How Does Negligence Work In A Court Of Law?

There is a lay person’s definition of the word negligence, and then there is the definition of this action as it relates to what holds up in court. Personal injury lawyers frequently investigate if the incident that is being described to them by a potential client seems to fit into the category of someone who has literally committed negligence or not. Car accident lawyers will not proceed with a case in California if they do not think that it will reach the legal definition of negligence at the very least. Aggravated forms of negligence that will definitely be less difficult to prove in court include recklessness such as felony drunk driving.

What Is Negligence?

In a strict sense this means that the offending party did not act with the necessary care to perform the action that they were taking at a necessary time and as a result, someone ended up getting hurt.  Negligence can be present in dog bite attacks, premises liability cases, drunk driver accidents, pedestrian accidents, car accidents, construction accidents, burn injuries  and more. In a car accident scenario, this can mean that they were doing something such as talking or texting on their cell phone while driving or failing to act as a reasonable person would under the circumstances. An automatic or inferred assumption of negligence, called negligence per se,  is arrived at when a California Vehicle Code Section is violated. This is why police reports also become a critical factor in a negligence or recklessness determination. For instance, if the officer cited the other party for driving at an unsafe speed which is California Vehicle Code section 22350, then an inference of negligence already exists. In more serious accidents that involve a car getting totaled, a person being taken to the hospital for serious injuries, negligence is somewhat easier to prove when one looks at the property damages and bodily injury that resulted, especially where more than one person was injured.

Since many different scenarios can occur and do occur, it is best to contact one our fine car accident litigators at Akiva Niamehr LLP to discuss your case.

How is Negligence Proven by Our Car Accident Attorneys at Akiva Niamehr LLP?

Our law firm is going to look at each individual case that comes before it to try to determine if one of our Los Angeles personal injury attorneys can make your claim a successful one. Proving this means showing a number of elements to the court.

One has to show that the other driver had a duty of care that they were expected to uphold. They must also prove that the offending individual breached that legal duty that was placed in them when they acted in a certain manner or failed to take certain actions. Finally, it must be shown that the negligence was what caused the accident and injuries as a result. These are all high bars to get over, but that is why it is just so important to have a talented attorney who has succeeded on such claims for his clients. Click here to learn about the track record of our attorneys at Akiva Niamehr LLP on a wide array of legal cases including motorcycle accidents, premises liability cases, automobile accidents and more.

Premises Liability Causes of Action

Premises liability claims are claims against a property owner for negligence that created a dangerous condition which caused an invitee or guest on the property bodily harm or injury. California Civil Code Section 1714(a) discusses the elements required for a plaintiff to prove and succeed on a personal injury claim against a landlord. For instance, if a young child is walking through the aisles in a supermarket or department store and slips on a liquid substance that should not be there, he or she may have a claim for premises liability against the store. If an elderly woman slips and falls on stomped grapes in the produce department at Ralph’s or Trader Joes, she may have  a claim as well for premises liability if she can show certain factual circumstances exist.

For one thing, the store must have had constructive or actual notice of the condition and the condition must have been dangerous or posed a danger to an invited guest on the property. If the substance existed for an unreasonable length of time or wasn’t cleaned up or inspected in a timely manner by store employees, these facts would contribute to a finding of liability against the landlord and in favor of the victim who fell. Of course, the dangerous condition must have caused harm and there must be a causal connection between the dangerous condition and the resulting injury.

Contact our premises liability attorneys at Akiva Niamehr LLP to discuss your claim today.

What are Attractive Nuisances and What Liability do they Create?

What are attractive nuisances? It’s usually used in reference to property owners who maintain items or objects on their premises that have the potential to “attract” or lure interested parties who, unfortunately, suffer harm or injury as a result of contact with the item. Some owners view their property as sacred ground and believe any trespasser injured within its perimeter got what they deserved; unfortunately, the courts take a more objective stance, citing the principle of “Premises Liability” law, which states that a property owner has a legal obligation to make his property reasonably safe for invitees, licensees, and trespassers. It’s easy for owners to forget their responsibilities – that’s why the law offices of Akiva Niamehr LLP offer the following advice.

