Failure to Exercise Care in New York City
Negligence is one of the leading causes of avoidable accidents in every city of every state throughout the entire nation. The principle of negligence commonly is the standard on which personal injury claims and lawsuits are filed, but it differs from strict liability. Liability literally means “fault,” so a person can be both negligent and liable, but a person can be liable without being negligent. Strict liability is common in product liability cases. This is because a defective product does not necessarily mean that there was a negligent intent, but there was a mistake that warrants fault. Particularly troubling about this is the fact that acts of negligence are ones that could have been very easily avoided. Rules, laws, and ethical codes of conduct are enacted specifically to prevent against the potential for unnecessary accidents and injuries, and it is when these are not followed that the most accidents and injuries occur.
In order to prove that there was negligence, it must be proved that a duty of care was owed. “Duty of care” is a legal term that refers to a legal obligation that requires an individual or other entity to adhere to certain acts that will help avoid the injury of others. If this duty of care is breached and that can be proven, then you may have a personal injury case. Negligent behaviors take shape in a number of different ways, from the inattention of a distracted driver who causes a car accident to the inaccurate procedures enacted by a medical professional.
Types of Negligence in Personal Injury Cases
The failure to exercise the degree of care expected of you in a particular situation is referred to as negligence. Because there is no way to solely define a matter of this nature, many different forms of negligence exist, all of which can be used to build a personal injury case on behalf of the persons who were harmed by such behavior. Expanding on the original definition of negligence, which focuses on protecting others from foreseeable and / or unreasonable risk of harm, are the following types of negligence:
- Collateral negligence: When the negligence of an independent contractor takes place, it is referred to as collateral negligence. Because independent contractors are not connected with the same manner of working and the risks associated with such work, there is no employer or contractor to hold liable, thus making the damage – and negligence – collateral.
- Comparative negligence: When more than one party is involved in an accident, sometimes more than one party can be held negligently responsible for that accident. In these cases, comparative negligence should be applied. This type of negligence is measured in percentages that reflect the degree of contribution to the injury / accident that was made by each party involved.
- Contributory negligence: Although this version of negligence has been widely abolished in tort law, contributory negligence refers to the amount of negligence that was made on the part of the plaintiff (the injured party in the case). Whatever amount is considered as contributory negligence will not be recoverable from the defendant in the case because it has been determined to be the fault of the plaintiff.
- Criminal negligence: Also called "culpable negligence," criminal negligence can be compared to gross negligence because of its glaring deviation from the standard of care that is expected of a reasonable person / professional in a similar situation. Key to criminal negligence is the deviation's manifestation in a failure to protect others from risk of death or serious injury, thus rendering the defendant criminally liable for the results that occur.
- Gross negligence: When an unreasonably high degree of risk is posed to others by the failure of another person or professional to exercise the proper level of care, the matter is one of gross negligence. In some cases, charges of gross negligence can be used to identify a person's conscious and / or willful indifference to another individual's rights. This type of negligence is often seen as reckless, and sometimes even criminal in nature.
- Negligence per se: When a statute that has been specially designed to protect the safety of the public is violated in any way, the instance can be one of negligence per se. Financial recovery that is sought by negligence per se can be based upon the theory that the plaintiff is a member of a specific class of persons who were intended to be protected by the statute that is currently in place.
- Passive negligence: The failure to do something specific, i.e. a professional's failure to identify an adverse condition in another person's property, is referred to as passive negligence. This type of negligence is not considered to be a breach of an affirmative duty; however, because it was the cause of injury to another person, it is still a form of negligence.
- Slight negligence: a failure to complete something to the same level of care that would be made by a person of extraordinary prudence is defined as slight negligence. Although this type of negligence is much less often used as compared to standard negligence and gross negligence, it is nonetheless a category that can be used in applicable cases.
Civil Litigation & Recovering Damages
It can be somewhat difficult to prove that negligence contributed to or caused your accident. However, when this can be proven it will more than benefit your case and the compensation you can receive. Civil litigation is the process by which you can seek damages (financial compensation) from the liable party for your injuries or accident. At Sakkas Cahn & Weiss, LLP we are here to help you determine who is responsible for your accident.
We have spent years doing precisely this, and we are more than willing to apply our skills to your case next. We will be here for you at every juncture of the process. It is our goal to make sure that you are compensated as you should be after an act of negligence has left you injured, and we will stop at nothing in our efforts to make sure that you are provided with legal means necessary to effectively address your case.