Wednesday, September 16, 2015

How Personal Injury Law Addresses Negligence

The courts in Los Angeles recognize the fact that an individual who is negligent has a level of financial responsibility to cover the injuries their negligence caused. For example, if a person gets behind the wheel of an automobile while they are intoxicated and as a result of their negligent behavior causes property damage, injury, or death, in addition to the criminal charges they may face, they could be brought to civil court and sued for negligence.

Another example would be a homeowner who has a dog that has a history of biting other people, but is allowed to roam free. In both of the aforementioned examples, the negligent party realized that their behavior posed a risk and yet ignored that risk and as a result people were injured.

Once negligence has been clearly established, the defendant is responsible for financially covering the plaintiff’s injuries that resulted from the defendant’s negligence. Some injuries are easier to calculate than others. For example, it is relatively easy to calculate medical bills or bills that arise from property damage; however, it can be more challenging to put a monetary amount on things like emotional damage or loss of companionship.

In addition to the actual expenses, there are punitive damages that may be imposed. The purpose of punitive damages is to punish a defendant because of the egregious nature of their conduct. It is not uncommon for punitive damages to be more than the actual damages that a defendant is forced to pay.

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