Suffolk County Personal Injury Lawyer Representing Clients Hurt Due to Someone Else’s Negligence in New York
Personal injury is an area of civil tort law that enables individuals hurt by someone else’s negligent actions to seek compensation for their damages. However, because it is considered a civil case, the burden of proof falls on the victim, making it important to work with a seasoned personal injury attorney as your personal point of contact in order to increase your chances of reaching a favorable outcome. Learn how personal injury cases work and the steps you should take to fight back and get the money you deserve for your injuries.
What Counts as a Personal Injury Case in New York?
There are a few important components that need to be present in order for an accident to be considered a personal injury case. First, the victim needs to prove someone else owed them a duty of care. For example, if you are visiting a retail store, the party responsible for the safety and maintenance of the building owes a duty of care to each customer that walks in the door. If you are driving your vehicle on a public roadway, you owe a duty of care to other roadway users, including drivers, passengers, and pedestrians.
Second, the victim needs to prove that the duty of care was breached due to negligence or recklessness. Using our example, a customer at the retail store got injured in an escalator accident that could likely have been prevented if the equipment had been properly maintained. Next, the victim must prove that their injuries and damages were a direct result of the other party breaching their duty of care. Finally, the victim must demonstrate that the accident resulted in significant damages that require compensation. These four elements may apply to a variety of personal injury case types – from slip-and-falls to vehicular accidents and even medical malpractice.
Is New York a Comparative Negligence State?
In some cases, the victim of a personal injury case may also have partially contributed to their own injuries. Fortunately, the state of New York follows a pure comparative negligence rule, which basically enables victims to recover some compensation even if they share responsibility for their own injuries. Unlike other states where victims may be barred from receiving compensation if they are deemed to be 50% or 51% at fault, in New York, you may still receive payment regardless of the percentage of blame assigned to you. However, it is crucial to understand that your percentage of blame directly affects the amount of money you may end up receiving.
For example, if you were involved in a car accident in which another driver was intoxicated and crossed a red light and ended up crashing into your vehicle, chances are that driver will bear the highest percentage of blame, because that person was driving under the influence and breaking traffic laws. However, if you were distracted and did not have your full attention on the road, you may also have been partially at fault because if you weren’t distracted, you might have avoided the accident. So, if it is determined that you were 20% at fault, your final award will be reduced by 20% before you can receive it. This is one of many reasons why you should work with a personal injury attorney who can build a strong case to minimize your percentage of liability and thus maximize the amount you may be eligible to receive.
What Type of Damages May I Be Able to Get Compensated For?
Victims of a personal injury case who can successfully prove they are entitled to compensation may receive payment for economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are usually financial losses directly resulting from the accident and injury. For example, if you were hurt in a car accident, you may have accrued medical expenses after a hospital stay and subsequent healthcare-related visits. You may also have sustained car repair bills or may have needed to replace your vehicle altogether. Medical bills, property damage, and lost wages are all examples of economic damages.
However, many personal injury cases affect victims in more ways than just financially. The trauma of the accident, the pain caused by the injury and recovery, and the emotional distress can negatively impact the quality of life of a personal injury victim. For that reason, victims may also seek repayment for noneconomic damages such as pain, suffering, and emotional distress.
In certain cases where gross negligence can be proven as being the root cause of the accident, victims may also seek punitive damages in addition to standard damages. Punitive damages seek to punish the defendant for reckless behavior with the intention of preventing it from happening again in the future. Not every case is eligible for punitive damages, so it is best to consult with a personal injury attorney to see if punitive damages apply to your case.
Why Do I Need a Personal Point Of Contact Attorney For My Personal Injury Case?
If you have been hurt by someone else’s negligent actions, you should not have to be stuck paying for medical bills and other losses that you did not cause. However, trying to navigate the process of receiving compensation after an accident is not always easy – the endless phone calls with insurance adjusters and long, tedious forms and red tape can often prove to be overwhelming to most people.
By working with a personal point of contact personal injury attorney, you can rest assured your case is taken care of while all you need to do is focus on healing. The Law Office of Gina M. Pellettieri, PLLC, can be your personal point of contact for a variety of personal injury cases in Suffolk County and vicinities. Reach out at (631) 320-1493 to learn more.