In order to recover damages in a personal injury case in California, a plaintiff generally needs to prove three things:

  1. That the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care;
  2. That the defendant breached such duty through negligence; and
  3. That the defendant’s negligence was a substantial factor in causing the harm (“causation”).1

A person is negligent when he or she fails to act the way a reasonably careful person would in the same situation.