All personal injury lawsuit such as a car accident in Rancho Cucamonga is resolved in civil court. Civil court isn’t like criminal court. The defendant doesn’t go to prison or jail and they aren’t found guilty. Instead, they must pay money to the plaintiff if they are found liable for causing the accident that injured the plaintiff. Liability refers to the defendant being financially responsible for the accident.
Proving Negligence in a California Civil Case
Negligence is defined as the failure of a person to act as a reasonable person would have in the same and/or similar circumstance. This means if a reasonable driver wouldn’t drive through a red light, this was the right thing to do. The defendant, if they drove through a red light and hit the plaintiff, did not act as a reasonable driver would. Thus, they’d be liable for the accident. Negligence is proven in a series of steps: duty of care, breach of duty, cause and damages.
Duty of Care in a Civil Case
A plaintiff must prove the defendant owed them a duty of care. Duty of care means the defendant was responsible for completing tasks such as providing medical treatment or driving a vehicle without causing injuries. For example, a driver must look out for pedestrians and other drivers while operating a motor vehicle. Every personal injury case is different. So, any good personal injury attorney services rancho cucamonga ca will be able to assist in determining whether the defendant owed a plaintiff a duty of care.
Breach of duty means that a defendant was supposed to complete the task without harming the plaintiff or anyone else. For example, the driver who ran a red light and injured someone would have breached their duty of care. The reason why is that they disobeyed the traffic laws.
Causation Refers to Whether the Defendant had Anything to Do with the Accident
Who caused the accident? In civil court, the burden of proving the defendant caused the accident is on the plaintiff. The defendant can be a direct or indirect cause of the accident. In the direct cause, the defendant’s actions led to the accident. If the defendant’s action weren’t direct, but they caused the accident, then they are still responsible. An attorney will know how the accident occurred by conducting an investigation.
Proving Damages is the Last Step
When proving the defendant caused the accident, money is the last element to prove. A plaintiff must suffer financially to receive compensation. They must submit bills or other type of damages to collect money.
Rancho Cucamonga Civil Court: The Preponderance of the Evidence
When suing in civil court, it’s important to understand preponderance of the evidence. This means the plaintiff must prove the defendant is liable for the accident. However, they must prove the defendant likely caused the accident. This is a different burden of proof than in criminal court. The plaintiff, who is the state, must prove beyond reasonable doubt of the defendant’s guilt.