Accident vs. Negligence—Key Differences to Understand
When it comes to personal injury cases, it's crucial to understand how specific details can play a major role in any given case and significantly alter the outcome of a claim. One of the most critical factors to establish is the cause of the injury—was it the result of an accident or someone else's negligence? To explore this topic further, let's first define the difference between accident vs. negligence.
An accident is an occurrence that results in loss or damage due to reasons that could not have been foreseen. Examples of accidents include natural disasters or "Acts of God," a common term often used by most insurance companies. Negligence, on the other hand, is caused when a person or entity acts in a careless manner. In other words, an event or occurrence which could have reasonably been foreseen. Examples of negligence include:
- Drinking and driving
- Having a dog off a leash
- Hazardous workplace environments
- Any other circumstance where a person or business has not taken reasonable safety measures to prevent injury to others
It's essential to know that if you're trying to file a personal injury claim, you must be able to prove negligence. To prove negligence, four elements must be demonstrated in order to receive compensation for any loss or injuries you may have suffered.
4 Elements of Negligence
1. Duty—you must prove the negligent party owed a duty of care. For example, every driver has a duty to follow the rules of the road.
2. Breach of Duty—you must prove the negligent party breached their duty of care. For instance, if a driver failed to operate their vehicle within the posted speed limit, they could be held responsible for breaching their duty of care.
3. Causation—you must be able to prove someone else's negligence caused you to suffer injuries. If a driver fails to stop at a red light, there's nothing to be claimed if no one was injured.
4. Damages—you must be able to prove you have suffered physical or emotional harm. Examples of damages include medical bills, loss of wages, etc.
Of course, every situation is unique and should be handled on an individual basis. If you've been injured in an accident, contact a local personal injury law firm for proper legal advice.[/vc_column_text]
Statute of Limitations
In California, the statute of limitations to file a personal injury lawsuit in most cases is two years. In other words, you have two years from the date of the incident to file a claim. Keep in mind this does not apply to all situations; claims against government agencies must be filed within six months of the incident. Consult with a personal injury lawyer who can confirm exact deadlines.
How a Personal Injury Law Firm Can Help
Personal injury cases are complex and should not be conducted without a legal professional on your side. Even if you think you have a solid case and hard evidence to prove the elements of negligence, it's unlikely you'll receive the maximum compensation for your injuries if you don't have an attorney handling your case. It's no surprise that most people don't know how to file a personal injury claim, let alone recover maximum compensation for any loss. Fortunately, most lawyers work on a contingency basis for all personal injury matters. So, how do personal injury lawyers get paid? By receiving a percentage of the claim if and only when a case has been settled or won. This means they only get paid if you do.
California Personal Injury Attorneys
If you're looking for a personal injury attorney in Los Angeles, contact our firm to schedule a consultation. Yepremyan Law Firm has been a trusted legal advisor since 1998, servicing clients all over Southern California. We specialize in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, ridesharing, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, slip and fall claims, dog bites, and workers' compensation claims. If you've been injured in an accident, consult with a personal injury attorney at our firm to receive a free case evaluation.
Our personal injury attorneys will maximize your chances of receiving fair compensation for your injuries. Our firm works on a contingency basis for all personal injury matters—no recovery, no fee!
*No Legal Advice Intended. This website includes general information about legal issues and developments in the law. These materials have been prepared for general informational purposes only and are not intended to be legal advice. Please consult an attorney for legal advice pertaining to any particular legal matter. Use of and access to this website or any of the links or resources contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship between the reader, user, or browser and Yepremyan Law Firm and any of its attorneys, employees, or associates.