New York Personal Injury Lawyers
Elements of Proof of Negligence
When someone is injured because of someone else’s negligence, it could give rise to the filing of a New York personal injury lawsuit. However, despite the latent message present in so many legal advertisements that pursuing and recovering justifiable compensation for injuries and damages sustained is an easy and fast process, successfully proving your New York personal injury case requires skill, knowledge and experience that can be provided by New York personal injury lawyers. Below are the four elements necessary to prove that a defendant was negligent in a New York personal injury lawsuit.
Element One – Establish a Legal Duty of Care
The first element that a plaintiff must prove is that the defendant owed him or her a legal duty of care. Generally, this duty of care is a legal notion that states that people owe anyone around them or anyone who could be around them a duty to not place them in situations of undue risk of harm. Proving this element will largely depend on the facts of the situation.
Element Two – Prove that the Legal Duty of Care Was Breached
After the plaintiff has proved that a legal duty of care existed, he or she must then prove that this duty was breached. Generally, courts will use the standard of a ‘reasonable person’ when it comes to this question. Specifically, this means that the judge or jury must view the facts of the situation and decide what a reasonable person would have done in a similar situation. If this reasonable person would have acted differently than the defendant, it’s likely that it will be found that the duty was breached.
Element Three – Causation
Causation is the most complicated element of negligence, and put as simply as possible, it means that the plaintiff must prove that the defendant either directly or indirectly caused the injuries and damages suffered by the plaintiff because of the breach of the duty of care. This element has confused even the most respected legal minds over time, and it’s proof should not be taken lightly.
Element Four – Proof of Damages
Finally, the plaintiff must prove that he or she has suffered damages as a result of the situation. These damages can be actual costs such as medical expenses and lost income or intangible costs such as pain and suffering or loss of companionship.
Ultimately, winning a New York personal injury lawsuit is no small matter. If you or someone you love has been harmed by someone else, seek the help of New York personal injury lawyers who have been successfully proving negligence for many years. Contact The Fitzgerald Law Firm today to schedule a free initial consultation.