Proving negligence and understanding accepted standard of care

By |2023-08-03T15:01:02+00:00July 11th, 2017|

After a serious motor vehicle accident, you may be unsure of your legal options and how you will ever be able to rebuild your life. You may even think that you could have grounds for a civil claim, but it may be difficult to determine if you should move forward with this legal action. Proving that you are the victim of the negligent or harmful actions of another person is not an easy process, but it is possible with the right legal help.

Most California car accidents are caused by some form of negligence. But to prove negligence, it is necessary to present evidence that the other driver was not acting with a reasonable standard of care and is therefore liable for the accident that left you injured.

What is the acceptable standard of care? 

When another person’s actions or failure to act results in injury to you, that is negligence. In order to prove that an individual acted negligently, evidence must demonstrate that the person deviated from how a reasonable person should have acted. The acceptable standard of care is what separates a simple accident from one caused by negligence.

When deciding if you have a rightful claim to damages, the court carefully considers and weighs the actions of the defendant based on the following:

  • The defendant’s knowledge
  • The defendant’s experience
  • The defendant’s perception of the situation

As you can imagine, determining if a person’s actions were reasonable can be quite subjective. Building a claim for damages on the basis of negligence is not something that you should undertake alone, but you would be wise to fully understand your legal options before you make the decision to move forward with a civil claim.

You would also be wise to have a personal injury attorney represent you when dealing with the insurance company. After all, the insurer’s initial settlement offer is rarely enough to cover the full cost of a serious injury.

Navigating the aftermath of a car accident

A car accident can change your life in an instant. You may find yourself dealing with serious and painful injuries, expensive medical bills and other accident-related needs. While you may feel daunted by the prospect of undertaking the legal process of seeking damages through a personal injury claim, it could be a beneficial way for you to recover your losses.

One of the most practical ways to learn about your legal options and find out if you have a valid claim is to seek a complete evaluation of your case. If you suffered because another person failed to act according to an acceptable standard of care, you have no time to lose in seeking the recovery you need for a strong post-accident future.


About the Author:

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Doug Easton has practiced law since 1971. After 20 years of practicing with various large litigation firms, he founded the Law Offices of W. Douglas Easton in 1991 as a solo practitioner. In the years that followed, Doug’s sons Brian and Matt joined him in the practice and helped build the firm into a powerful force to help right the wrongs done to their clients. Much of their success over the years has stemmed from the dynamic created by the familial nature of the firm and how harmoniously they all work together, each of their individual strengths complementing and fortifying the group as a whole. Accordingly, the firm changed its name to Easton & Easton, LLP in 2014 to better reflect the true dynamic of the firm and Doug now serves as Managing Partner of Easton & Easton. In 2015, Doug was selected as a Top 100 Litigation Lawyer in California by The American Society of Legal Advocates. In addition, Doug is listed in Strathmore’s Who’s Who, and in 2008 was named its “Professional of the Year” in Medical Malpractice.
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