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A Look at Liability and Accident Law in Sacramento

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Personal injury attorneys must possess keen expertise in proving, or disproving, liability in a wide range of cases. At Sette Law our Sacramento injury lawyers explain that liability is comprehensive and covers many facets of law for our clients in Sacramento.

Personal injury lawyers advocating for the plaintiff are charged with proving a defendant is responsible for an act or omission that caused harm. If the evidence of liability is clear our Sacramento injury attorneys may justify compensation for the losses suffered by their client. But, proving liability, even for a seasoned personal injury attorney, is a complicated and rigorous process for legal professionals in Sacramento.

Injury Lawyers face High Bar
One of the first principles our Sacramento injury attorneys approach is “duty to act.” This means it’s necessary to show the defendant didn’t fulfill his or her duty, and that failure directly caused the plaintiff’s personal injury. Attorneys for the defendant, of course, will seek to convince a judge or jury otherwise. According to our Sacramento injury lawyers the harm done can range from breach of a contract to a crime or serious car accident. An attorney should be well versed in all variations of liability law when advising clients in Sacramento.

Personal injury lawyers should be a) prepared to show the plaintiff had a duty to act; b) the plaintiff didn’t fulfill that responsibility; c) that failure of duty led to injury or harm of the client. Sacramento personal injury attorneys often deal with cases that involve more than one plaintiff, known as joint liability. Together as a unit, defendants may be responsible and, at the same time, separately (severally) liable for a personal injury. Attorneys say that in such cases a plaintiff can’t claim full financial recovery from both parties. Our Sacramento personal injury and accident lawyers offer this hypothetical scenario:

The driver of a delivery truck for a company makes an illegal right turn and hits a bike rider, causing serious injuries and months of recovery. She loses her job and is unable to pay her bills. Her Sacramento injury lawyer will not only look to prove the driver’s liability, but also that of the company employing the driver in Sacramento. Her injury attorney will show the driver breached his duty of care and that his negligence directly led to her personal injury. Her lawyer establishes the right to sue to driver, but the owner of the delivery truck may also be liable under personal injury law. Her Sacramento personal injury lawyer will help to determine to what extent this liability is shared. Even though the truck owner may not have breached duty of care, he has “statutory liability” in a court in Sacramento. A personal injury lawyer will be aware of such relationships when advocating for a client.

Once Removed from an Accident in Sacramento?
Injury attorneys caution business owners to be aware of their potential liability in a car accident which involves an employee. The principle of “vicarious liability” may apply when an employee driving a company-owned vehicle is involved in an accident in Sacramento. Personal injury lawyers will look for evidence of reckless driving or other negligence on behalf of the driver who was working at the time of the accident. Our Sacramento accident attorneys say this is a common element in personal injury law and employers should be aware of this liability risk. However, our personal injury attorneys emphasize that the employee must be acting on behalf of the employer for this dual liability to be recognized by a court in Sacramento. Accident lawyers say that if an employee is driving a company vehicle off-hours, without employer okay, the company would likely not be held liable. A personal injury attorney for the plaintiff will verify whether or not the accident occurred on legitimate company business or outside company regulations.

In Sacramento, personal injury lawyers caution, it’s also possible that parents may be liable for accidents caused by their minor children. There are a number of conditions that may apply including when parents know their child is incompetent to drive in Sacramento. Accident lawyers say this can include knowledge that the minor is reckless or inexperienced. This situation is often described as “Negligent entrustment,” according to our Sacramento injury lawyers.

Individuals who loan their cars to other drivers may also assume responsibility for accidents. Injury attorneys explain that many states don’t need the employer-employee relationship to place responsibility with the car owner – simple permission to drive the car is enough.

But wait, it gets even riskier! Sacramento personal injury attorneys say that if a person loans a car to a driver who is unfit, incompetent or reckless, the owner may be taking a big gamble if there’s an accident. If injury lawyers prove the driver caused the accident, the vehicle owner could share liability for resulting damages and injuries. Our Sacramento personal injury lawyers say that this, too, is known as Negligent Entrustment.

Clearly, vehicle owners accept a great deal of responsibility, according to our Sacramento accident attorneys. And fundamental to protecting themselves from liability is having good judgment before the occurrence of a Sacramento car accident. Injury attorneys explain that law generally considers the following drivers unfit behind the wheel: Those who are ill, impaired by alcohol or drugs, inexperienced under-age or unlicensed or known to drive recklessly in Sacramento. Accident attorneys for the plaintiff will look for any of these factors to determine liability, and car owners who lend vehicles are clearing taking a risk.

Post-Crash Behavior Critical in Sacramento Accidents
Personal injury lawyers who have handled many accident lawsuits advise people involved to remain calm and say as little as possible after a car accident. Our accident attorneys know that a misspoken phrase can play a big role in court and perhaps impact the outcome of a car accident case. Injury lawyers report that even a simple apology might be interpreted as admission of blame. Instead, our Sacramento accident attorneys advise people to record comments, and take photos and videos of the crash scene. Based on our experience as Sacramento car accident attorneys, we know that memory alone may not be sufficient in a court of law. And, under the stress of a car crash, people may easily forget key elements of a Sacramento car accident. An attorney should be among the first people called after a crash that causes injury.


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Sacramento Personal Injury Attorney Disclaimer

This website is for general information only about personal injury attorneys and does not constitute a client/lawyer relationship. If you believe that you are entitled to personal injury compensation contact Frederick Sette. He is an experienced Sacramento personal injury and car accident attorney who is devoted to protecting victims of personal injury in Fairfield, Modesto, Sacramento, Stockton, Napa and surrounding California cities.

Sacramento Office:

1700 I Street, Suite 120
Sacramento, CA 95811

Phone: (916) 442-0000
Fax: (916) 442-0001

Stockton Office:

4568 Feather River Dr, Ste C
Stockton, CA 95207

Phone: (209) 464-7700
Fax: (209) 833-1700