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What is Negligence in California?


Ordinary negligence is defined consists of a failure to exercise the degree of care in a given situation that a reasonable person under the same or similar circumstances would employ to protect oneself or others from harm. See CACI No. 401, BAJI No. 310.

Ordinary negligence is also sometimes defined as conduct which falls below the standard established by law for the protection of others. See Civ. Code, § 1714.

The elements of a cause of action for negligence are (1) a legal duty to use due care, (2) the breach of such legal duty, and (3) the breach was the proximate or legal cause of injury. The elements are also often stated in a four-part formulation as (1) duty, (2) breach, (3) causation, and (4) damages. When the required elements coexist, they constitute actionable negligence, but absence of, or failure to prove, any one of them is fatal to any recovery.

Who are the Plaintiffs in a Negligence Case in California?

The possible Plaintiffs include all those injured by someone else’s negligence directly or indirectly.

Who are the Defendants in a Negligence Case in California?

The possible Defendants include all those that owed a duty of care that caused an injury to Plaintiffs.

Determining the answers to these questions is not easy and you should Contact Us to speak with an experienced Personal Injury lawyer to determine if there was negligence, and who the possible Plaintiffs and Defendants should be before filing a lawsuit.

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