If you suffered an injury caused by the negligence of another, you may file a lawsuit to recover financial compensation. Remember, when it comes to car accidents, you may only have to deal with an insurance adjuster unless you suffered a serious injury. If your injuries were caused by defective products, the “strict liability” rule will apply, which means negligence is automatically presumed.
Here are the four elements you must prove negligence in a personal injury case:
- Duty of care – Virtually every person has “a duty of care” to avoid harming another person or placing them in danger. For instance, drivers have a duty to drive in a safe manner and avoid crashing into others. Regarding premises liability cases, property owners have a duty to maintain a safe environment or warn others of known dangers on the property.
- Breach of duty of care – Next, you must prove that the defendant breached their duty of care. In order words, you need to show the defendant acted in a way that a reasonable person would not have acted in that situation or violated a law. When it comes to car accidents, the duty of care is breached if the driver is speeding, texting while driving, running a red light, or driving at night without his/her headlights on before being involved in a crash. In a premises liability case, the duty of care is breached if the owner failed to post a warning sign about slippery floors or other dangers on the property.
- Causation – Then, you must prove that the defendant’s breach of duty resulted in your injury. Personal injury cases are based on the “proof by a preponderance of the evidence,” which means you must show it is more likely than not that the defendant’s actions caused your injuries. It is not uncommon for the defendant to claim that you shared some percentage of blame for the accident.
- Damages – Finally, you must prove you suffered damages—or monetary losses—as a result of the accident and the defendant’s actions. There are two main types of damages: economic and noneconomic. The former consists of tangible losses such as medical bills, property damage, and lost wages, while the latter entails intangible harm like emotional distress or pain and suffering. If gross negligence is apparent, you could be awarded punitive damages, which are designed to punish the defendant for their extremely reckless actions.
If you or a loved one were injured in New York, our legal team at Collins Gann McCloskey & Barry PLLC knows what it takes to obtain the financial compensation and justice you deserve. With more than 80 years of combined experience, we provide high-quality and effective legal solutions to our clients and protect their rights and best interests while helping them navigate the legal process.
Contact us today at (516) 218-5131 and schedule a free consultation to learn about your legal options.