In the State of California, a duty of care refers to the legal responsibility to use a reasonable sense of care in the prevention of bodily harm to others. Duty of care is a critical component of a personal injury case, and without establishing it, an award settlement would be unattainable.
To prevail in a claim, the victim, also known as the plaintiff must establish the following:
- The accused, referred to as the defendant, owed him or her a duty of care;
- The defendant breached his or her duty of care;
- The breach in care was the proximate cause of the accident; and
- Following the accident, the plaintiff suffered damages.
After an Accident, Obtain Proficient Legal Counsel
An accident can happen in any place and at any given time. When an accident has resulted in your injury, you may be eligible for compensation from the individual who caused the accident by filing a personal injury claim. To build a strong case, speak to a qualified personal injury attorney.
For more than a decade, the Law Offices of Attorney Justin H. King have helped those who have been injured by another’s wrongdoing recover the financial compensation they were owed. The firm understands that as an injured victim, your main priority should be to attain a full physical recovery. As a result, the firm focuses on aggressive advocacy, working tirelessly to help you maximize the financial compensation available. Consider contacting the Law Offices of Attorney Justin H. King today and schedule your free consultation.
How a Duty of Care is Established
A duty of care can be established by a local ordinance but it is usually created when a state law has been enacted. A duty of care can also be established through common law. In certain cases, a duty of care can be expected when there is a particular relationship between two parties. For example, business establishments owe a duty of care to their customers. In a professional perspective, doctors and hospitals also owe a duty of care to their patients.
It is important to note that even in the absence of a relationship between the parties, the State of California mandates that every person has a duty to avoid injury to his or her person and to others. In accordance to the California Civil Code §1714, every person has a responsibility for the result of his or her deliberate actions, including the injury of others.
A duty of care in itself can be open to interpretation, but the state’s Supreme Court seems to favor the idea that individuals have an obligation to prevent the foreseeable injury of others when it is reasonable to do so.
Common Examples of Duty of Care in a Personal Injury Claim
Every strong personal injury claim will contain an established duty of care owed by the defendant to the plaintiff. Common examples of this can include the following:
- Traffic Accidents – Drivers in the state have a duty to adhere to traffic laws, reasonably avoid traffic accidents, and prevent unnecessary harm to those they share the road with.
- Medical Malpractice – Medical care professionals and hospital establishments have a duty of care to their patients and avoid further injury or harm to them.
- Premises Liability – Property owners and property holders have a duty to maintain their property in a reasonably safe condition, which would avoid the foreseeable injury to those who lawfully enter their premises.
- Products Liability – Manufacturing companies have a duty to use reasonable care and produce reasonably safe products for consumer use.
How to Prove a Duty of Care is Owed
The existence of a duty of care is an issue that is left for the courts to decide. The following are a selected number of factors that have been set forth by the state’s Supreme Court that would assist a lower court’s decision on whether a duty of care was owed by the defendant.
- Foreseeability – A person can be held responsible for causing, or contributing to, another’s injuries when there was sufficient reason to believe their actions would have detrimental effects, yet failed to prevent the injury.
- Causation – Causation is the legal principle that follows the plaintiff’s injuries and symptoms and their connection to the defendant’s wrongful act. If the plaintiff is injured in an accident, the defendant’s responsibility is strictly limited to compensating for the losses that followed the injuries caused in the accident.
- Degree of Moral Obligation – When causing the accident, the defendant’s conduct will come into question. Were his actions at the time of the accident considered reckless misconduct or gross and willful negligence?
- Policy in Preventing Future Harm – For policy considerations, the case may move forward if there are significant concerns to the rest of the community.
After an Accident, Hire a Qualified Personal Injury Attorney
In the State of California, everyone has a legal responsibility to act in a reasonable manner that would avoid the injury of others. When individuals fail to meet this legal obligation, they could be held responsible for the resulting injury and damages suffered by others.
If you or someone you love was recently injured in an accident that was caused by another’s careless actions, there may be an opportunity to recover financial compensation. Discuss your legal options with a well-established personal injury attorney who will help you build a strong personal injury claim and defend your right to a fair monetary compensation.
The Law Offices of Attorney Justin H. King is a highly regarded firm, exceptionally qualified in a wide-range of personal injury cases, including catastrophic injuries, auto accidents, premises liability, and medical malpractice. For more than a decade, the firm has triumphantly helped hundreds of injured victims secure the compensation they needed in their physical recovery.
The compassionate team at the Law Offices of Attorney King understands that most personal injury cases involve impairing injuries. As a result, the firm focuses on delivering exceptional service to all clients, which includes a thorough investigation of the case, a collection of all important evidence, speaking to witnesses, and aggressive representation against insensitive insurance companies. To get started on your claim today, consider scheduling a no-obligation consultation with the Law Offices of Attorney King.