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What Must I Prove to Win a Personal Injury Case?

In New York, a person who suffers an injury caused by the negligence, carelessness, and recklessness of another party can file a personal injury lawsuit for monetary damages in the form of past and future medical expenses, lost income, property damage, as well as pain and suffering.

In every personal injury case, the plaintiff (the injured party) must prove four elements to have a valid claim. Although success is not guaranteed, you need to have these elements in order to have any hope of victory.

The four elements of a personal injury lawsuit include the following:

  • The duty of care - You must demonstrate that the individual or entity you are suing owed you a duty or obligation to exercise reasonable care. In a car accident case, for example, all drivers are responsible for operating their vehicles in a safe manner to avoid a collision and injury. In a premises liability case, a property owner has a duty of care to maintain a safe environment on their property for visitors. In a medical malpractice case, a doctor or health care provider has a duty of care to provide their patients with effective treatment.
  • Breach of duty- You must show that the defendant failed to meet their duty of reasonable care. In a car accident, the driver committed a reckless or careless act, such as speeding, texting while driving, drunk driving, or failing to obey traffic lights. In a premises liability case, the owner failed to maintain a safe environment by wiping their floors clean or warn guests of debris or spills. In a medical malpractice case, the doctor failed to thoroughly read your medical history before diagnosing your condition or gave you medication without knowing your allegories.
  • Causation -The defendant's failure to exercise reasonable caused your injury. It is not enough to be involved in an accident which resulted in damages and that someone else is to blame. You need to show that the damage you suffered was caused by the other person's actions.
  • Damages- Lastly, you must show that you suffered actual damages due to the defendant's negligent actions. Not only can you recover financial compensation for physical injuries, but also financial and emotional injuries.

But this is where it gets interesting in New York because even though you still have the same four elements of negligence, New York added a wrinkle to the damages portion for car accident cases. In these cases, you must prove a certain severity of damage so that even if you are hit in the rear at a complete standstill and did nothing to contribute to your accident and you suffered injuries that resulted in you going to a Hospital or doctor, your injury may still not qualify as the right kind of damage in New York.

This is why you need an experienced New York personal injury attorney. Because New York is a no-fault state you must prove not only that you have been injured in a car accident but that you have been "seriously injured." If you cannot prove a serious injury your case will likely be dismissed. Experienced motor vehicle accident attorneys know how to argue persuasively with an insurance company, defense lawyer, judge or jury that your injury is not an ordinary one but rather a "serious one."

If you have suffered an injury caused by negligence in New York, our Long Island personal injury lawyer at The Law Office of Matthew Glassman can help you obtain the compensation and justice you deserve. With more than three decades of experience, Attorney Matthew Glassman can evaluate your case, determine if your case contains the four elements, and protect your rights and best interests throughout the legal process.

For more information about New York personal injury claims, contact us and schedule a free consultation today.