Back to the Basics: What is Negligence?

If you looked at a list of the states in the U.S. with the most serious and fatal car accidents, you would see that California is near the top. This is due largely to the high population of our state, as well as the many highways and roads we have. Many of the leading causes of these car accidents fit under the umbrella of negligence.

To learn more about what it means to be negligent and when negligence becomes serious enough that a lawsuit may be necessary, keep reading. If you have legal questions you can ask them of The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker by calling us at 800-333-0000 for a free legal consultation.

Negligent behavior

Being negligent means failing to take proper action when doing something. It means not paying attention to the road while you are driving, not following the laws of the road, or not having your tires replaced when they wear out. There are thousands of potential examples of what negligent behavior can mean.

A driver’s responsibly behind the wheel

Every driver who gets behind the wheel of a car has a responsibility to take reasonable actions to avoid injuries to others and damage to their property. In order for a person to be found negligent in a legal sense, it must be proven first that they had a duty of care, which essentially means that they were in a position where a reasonable person could expect them to take reasonable actions to avoid accidents.

Second, it must be shown that they were in breach of that duty. This means that the driver did not follow laws, was talking on the phone illegally, or got behind the wheel of a car. In a negligence case, the at-fault driver did not purposely set out to harm a person or damage their property, but they also did not take steps that could have prevented said injuries or damages.

California utilizes a comparative negligence method of determining fault

It is common for a person involved in a car accident to assume they have not legal recourse if they were partially at fault. This is not the case in the state of California. Comparative negligence means that both parties are responsible for damages to the extent that the accident was their fault.

For example, if two parties are in a car accident and it is found that one driver was 70% at fault and the other was 30% at fault, the driver who was 30% at fault could file a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver. Whatever the total award of damages a jury or judge awards, that driver would have them reduced by 30% because that is their percentage of fault.

Do you have questions out negligence? Have you been injured in a car accident or had your property damaged? Then you may have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit. The easiest way to get answers to your questions is to contact The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000 for your free legal consultation.