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Tag Archives: injury

Negligence in Property Maintenance: Premises Liability

By Robert Ross |

WHAT IS “PREMISES LIABILITY”? Premises liability is a branch of negligence law that relates to the way real property, and the buildings and other “improvements” on real property, are constructed, maintained, and managed. As the name suggests, premises liability law deals with the way people (and businesses) that own, manage, or possess property may… Read More »

Is “Free Speech” a Defense to Negligence?

By Robert Ross |

IN CERTAIN CASES, THE EXERCISE OF CONSTITUTIONALLY PROTECTED RIGHTS CAN PROVIDE A DEFENSE TO NEGLIGENCE. Both the California constitution and the Constitution of the United States grant people certain rights–for example, the rights to peaceful assembly, freedom of speech, and the free exercise of religion. Religion may provide at least a partial defense to… Read More »

Compensatory Damages in Malicious Prosecution Actions

By Robert Ross |

WHAT ARE COMPENSATORY DAMAGES? Compensatory damages are damages designed to make the plaintiff “whole.” Put another way, compensatory damages attempt to compensate the plaintiff–to “pay back” the damages the plaintiff has incurred as a result of the defendant’s wrongful conduct. Generally speaking, only prevailing plaintiffs are able to recover damages. This means the plaintiff must… Read More »

Do Written Releases of Liability Have Any Limitations?

By Robert Ross |

Before engaging in sports or other recreational activities, people are often asked to sign a written release or waiver of liability. These releases generally contain language absolving the person or company running the activity from “all” liability (including liability resulting from the company’s own negligence) if the participant is injured during the course of… Read More »

Assumption of the Risk in Releases and Waivers

By Robert Ross |

ARE WRITTEN RELEASES OF LIABILITY VALID? Sometimes, people are asked to sign a written release of liability (sometimes called a “waiver of liability”) before engaging in certain kinds of sports or recreational activities. These waivers usually contain language releasing the person or company running the activity from legal liability for injuries the participant suffers… Read More »

“Assumption of the Risk” in Negligence Cases

By Robert Ross |

ASSUMPTION OF THE RISK IS A DEFENSE IN NEGLIGENCE ACTIONS When applicable, the legal doctrine of “assumption of the risk” negates the defendant’s duty of care to the injured plaintiff, either entirely or in part. In circumstances where the doctrine applies, the defendant owes the plaintiff no legal duty, and thus is not generally… Read More »

Understanding “Comparative Fault” in Negligence Cases

By Robert Ross |

COMPARATIVE FAULT MAY REDUCE A PLAINTIFF’S DAMAGE AWARD Comparative fault–also called comparative negligence–is a legal doctrine that may reduce the amount an injured plaintiff is able to recover from a defendant in negligence cases. If a plaintiff’s own negligence contributed to his or her injuries, the doctrine of comparative fault may reduce the plaintiff’s… Read More »

What Does it Mean to Legally “Cause” an Injury?

By Robert Ross |

CAUSATION IS A MANDATORY ELEMENT OF NEGLIGENCE CLAIMS In order to prevail on a negligence claim, the plaintiff must prove causation — a legally-recognized causal relationship between the defendant’s breach of duty and the plaintiff’s injuries. Causation is a mandatory element of a negligence claim, which means that if the plaintiff cannot prove it to… Read More »

When is an Injury “Foreseeable”?

By Robert Ross |

FORESEEABILITY IS A FACTOR IN DETERMINING A DEFENDANT’S DUTY IN NEGLIGENCE CASES When evaluating whether or not a defendant owed a duty of care to an injured plainitff, courts will often evaluate the foreseeability of the harm or injury. Where the plaintiff suffers only economic harm, foreseeability generally plays a lesser role than it does in… Read More »

What Kind of Legal “Duty” Supports a Negligence Case?

By Robert Ross |

WITHOUT A LEGAL DUTY, THERE IS NO ACTIONABLE NEGLIGENCE. The existence of a legal duty is a fundamental element of a negligence case or claim. If the defendant did not owe a duty to the plaintiff, courts will not hold the defendant legally liable for the plaintiff’s injuries, even if the defendant was responsible for… Read More »

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