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Automotive/Motorcycle Accident

The Basic Law of Negligence

If you have been seriously injured in an auto or motorcycle accident, your ability to seek compensation from the at-fault driver depends on the law of negligence. Negligence requires a showing of four essential elements: duty, breach, cause, and damages.


In auto or motorcycle accident cases, duty is that of a reasonable person.  Your legal obligation is to take reasonable care not to engage in conduct that might cause injury to another. 


Once a duty is created, the next element in a negligence case is a breach. Courts look at whether a defendant's conduct fell short of their legal duty to refrain from injury-causing conduct.

Causation/Damages Requirement

Causation is the third element in any negligence case. The critical question is, but for the defendant's breach of duty, would the plaintiff have suffered an injury? Additionally, the injury itself must have been a foreseeable consequence of the defendant's conduct. For example, if a defendant driver ran a stoplight (breach of duty) then struck and injured a pedestrian (cause/damages) in the crosswalk, then the driver was likely negligent. Finally, there must be an injury for a San Diego auto accident attorney to help seek compensation. In the pedestrian example, if the pedestrian wasn't injured, there is no legal negligence, even though the driver breached a duty.

Contact California Law Centers

 If you've been seriously injured in an accident, call California Law Centers at 888-368-2384 to discuss your case.

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