What Is Personal Injury?
Personal injury is a broad category of lawsuits that covers accidents, diseases, and other harms which victims experience because of someone else’s negligence. These injuries may affect the body, mind, or even the emotions of the victim. The main objective of filing a personal injury lawsuit is to compensate the victim for losses related to the injury. The sum of money awarded as compensation is known as damages.
The basis of a personal injury lawsuit is negligence, which is a failure to act with the level of care that a reasonably prudent person would have exercised. Negligence may include an act or a failure to act and may show up in a variety of different types of personal injuries, such as:
- Car, truck, and motorcycle accidents
- Bicycle and pedestrian accidents
- Pedestrian knock-downs
- Sidewalk accidents
- Construction site accidents
- Slip, trip, and fall and other premises liability cases
- Uber and Lyft accidents
- Bus, train, and public transportation accidents
- Wrongful death
- Burn injuries
What Does A Personal Injury Victim Have To Prove?
It is up to the victim to prove he or she has suffered a personal injury as defined by the laws of New York. To do so, the victim must establish these elements:
The duty of care refers to the obligation of the at-fault party (known as the defendant in a lawsuit) to not harm the victim (plaintiff). For example, motorists owe a duty to everyone else on the road to obey traffic laws and operate their vehicles safely.
The term “breach” refers to a violation of the duty of care. This is where the above-mentioned concept of negligence comes in. Although the duty of care is relatively easy to prove, it is much more difficult to prove a breach.
Causation actually consists of two parts. The plaintiff must show that the defendant’s breach was a cause of the plaintiff’s injury although it is not necessary for the plaintiff to prove the defendant’s negligence was the only cause of the injury. This is referred to as proximate cause.
The plaintiff must demonstrate the nature of the losses he or she experienced and for which compensation is demanded. Damages are generally divided into economic (the dollar figure can be objectively quantified, such as medical bills and loss of wages) and non-economic (calculation of the amount is more subjective, such as the dollar value of a person’s physical injury and the pain, suffering and disability it causes) damages.
What Types Of Damages
May Be Available?
Some damages, such as lost future income and future medical expenses, often require the testimony of expert witnesses who can explain to a jury what a victim’s future expenses will likely be. Future, or permanent, disability required the testimony of a doctor. Your attorney’s goal is to win the maximum damages available under the law so you are fairly compensated.
Count on Miller, Montiel, & Strano, P.C. Our knowledgeable New York personal injury attorneys will take the time to learn every important fact about your case, and then get to work seeking the justice you deserve. We’re ready to start on your case today.
- Physical injuries, such as amputation of a leg, broken bones, herniated discs, and other injuries to body parts
- Medical bills, such as hospitalization, ambulance, surgery, lab work, medical equipment, and other costs
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation
- In-home personal care for victims with permanent injuries
- Lost income and lost future income
- Emotional distress and mental anguish
- Pain and suffering
- In some cases, punitive damages (designed to punish especially malicious conduct)
- In the event the victim dies, certain wrongful death damages
Will My New York Personal Injury Case Go To Trial?
Most personal injury lawsuits are resolved outside of court, in negotiations between the plaintiff’s attorney and the defendant’s insurance company. Although it is not a requirement that you retain legal representation before speaking with the insurer, it is strongly recommended. Remember, insurance companies are businesses. Their goal is to pay as little as possible on personal injury claims. They are notorious for denying perfectly valid claims or paying far less than the damages are worth, hoping the victim will go away. Additionally, insurance companies are skilled at using the victims’ own words against them. They often ask victims to give a recorded statement about the injury. This may seem harmless, but victims are often coaxed into “admitting” things that may come back later to hurt them.
Once you settle with the defendant’s insurance company, your case is over as to the defendant insured by that company. If it turns out that your injuries are worse than initially thought, you won’t get to ask the insurance company for more money.
An experienced attorney will know best how to handle negotiations with the insurance company and fight for the compensation your case is truly worth. If a settlement cannot be reached that fairly compensates you for your injuries, we can take your case to court.
Contact Our New York Personal Injury Attorney
We understand the stress you’re likely experiencing in the wake of suffering your personal injury. That’s why we represent clients from start to finish with compassion and professionalism. When you retain Miller, Montiel, & Strano, P.C., you have a trusted legal ally committed to serving you. Contact us today to schedule your confidential consultation.
Miller, Montiel, & Strano, P.C. help clients with their personal injury claims throughout New York including Nassau County, Suffolk County, Queens, and Brooklyn.