How can I obtain compensation if I am injured in an accident?
In New York, an individual who has been injured in an accident or otherwise harmed by the conduct of another person can file a personal injury lawsuit to recover damages. By engaging the services of an experienced attorney, accident victims can receive compensation for their injuries, medical expenses, and lost wages, as well as pain and suffering. There are a number of situations that enable an injured person to file a lawsuit, such as car accidents, intentional acts, slip and falls, and medical malpractice. A lawsuit may be brought when someone acts in a negligent manner that causes harm to another individual. In some cases, intentional actions, such as assault and battery, that cause harm to an individual, are grounds not only for a criminal case, but a personal injury claim as well. Finally, accidents and injuries can also be caused by the use of defective products and form the basis of a product liability lawsuit.
Grounds for a Personal Injury Lawsuit
In order to bring a personal injury lawsuit it is necessary to establish which party is at fault. Once this has been ascertained, a claim can be filed to obtain compensation. While claims are often settled in a negotiation, if an agreement cannot be reached by the parties’ attorneys, a lawsuit will be necessary.
Many personal injury claims involve negligence, or conduct that does not meet the standard of care that is expected of a reasonable person. There are four elements of negligence that a plaintiff must show. The first is a “duty of care" or the responsibility that one has to avoid causing harm to another individual. The plaintiff must demonstrate that the defendant breached this legal duty, and that the defendant caused the injuries. Finally, the plaintiff must have incurred actual damages, whether from medical bills, lost wages or property damage. In some claims, negligence is not involved and demonstrating fault is a matter of establishing intentional conduct or what is referred to as strict liability. In any event, demonstrating the elements of a claim can be difficult. In addition, determining which party is at fault requires a thorough investigation that entails collecting evidence, interviewing the parties and any witnesses, obtaining police reports and in some situations, relying on the testimony of experts. Proving the elements of fault, and preparing a successful case ultimately depend upon the skills of an attorney with expertise in personal injury law.