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Tag Archives: negligence

Understanding The Duty Of Care

By Robert Ross |

UNLESS A DUTY OF CARE EXISTS, THERE CAN BE NO ACTIONABLE NEGLIGENCE  The existence of a duty of care is a threshold requirement for negligence claims. Unless a duty of care exists, and unless the defendant owes that duty to the plaintiff who suffered injury, there can be no valid negligence claim. This is… Read More »

What is “Legally Actionable Negligence”?

By Robert Ross |

NEGLIGENCE INVOLVES A BREACH OR FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH A DUTY OF CARE Many terms have one meaning in everyday speech and another meaning under the law. This is because the statutes (written laws) and legal precedents (judges’ opinions in court cases) define certain words as “terms of art” that have specialized legal meanings…. Read More »

Who Can Be Held Liable For Premises Liability?

By Robert Ross |

WHO IS LIABLE (AND WHO IS PROTECTED) UNDER PREMISES LIABILITY LAW? Premises liability law is often used to protect the rights of tenants or visitors who are injured or whose property suffers damage while visiting or doing business on someone else’s property. Generally speaking, the duty to repair and maintain property and improvements arises… 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 »

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 »

What is “Res Ipsa Loquitur”?

By Robert Ross |

RES IPSA LOQUITUR IS A LEGAL DOCTRINE IMPACTING PROOF OF CAUSATION “Res ipsa loquitur” is a Latin phrase that means “the thing speaks for itself.” In legal terms, res ipsa loquitur is a legal doctrine that allows a court to assume or infer the existence of negligence based on certain kinds of circumstantial evidence. Like… Read More »

Negligence “Per Se” – A Duty or Standard Established by Law

By Robert Ross |

WHAT IS NEGLIGENCE PER SE? Negligence per se is a legal concept that, in certain situations, may make it easier for plaintiffs to prove a negligence claim. Where a defendant violated a law, ordinance, or regulation that establishes either a duty of care or the appropriate standard of care that people should use in specific circumstances,… 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 »

Breach of Duty: Violating the Standard of Care

By Robert Ross |

NEGLIGENCE OCCURS WHEN A BREACH OF DUTY CAUSES INJURY. The existence of a duty, without more, does not create negligence liability. However, when a person violates a legally-recognized duty of care, and that breach of duty causes injury (or damage) to a person or property, negligence liability may result. WHEN HAS A PERSON BREACHED… Read More »

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