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Proving Negligence

Proving Negligence

Determining Liability in Personal Injury Cases

At the Law Office of Leonard Matsuk, our firm focuses on personal injury cases. What exactly is personal injury law and what does it have to do with collecting monetary compensation? Personal injury is a legal term that refers to injuries to the body, mind, or emotions, as opposed to injuries to property. Personal injury is a common term used to refer to a tort lawsuit that alleges a plaintiff's injuries were caused by the negligence of another person or entity. A personal injury lawsuit can include damages for medical expenses, rehabilitative therapy, ambulance costs, lost income, loss of future income and pain and suffering etc. Depending upon the intentions of the negligent party, the injured party may be entitled to monetary compensation either through a settlement or a judgment.

In order for the injured party to receive compensation, they must prove that the other party behaved in a negligent manner. Personal injury law hinges on the theory of "negligence," and in order for a claim or a lawsuit to be successful, negligence must be proven. What does negligence mean? Negligence is defined as conduct that falls below the standards of behavior by law for the protection of others against unreasonable risks of harm.

When someone departs from the rational conduct that would be expected from a reasonably prudent person and they subsequently injure another person, then they are considered to be negligent. For example, if a person is speeding 30 mph above the speed limit on the freeway and they get into an accident, then they were being negligent. On the other hand, if a store manager knowingly leaves a large spill on the floor and a customer slips and breaks their hip, the manger acted in a negligent manner.

Plaintiff Must Prove that Defendant Was Negligent

In order for a plaintiff to establish negligence, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant had a duty to the plaintiff, and that the defendant breached that duty by failing to adhere to the required standard of conduct, and that the defendant's conduct caused harm to the plaintiff, and that the plaintiff was in fact harmed because of the defendant's negligent conduct.

In essence, a person acts negligently when he or she has departed from normal and rational conduct, conduct that would be expected of a reasonably cautious person under the same set of circumstances. With personal injury claims, the possibilities are limitless and people can get injured in a number of different ways, and in a variety of different circumstances. Some common examples of how negligent behavior can cause injuries and give rise to personal injury claims include:

  • A person drives under the influence of drugs or alcohol and causes an accident.
  • A distracted driver is texting while driving and gets into a collision.
  • A pharmacist puts the wrong pills into a prescription bottle, sickening the patient.
  • A boater drives recklessly and causes a boating accident.
  • A careless driver strikes a pedestrian in a crosswalk.
  • A dog owner lets their dangerous dog roam freely who subsequently attacks a small child.
  • A day care provider fails to supervise a child in a pool who drowns.
  • A construction worker overloads a crane and it collapses, injuring a nearby worker.
  • A drug manufacturer releases a drug that proves ineffective and causes serious side effects.
  • An elderly patient suffers malnutrition at the hands of a negligent caregiver.

Contact a Long Beach Personal Injury Attorney!

If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident as a result of someone else's negligent behavior, we urge you to contact a Long Beach personal injury lawyer from the Law Office of Leonard Matsuk right away. Our lead attorney, Leonard Matsuk has more than 30 years of experience handling personal injury claims in the state of California; therefore, we are well-versed in California's laws and we can determine very quickly if you have grounds for a personal injury claim.

Attorney Matsuk is AV® Preeminent™ rated by Martindale-Hubbell®, which is the highest rating an attorney can receive for ethical conduct and legal ability. He is also included in California's selection of Super Lawyers®, which no more than 5% of attorneys in the state are able to claim this distinction, and he is rated "Excellent" by With over 3 decades of experience, we have the knowledge, experience and credentials you are looking for in a reputable law firm, so contact us today!

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