Articles Posted in Premises Liability

Comparative-Negligence-Blog-scaledLiability in personal injury cases is often unclear and ambiguous. This is because a defendant may not be entirely responsible for the accident. It is not uncommon for plaintiffs to be partially at-fault too. Fortunately, victims may still be eligible to recover compensation for their damages even if they were partly to blame. When applying the legal doctrine of comparative negligence, also known as comparative fault, a plaintiff that contributed to their accident would still be awarded compensation for their damages. However, the total amount would be reduced based on their share of fault. Whether you have been hurt in a car crash, construction accident, slip and fall, or any other mishap, comparative negligence can significantly impact the compensation you obtain. 

Common Comparative Fault Claims

When a defendant can successfully demonstrate that the plaintiff shared some responsibility for an accident, they will not have to pay the full jury award. Consequently, comparative negligence is one of the most prevalent affirmative defenses raised in personal injury litigation. Some situations where plaintiffs might be considered comparatively negligent include:

Fall-Down-Stairs-scaledFalls are one of the leading causes of personal injury accidents throughout the United States. While falls can happen anywhere, these accidents are especially common on stairs. Each year, more than 1 million victims injure themselves on stairways. All property owners and managers are legally obligated to keep their properties safe for tenants, visitors, and workers alike. This obligation includes inspecting and maintaining stairways and making timely repairs to potentially dangerous conditions. When a staircase accident occurs because of hazardous or improperly maintained stairs, the responsible property owner, landlord, or management company can be held liable for the victim’s damages. 

 Common Causes Of Falling Down Stairs

Walking up and down stairs can be extremely treacherous when staircases are improperly constructed, insufficiently inspected, or inadequately repaired. While stairway accidents can take place for almost any reason, some frequent causes include:

DUTY-OF-CARE-scaledTo prove fault in most personal injury lawsuits, a plaintiff must show that the defendant was negligent. Victims have the burden of demonstrating four legal elements to prove negligence. The first element of negligence is the at-fault party’s duty of care. Typically, this is one of the easiest elements to prove because everyone has a basic obligation to avoid unnecessarily injuring others. The duty to act appropriately is relevant in almost every situation and is often assumed by being in another’s vicinity. In other words, you must implement the same degree of caution and consideration that a reasonable person would exercise given the same situation. Someone does not need to assume the duty of care to another party voluntarily. It can be imposed just by being in a specific place at a specific time.  

Breaching The Duty Of Care 

The defendant does not need to know you to owe you reasonable care. However, the duty can be based on the relationship of the parties. Additionally, according to New York law, those in certain positions or professions can be held to a higher standard of care to prevent harm. After determining that a defendant owed you a duty of care, you must show how they breached it. A breach arises when an individual’s actions or inactions fail to meet the appropriate standard of care. When a defendant is required to act a certain way and fails to do so, they may be regarded as having breached their duty. Depending on the circumstances, the standard can be breached in numerous ways. Some common examples of breaches include: 

Compensation-300x200Victims often turn to personal injury claims to recoup their losses after being injured in accidents. If the verdict is in the plaintiff’s favor, they can obtain a monetary award for their losses. One type of damage awarded to victims is called compensatory damages. Compensatory damages are designed to pay victims money to cover the costs related to their injuries and other losses. In other words, this type of damage is awarded to compensate plaintiffs for the actual losses they have suffered. For instance, if a careless motorist smashed into your car and totaled it, the compensatory damages would equal the fair market value of your vehicle when it was demolished, minus the salvage value or any usable parts. The two types of compensatory damages that courts can award to plaintiffs are special damages and general damages.

Special Damages 

Special damages are quantifiable and easily calculated because they are based upon the actual costs incurred by a victim because of the accident. These damages are intended to replace everything that was lost and nothing more. In addition to hospital bills and other medical expenses, victims can obtain compensation for damage to property, lost wages, and other related out-of-pocket expenses. The amount awarded to a victim is based on a set formula because these losses can be easily proven and verified by concrete evidence. Some other common examples of special damages include:

Choose-the-right-lawyer-300x200Victims suffer injuries in tens of millions of severe accidents every year, such as slips and falls, collisions, and dog bites. Most of these injuries are caused by someone else’s negligence or even recklessness. The consequences of being involved in an accident can range from serious personal injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder to the destruction of property and costly hospital bills. Over 40 million accident victims require medical care due to various personal injuries each year. If you or a loved one have been injured due to someone else’s negligence, you may be wondering what type of lawyer to call.

