If you or a loved one has been injured due to the recklessness or negligence of another party, you may be able to receive compensation for your losses through a New York personal injury claim or lawsuit. In most cases, this means filing a personal injury case against the at-fault party’s business, auto, or homeowner’s insurance policy, etc.
Remember, as a victim, you have the “burden of proof,” which means the obligation to prove the claim is in your hands. The defendant doesn’t have to prove anything in or out of court. Therefore, you’ll need to gather as much evidence as possible to prove your case. That’s why having a New York personal injury law firm representing you is important now than ever.
What Do I Need to Prove to Receive Compensation for My Injury?
Facts in each personal injury case are unique. If you want to win your case, you have to prove that the other party did something wrong or failed to do what a reasonable person should have done. You need credible evidence that links your injuries to the at-fault party’s “negligence.”
How Do I Prove Negligent Behavior?
Every personal injury case hinges on the concept of negligence. It can sometimes be difficult to prove another party’s negligent behavior due to prevailing circumstances. However, an experienced Bronx personal injury attorney can offer you clarity.
Often, proving negligence is the first step among several steps in a PI case. However, most cases face difficulties when trying to prove causation, which is between the initial negligence and the injury itself.
Here are the four elements of negligence:
Duty of care: this means the at-fault party was expected to behave in a certain way. For instance, an at-fault driver in a New York car accident is expected to drive safely and obey traffic laws, while an at-fault landlord is expected to keep his/her building free of any hazards.
Breach of duty: this party failed to uphold this duty of care by doing something wrong. A driver can do this by running a red light or texting while driving.
Causation: you need to show a direct correlation between your injuries and the at-fault party’s actions. Sometimes even after proving someone had breached a duty to care, they may still claim their negligence was not the cause of the accident – or sole cause at least. You need experienced car accident attorneys to help you prove such elements when the defendant is trying to dismiss fault.
Damages: you bear confirmed injuries backed up with evidence such as medical records. Damages here means the physical and emotional injuries, lost wages, and property damage as a consequence of the accident.
How Do I Prove Damages?
Proving these “damages” is the second thing your personal injury lawyer in New York must prove after negligence. Evidence needed here should be clear and direct, clamoring that the victim ought to be compensated.
For instance, you must prove that a driver’s failure to stop at a red light caused the accident and that the medical expenses you suffered were directly generated due to this accident. You need these records for this step: police report, medical records, photographs and video evidence, witness statements, employment records for verification of lost income, pain/treatment journal, expert witnesses’ opinions, and reports of previous accidents or complaints.
What to Do with These Documents
Your documentation will give a full picture of your personal injury claim in the Bronx, its strengths and weaknesses. You can then present your case skillfully and even approach the other side for a fair settlement.
Compiling the documentation may seem overwhelming, but you shouldn’t do it alone. Hire an injury attorney to help you identify and gather those documents for you.
What If I Was Partly Responsible for a New York Accident?
New York has a comparative negligence clause, which says that the court may look at each party’s degree of fault and award compensation based on this ratio. Even if you were partly at fault, you will still receive compensation for damages, but restricted to the other person’s percentage of fault.
In such cases, you need an agile and skillful NY personal injury lawyer who will protect and fight for your best interests.
What Should I Do If Contacted by the Other Party’s Insurance Company?
It would be best if you didn’t speak with an at-fault party’s insurance company before consulting with your attorney. The best way to do it is to have your lawyer communicate with them. Insurance adjusters are known to skew witness statements just to avoid paying compensation.
Besides, you shouldn’t accept or decline any offers until you have talked with your injury lawyer. The insurance providers are also notorious for lowballing accident victims to accept a much lower figure than what is considered fair. A knowledgeable Bronx car accident lawyer will be able to let you know what a fair settlement looks like after reviewing your case.
Are There Deadlines for Filing an Injury Claim in NY?
If you were involved in a car crash, you have up to 3 years from the accident date to file for a claim. New York also gives car accident victims an applicable no-fault insurance policy to cover medical expenses and loss of wages. In New York, you have 30 days to provide these forms to the no-fault insurance provider. Failure to adhere to these time limits will block any efforts to recover any compensation.
Counsel from a Legal Professional
New York personal injury victims have the right to recover compensation for their medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, damages to property, and permanent physical damage. But all these depend on proving all the required parts of your case.
To make sure you’re on the right path to recovery, have knowledgeable legal counsel on your side. Your skilled attorney will work diligently to gather evidence of your accident and aggressively pursue the compensation you deserve. Talk to the experienced personal injury lawyers serving in the Bronx, Brooklyn, and larger New York area at 718-829-7400.