The Ins and Outs of Legal Proceedings: 4 Elements of a Personal Injury (Oakland) Claim

The foundation for any personal injury claim lies in the proof of negligence. Evidence of neglect can be described as behaviour that falls short of reasonable standards for protecting people from foreseeable risks of harm. According to Sally Kane, a writer for The Balance Careers, a large portion of civil litigation in this country is made up of personal injury lawsuits. Before you can start negotiating a claim for your injury case, it is vital that you know how to establish all the elements that can confirm there was negligence involved in your injuries. Here are the four parts of a personal injury claim that you need to understand if you are alleging negligence.

Duty to Exercise Reasonable Care

The first element of an injury claim that you must satisfy is the existence of someone’s legal obligation. If your injuries are as a result of a car accident, the presence of duty applies to the driver of the other car with the duty to drive with care to avoid accidents. If your injuries are due to a slip and fall, it usually applies to the homeowner when on private property or a business owner. What constitutes reasonable care depends entirely on the situation. If you are not sure whether you have a substantial claim against negligence, you can get a consultation today from a qualified attorney.

Failure to Exercise Reasonable Care

The second element of any case of negligence is showing that there was a breach in exercising reasonable care, and that breach resulted in injury, according to the Cornell Law School. Even if there wasn’t a deliberate intent to harm someone, it doesn’t negate the person’s liability for the accident. This could be something as simple as not posting a warning sign about a wet floor.

Other times where there might be a failure to exercise reasonable care is if someone is exhibiting a reckless behaviour. A typical example of this would be a person who chooses to drive drunk, speeding down the street and running a red light, striking another vehicle. When it comes to reasonable care, the victim’s contribution to the accident is also an important consideration. If you are exploring a personal injury claim, and are shown to have also been negligent in your actions, it might reduce your compensation or bar recovery altogether.


Causation in a personal injury claim means that the failure to exercise reasonable care resulted in injury. Even if the recklessness or carelessness wasn’t solely to blame, but it did help to contribute to the damage. A claimant’s liability, will again, reduce the amount that can be recovered for their injuries if their negligence also caused the accident.

Suffered Actual Damages

The final component of a negligence claim is damages. If the claimant wasn’t injured and didn’t experience any losses as a result of the negligence, there they don’t have a valid personal injury claim. In many cases, if the claimant didn’t suffer serious injury, it won’t warrant pursuing legal action.

A lawyer can help you decide if your injuries have the necessary elements for a personal injury case and can help you understand the kinds of compensation that you can receive from your injuries.

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