Private Property that Poses a Hazard or Dangerous Condition

How many times have you driven down a cul-de-sac and seen a rusty old jalopy wasting away in someone’s driveway, or worse still, resting on a lawn! The eyesore is painful enough, but then you notice the homeowner has conveniently left engine parts, crankshafts, batteries and other blunt items around the vehicle as well. The problem is, kids like to turn car parts into laser blasters, body armor, and time machines. If a child were to suffer an injury while playing with his junk metal, the owner could be faced with a stiff lawsuit on his hands. But don’t think simply moving the items to the backyard is enough. Certain municipalities have strict codes and regulations about what can be maintained on one’s property. To play it safe, keep spare parts locked up, and your vehicle covered from curious eyes. Consult local laws to ensure your compliance.

Sometimes getting rid of old furniture is such a hassle. Isn’t it easier just to leave it on the lawn, and let someone take it off your hands? WRONG! For example, large freezers can be death traps for small children who like to crawl inside and see if they can visit “Narnia.” Think sofas are soft and harmless? Think again. If a child pulls a Cirque Du Soleil, he can bust a spring, and suffer a nasty cut. If you have furniture you want to be rid of, call the Goodwill, or dispose of it in a safe manner. Don’t leave it on your lawn.

Slipping Hazards

It’s summer again. And you don’t really want to deal with the kids on such a hot, sticky day – good thing you bought a “Crocodile Mile with a boomerang bump, that sends kids flying!” Now you can set it up on the front lawn, turn on the sprinklers, and let your little ones play with the neighbors while you enjoy a nice Mai Tai on the side. But what happens when the kids go home? Do you put “Crocodile Mile” away? Or do you, like many people, leave it on the lawn for another day?

If you answered “yes” to the second question, then you could be setting yourself up for a lawsuit. Leaving toys on the lawn is a sure-fire way to attract children; but you should be extra vigilant when it comes to those that require adult supervision. Astro-jumps, slip-and-slides, trampolines – these are all items that should never be left unattended or without safety precautions. Protect the safety of your children and their friends – keep these items off the lawn without an adult present.

Other Hazards

If you’ve ever had the pleasure of owning a half-pipe, you know how difficult it can be to keep skaters from sneaking into your backyard. Sure, it’s in your backyard, mostly hidden from sight, but in the event of a terrible accident, the law is likely to decide that your half-pipe easily constitutes an “attractive nuisance.” When it comes to large objects such as this, many municipalities have strict building codes. Were a trespasser to suffer an injury, and it was found that you had violated such codes, your chances of defending yourself against a lawsuit are greatly diminished. If you absolutely must be the proud parent of the next Tony Hawk, research local law before building a half-pipe.

Swimming Pools

Perhaps the most common type of attractive nuisance is the domestic swimming pool. Eager eyes will wait for neighbors to leave just to hop over the fence in the hope of taking a dip. Sometimes, the owner of a pool makes too easy – leaving gates unlocked, or failing to close them. Once again, local law varies on the necessary precautions pool owners must take — that’s why it’s important to play it safe. Lockable covers are a good way to secure your pool when you’re away. Also, be certain that all gates and doors are properly locked; that way, if an accident were to occur, you minimize your liability.

Injuries Resulting from Attractive Nuisances

Perhaps you’re starting to realize that children are especially prone to becoming victims of attractive nuisances. Not surprisingly, youth and inexperience are contributing factors in many injurie. But as a property owner, your responsibility is to ensure that trespassing children are reasonably safe from injury. Chances are, if you eliminate the nuisance, you can eliminate any unwanted tragedies as well.

If you or a loved one were the victim of an attractive nuisance, give our legal experts a call.