If you or a loved one has suffered serious injuries in an accident in Brooklyn, NY, you may have a legal claim for relief.
But how do you know whether you have a valid claim? What kinds of damages can you recover? And is hiring a personal injury attorney in Brooklyn really worth it?
Use our guide below to learn more about personal injury cases in New York.
Common Types of Personal Injury Accidents in Brooklyn, NY
No matter how cautious you are in life, you can never prevent involvement in an accident with any certainty.
Especially in a city such as Brooklyn, NY, that has a population of nearly 3 million, personal injury accidents can occur in almost any scenario.
For example, situations that commonly give rise to personal injury claims include:
- Car accidents,
- Pedestrian accidents,
- Truck accidents,
- Motorcycle accidents,
- Dog bites,
- Slip and fall accidents,
- Workplace accidents, and
- Defective products.
That being said, this is not an exhaustive list of possible personal injury accidents.
Rather, nearly any scenario in which someone else’s negligence causes you to suffer harm may qualify you to file a personal injury claim.
Proving Negligence in New York Personal Injury Cases
At their core, most New York personal injury cases require proving negligence. So what exactly is negligence, and how do you prove it?
Generally speaking, to win on a negligence claim, you must be able to prove four elements:
- The defendant owed a legal duty of care to foreseeable victims, including the plaintiff, to act as a reasonably prudent person would under similar circumstances;
- This same defendant breached their duty of care;
- The plaintiff suffered actual harm or damages; and
- The defendant’s breach of duty was the actual and proximate cause of the injured party’s damages.
To win your personal injury negligence claim, you must be able to prove all four of these elements.
Failure to prove even one element will result in an unsuccessful claim.
Importantly, however, New York law follows contributory negligence rules that may limit your potential damages even if you are able to prove all four elements of your negligence claim.
Specifically, under New York’s contributory negligence statute, if a plaintiff’s own negligence contributed to the accident that caused their injuries, the amount of their damages must be diminished in proportion to the percentage of their culpable conduct.
Let’s say, for example, you are a plaintiff in a personal injury case where the total amount of damages is $100,000.
Even if you’ve proven that the other party’s negligence caused your injuries, if the other party also proves that you were 20% at fault in causing the accident, your total damages would be reduced by 20%, making your total award $80,000.
Even for the most seasoned Brooklyn personal injury attorneys, proving negligence and determining the appropriate amount of recoverable damages can be tricky.
Thus, make sure you hire a qualified and experienced Brooklyn personal injury lawyer who can help you fight for your rights.
New York Car Accident Claims
When it comes to car accident personal injury cases, New York follows a particular set of rules.
Specifically, New York follows no-fault rules for car accidents.
This means that when an accident occurs, you must first seek reimbursement from your own insurance provider, regardless of who actually caused the accident.
However, in some circumstances, those injured in an accident may still be able to pursue a claim against the at-fault party and their insurance company.
New York also enforces specific rules about what damages a personal injury victim can recover after a car accident.
For example, typically, you can recover only economic damages, which includes compensation for things such as medical expenses and lost wages, through a no-fault injury claim.
You can seek non-economic damages, such as for pain and suffering arising out of your accident, only if you suffered a “serious injury.”
New York law defines a serious injury as one that results in:
- Broken bones,
- Loss of a fetus,
- Loss of organ function, or
- Physical impairment or disability.
Thus, unless the other driver’s actions resulted in one of these injuries, you will be able to seek compensation only for your economic damages.
How Can a Personal Injury Attorney in Brooklyn, NY, Help Me?
Many people wonder whether hiring a personal injury lawyer in Brooklyn is really worth it. In short, the answer is often a resounding yes.
And in fact, having an experienced personal injury lawyer in Brooklyn for your case is one of the best ways to increase your chances of a successful claim.
Personal injury attorneys in Brooklyn with an in-depth understanding of New York personal injury law can help you:
- Understand which laws and exceptions apply to your case;
- Assess what damages you may be entitled to recover;
- Gather crucial information and evidence to help support your claim;
- Negotiate potential settlements with opposing parties, their insurers, and their legal counsel; and
- Prepare for and take your case to trial when settlement is not possible.
When in doubt about whether to move forward with hiring a personal injury attorney in Brooklyn for your case, in most cases, it’s at least worth seeking an initial consultation.
That way, you can discuss your potential case with a legal professional before deciding whether to proceed.
Law Offices of Theodore A. Naima: Your Brooklyn Personal Injury Attorney
With so many Brooklyn personal injury lawyers in the area to choose from, it can feel almost impossible to find the right one for you.
Here are a few reasons why we think the Law Offices of Theodore A. Naima, P.C is the best firm for you:
- Our office exclusively represents victims who have been injured or killed as a result of the actions of another;
- We are proud of the many positive reviews we have received from our former clients;
- Founding attorney Theodore A. Naima has 25 years of trial experience; and
- We have successfully recovered millions of dollars through both settlements and trial verdicts for our many deserving clients.
When you’re ready to begin your pathway to recovery, we will be there to help. Contact us for your free consultation and get started today.
The information provided on this page speaks in general terms. Of course, there are often exceptions that apply in certain situations. For a complete list of all exceptions please consult the Consolidated Laws of New York. Attorney Naima is also happy to answer any questions you have about your injuries or ability to pursue a claim against the responsible party.