Personal injury cases aren’t meant to compensate you for every accident that could possibly happen. They are only meant to compensate you for injuries caused by another person’s negligence.
When you sit down with us to evaluate your case, we’ll ask ourselves whether we can prove the following.
- The defendant had a duty of care towards you.
- The defendant failed in that duty of care.
- The failure resulted in an injury.
- The injury resulted in a compensable loss.
A duty of care is a series of actions a person must take or avoid to reduce the chances of accidents or injuries. Examples include:
- Drivers all have a duty of care to other drivers. All drivers must obey traffic laws and attempt to avoid accidents.
- Property owners have a duty of care to anyone who might visit their properties. They must clean up hazards, maintain their properties to keep them safe and warn of hazards they can’t address in a timely fashion.
- Manufacturers have a duty of care to release safe, well-tested products to the public.
If the defendant doesn’t have a duty of care towards you, there’s no case. Duty of care is also known as “liability.”
Defendants tend to raise defenses to these claims, such as:
- You filed your lawsuit after the statute of limitations.
- You contributed to your own accident.
- They did not have enough time to learn of and remedy the condition that caused the accident.
- You failed to mitigate your damages.
- A different party caused the accident and is thus responsible for your damages.
- In a car accident case: your injuries don’t rise to the severe injury standard for lawsuits under New York’s no-fault law.
Your lawyer will have to refute each of these claims or downplay their importance. For example, a defendant might target a cyclist who wasn’t wearing a helmet at the time of their accident, saying they contributed to their own accident by a considerable margin and thus they should only have to pay a portion of your damages. Your lawyer could counter by pointing out you broke your arm, not your head, and so the presence or absence of a helmet was immaterial to your case.
Personal injury cases can get very complicated very quickly. The sooner you involve a lawyer, the higher your chances of proving your claim. If you think you have a personal injury case, don’t wait. Contact our offices to get help today.
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