Personal Injury Attorneys Help Accident Victims

If you, or a family member, have been injured in an accident that was caused by another’s carelessness, a personal injury lawyer is someone who can provide you with legal representation. Personal injury lawyers specialize in tort law, including negligent and intentional acts. This type of attorney focuses on pursuing monetary compensation for accident victims through civil litigation. It is crucial to choose a lawyer who has significant experience litigating the type of injury related to your case.

Couple-Doing-Yardwork-200x300Loss of consortium is a term used in personal injury law that refers to the deprivation of the benefits of a family relationship because of injuries suffered in an accident. Under New York law, injured victims may be eligible to obtain monetary compensation for the loss of consortium and companionship. These claims are intended to remedy marital damages that the victim and their spouse have suffered. Loss of consortium claims are generally made when the injuries suffered are long-lasting, devastating, or debilitating. 

Who Can Bring A Loss Of Consortium Claim?

In New York State, spouses of injured victims can claim the loss of consortium or companionship. Unfortunately, this does not include life partners or significant others. If a spouse contributed financially to their household and family expenses, the claim might consist of loss of financial support. This amount is determined by the sum of money the spouse would have contributed to the family had they not been injured. 

Face-Wound-Dressing-300x200Unfortunately, even after an accident victim’s initial pain subsides, they could be left with permanent scarring and other disfigurements. Most scarring is caused by damage to the skin, such as scratches, abrasions, and puncture wounds. Depending upon the severity and location of the scar, it can significantly impact a victim’s ability to work and even perform routine tasks. Besides being a constant reminder of the traumatic injury, even the slightest alterations in a victim’s appearance can bring about overwhelming depression and emotional pain. Victims with scars in prominent places, such as the head, face, neck, or hands often struggle with terrible self-esteem and anxiety.  

Leading Causes Of Scarring And Disfigurement

The impact of scarring and disfiguring injuries can last the victim’s entire lifetime. Scarring is a normal part of the healing process. Just about any wound, burn, or other trauma, such as surgery, can result in scar tissue. After an accident, the most common types of scarring and disfigurement injuries include:

Woman-with-back-injury-300x200In the wake of an accident, it can take victims who have suffered from herniated or bulging discs weeks or even months before these injuries become problematic. Consequently, back and spinal cord injuries are regularly overlooked and undiagnosed. Unfortunately, failure to detect bulging discs can result in long-lasting pain and suffering. A herniated or bulging disc occurs when one of the rubbery cushions positioned in-between the bones that make up the spinal cord is shifted out of alignment. While any region of the spine can endure a herniated disc, this type of injury tends to arise in the lower back. 

What Are Common Causes Of Disk Herniation?

Numerous personal injury accidents and mishaps can cause herniated and bulging discs. The most frequent causes include:

Leg-Cast-with-Crutches-300x200Approximately 40 million accident victims require medical treatment for an assortment of personal injuries each year. With numerous types of accident-related damages, some have the potential to drastically alter victims’ lives forever. Most personal injuries result from accidents involving another’s negligence. Unfortunately, negligence can cause innocent victims to suffer severe injuries, which lead to costly hospital bills, rehabilitation, pain and suffering, and lost wages from missing work.  

The Five Most Prevalent Types Of Personal Injury Accidents

  1. Car Crashes: Car accident claims are the most common personal injury cases in Buffalo, New York, and throughout the country. Every year, millions of victims sustain severe injuries due to car crashes. Collisions are often caused by careless or irresponsible driving practices, such as distracted driving, driving while sleep-deprived, driving under the influence, and speeding.  

sm-Woman-sees-doctor-for-a-bad-headache-300x200A head injury that disrupts the regular functioning of the brain is known as a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Head injuries are a significant cause of disability and death. Approximately 2.9 million victims suffer traumatic brain injuries in the United States each year. Even relatively minor brain injuries can have catastrophic effects on a victim. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) most recent available data, there were nearly 61,000 TBI-related fatalities in 2019 alone. That is roughly 166 deaths per day. While anyone can suffer a head injury, figures suggest that children and elderly adults are at the most significant risk. 

What Are The Most Common Causes Of Head Injuries?

Traumatic brain injuries can be caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head. However, not all brain injuries involve contact. The most common causes of traumatic brain injuries include:

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