s harm;
- The defendant was the proximate cause of plaintiff’s harm; and
- Because of the defendant’s negligence, the plaintiff was harmed.
In California, drivers owe others that share the road a duty to use reasonable care when operating their vehicle. When a driver does not use reasonable care when operating his/her vehicle, that driver breaches his/her duty owed. And because the driver’s breached his/her duty in using reasonable care when operating his/her vehicle, that driver’s negligence was a substantial factor in causing harm to plaintiff. As a result of the defendant’s action/inaction, plaintiff has now suffered harm, which equates to damages.
In other instances, both drivers could be partially at fault. Because it is difficult to ascertain who was more at fault, or how much damages should be reduced based on a plaintiff’s contribution to fault, it is best to seek an experienced personal law injury attorney or professional to understand your rights, and more importantly, what you are entitled to.
Authored by Scott D. McDonald, Esq.
Scott McDonald is a California native who graduated from Pepperdine Law School in 2008. He has been aggressively litigating cases in Personal Injury and Bankruptcy Law for nearly a decade. Mr. McDonald prides himself in being anything but a “typical” attorney. His unique and very personal approach to practicing law has helped numerous clients obtain their goals and get the legal relief they need.
Mr. McDonald is also a member of 1LAW, which allows clients to obtain free legal support for basic matters and to stay in constant communication with him once retained.
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