Rochester Personal Injury Lawyer
If you recently suffered a personal injury, you are likely experiencing many of the difficulties that victims encounter, such as mounting medical bills, missing time at work, and chronic pain. Fortunately, through a personal injury lawsuit, you may have a path through which you can recover financial compensation from the liable party.
People or entities may be liable for a personal injury if they owed the victim a duty of care that they breached, causing the injury either negligently, recklessly, or intentionally. If a personal injury lawsuit is successful, the plaintiff can recover economic, noneconomic, and sometimes punitive damages.
To find out more information about your injury, who was responsible, and how much your case may be worth, get a free first-time case assessment from the experienced Rochester personal injury attorneys at The Carrion Law Firm by calling (718) 841-0083.
Elements of Negligence in a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Rochester
If you are considering whether to take legal action to recover for your personal injury, you are likely wondering whether you have a valid claim. Most personal injuries that create grounds for a lawsuit are caused by negligence. To win a personal injury lawsuit for negligence in Rochester, you will likely have to satisfy the four elements of negligence: duty of care, breach of duty, causation, and injury.
Duty of Care
A duty of care is a legal obligation that guides how one person or entity must act towards another in order to avoid an accident (and liability for that accident). These duties are created and defined by the relationship between the party that owes the duty and the party to whom they owe the duty. For instance, doctors owe different duties to their patients than bus drivers owe to their passengers. Your Rochester personal injury lawyer can help you learn more about what specific duties were involved in your injury case.
Breach of Duty
The next step in proving negligence is showing that the defendant breached the duty that they owed you. Essentially, this comes down to demonstrating the difference between what was expected from the duty and what the defendant actually did (or didn’t do). Rochester personal injury lawyers will typically introduce expert testimony to explain industry standards in cases that are more complex, such as medical malpractice or defective products cases.
Once you have established that the defendant breached their duty that they owed to you, you must then be able to prove that their breach led to the incident that left you injured. This is referred to as cause, and is split into two criteria: cause-in-fact and proximate cause. Cause-in-fact essentially means that the incident would not have happened “but for” the negligence, and proximate cause means that there were no superseding or external causes that might divert blame from the negligence.
To recover in a lawsuit, you must show that the incident actually caused you compensable harm. Compensable harm is any injury that you could obtain damages for in a lawsuit. This is one of many reasons why you should seek medical attention as soon as possible after suffering a personal injury.
Damages in a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Rochester
If you are successful in your personal injury claim, you are rewarded with damages. Damages are how courts compensate injury victims for their harms, both personal and financial, and may also be a way to punish particularly reckless defendants for reprehensible behavior.
Economic damages are how the court compensates the victim for their direct financial losses stemming from their injury. This not only includes the costs of dealing with the injuries themselves, such as medical care, but also the costs of accounting for how these injuries impact you, such as having to take time off of work or change career paths to account for the effects on your functional capacity.
You can also seek compensation through a lawsuit for the pain and suffering that you experience personally. This could come from the consequences of your injuries or the trauma of the injurious experience itself. Because these damages don’t come directly off of receipts or invoices, you may find it more difficult to calculate noneconomic damages in your case without the help of a seasoned Rochester personal injury attorney.
Punitive damages are not available in every personal injury case. However, when a defendant’s conduct rises above simple negligence to the point of recklessness or intentionally harmful conduct, a Rochester court may determine that additional punishment is necessary to restore equity and caution others against similar behavior in the future.
Reasons to Hire a Rochester Personal Injury Lawyer
New York law does not require you to hire legal representation to pursue your claim. However, you may find that reaching out to a Rochester personal injury attorney early on in the process can provide a number of benefits.
Your lawyer can help you find specialists that can both treat your injury and provide testimony in court on your prognosis and how your injuries may have occurred. You can also have your lawyer handle all communication with the other side’s insurance provider so that you can avoid being taken advantage of or saying something about the accident or your injuries that they can take out of context.
It is critical to take the time factor into account as well. For most personal injury lawsuits, the statute of limitations in New York generally only gives you three years to file your lawsuit. Each case presents unique procedural challenges such as identifying when the three-year period starts, but an experienced attorney will be familiar with these requirements and can help you avoid missing critical deadlines.
Talk to The Carrion Law Firm About Your Personal Injury for Free Today
Our dedicated Rochester personal injury lawyers can get you started off on the right path with a free initial case assessment when you call The Carrion Law Firm today at (718) 841-0083.