The Legal Definition of Negligence: What Does It Mean and How Does It Affect You?

If you have read or heard anything about personal injury law in California, then you have likely hard the word “negligence” used often. Many hear this term over and over again but never fully understand what it is and when they can sue for it. Read on to learn more about what the word means. If you have cause to believe you should file a personal injury lawsuit, contact The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000 for a free legal consultation.

What does negligence mean?

When an attorney uses the word “negligence” they are referring to the intent behind certain conduct. California law includes several types of intent that a person can have when they cause injury to others. They can act negligently, purposefully, recklessly, or knowingly.

If a person acts purposefully to harm another person, then they are likely to face the strictest legal penalties including criminal charges. Criminal charges are also possible when a person acts recklessly, which means that they did something knowing that there was serious and / or unjustifiable risk of harm to other. The third most serious is when a person knowingly takes actions. This means that they knew they could cause harm by taking an action but they did it anyway.

All three of those examples, purposeful, reckless, and knowing behavior, all involve a person acting with wrongful intent. Negligent conduct is different in that the person can be guilty of negligent conduct without having had any intent to hurt anyone. It includes behaviors that a person should not have taken or did take and someone else was injured as a result.

Proving negligence

In order to prove negligence in California, four elements must be proved. We must show that the defendant had a duty to protect another person from injury, that they breached that duty by taking an action they should not have or by not taking an action they should have, that that action caused the injury to the victim and that the victim suffered damages as a result of the injury.

If you have been injured due to someone’s negligent then you may be entitled to compensation. This can include your medical bills, estimated future medical costs, lost wages, reduced earning capacity, property damage, pain and suffering, and others.

Now is the time to get a free no-risk consultation

The good news about your situation is that there is an attorney who cares. At The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker we can provide a free legal consultation. If we decide to take your case, we will cover all upfront costs. You only pay us if we win your case. There is no risk to you because if we do not win then you do not owe us a penny. Call now at 800-333-0000 to find out what your options are.