Articles Tagged with car accident

Punitive-Damages-300x225In a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit, the plaintiff may be eligible to obtain damages for their losses resulting from a defendant’s negligence. These damages are typically compensatory, meaning that they are designed to compensate victims for their actual injuries. Compensatory damages can be economic and non-economic, such as medical expenses, physical therapy costs, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment, and loss of consortium.  

Punitive damages also referred to as exemplary damages, are another type of damages that can be awarded in addition to compensatory damages. As the name suggests, punitive damages are meant to punish defendants. Exemplary damages are awarded at the court’s discretion when the defendant’s conduct was found to be outrageous. In other words, punitive damages are reserved for instances where the defendant acted so recklessly that they showed extreme disregard for the consequences of their actions. These damages were not explicitly designed to compensate the plaintiffs and are not awarded in every case. 

Negligence Alone Is Insufficient 

Burden-of-Proof-300x200Under New York law, a victim who pursues damages, also known as a plaintiff, has the burden of proof. In other words, the plaintiff must present evidence to establish the legal elements required to prove the particulars of their claim.  

An Affirmative Defense Can Shift The Burden Of Proof

The person or entity being sued, also known as the defendant, is not legally obligated to prove or disprove anything. This means that the defendant does not have to provide any evidence in their defense. If the plaintiff cannot prove all of the elements of their case by a preponderance of the evidence, the defendant will not be held accountable. Nevertheless, the burden of proof can shift if the defendant raises an affirmative defense. An affirmative defense, such as the assumption of risk or comparative fault, can mitigate the consequences of the defendant’s negligent actions against the plaintiff. 

Young-woman-confused-by-insurance-form-300x200Being the victim of an accident can be an extremely traumatic event, especially if you have suffered injuries, property damage, or other significant losses. Even seemingly minor accidents can have disastrous repercussions, such as life-long disabilities, permanent disfigurements, complete paralysis, and traumatic brain injuries. Since most accidents are unpredictable and transpire with little to no warning, victims are usually uncertain about their next steps. The last thing any accident victim wants to worry about is filing the proper forms. With a highly experienced personal injury attorney, the legal process after an accident does not have to be overwhelming. 

The Insurance Claim Process 

Whether you have suffered injuries resulting from a dog bite, slip and fall, or supermarket accident, filing an insurance claim is your first step towards obtaining compensation. Although insurance claims may appear complicated, filing a claim may not be as difficult as you think. It should be completed as soon as reasonably possible. It is essential to realize that New York is a no-fault state. This means that irrespective of who was at fault in a car crash, you can file a claim with your own insurance company to recover damages. 

Special-Damages-300x200Being the victim of an accident resulting from another’s negligence or recklessness can have earth-shattering ramifications. Victims who sustain serious injuries forfeit small fortunes in lost incomes, medical bills, and rehabilitation costs. Not to mention, many suffer from severe physical, psychological, and emotional complications. Obtaining reasonable compensation for your injuries is often the best way to start recovering. After suffering severe accident-related injuries, victims frequently pursue personal injury lawsuits to recoup their losses. One of the main types of compensation that courts award to plaintiffs is called special or economic damages.

Economic Damages Are Easily Verifiable   

Special damages are generally straightforward and easier to authenticate than general damages, like pain and suffering. These damages can be determined without much difficulty because they are based on the victim’s tangible costs. Special damages are designed to help victims return to the same positions that they were in before their accidents. Put simply, the rationale behind special damages is to restore everything that a victim has lost. 

Prove-Negligence-Blog-300x227Suppose you have been seriously injured in an accident because of another’s wrongdoing. You may be eligible to pursue monetary compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. However, to hold the other party financially liable for your damages, you must first prove that they were negligent. Understanding the legal elements of negligence can help you win your Buffalo, New York injury claim. 

The Reasonable Person Standard 

A reasonable person is somebody who approaches all situations with a sufficient amount of caution before prudently taking action. This was established to provide courts with an objective criterion that can be applied when determining whether a defendant’s actions constitute negligence. In other words, a jury must decide what a reasonable person would have done under conditions similar to the defendants. After comparing the defendant’s conduct to that of a reasonable person, they may find that the defendant was negligent if their conduct failed to meet the reasonable person’s standard. 

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.

Youre-Hired-300x200An accident victim could file a claim against an employer if their employee caused their accident in certain situations. Since the employee caused the accident, you may be wondering how the victim can pursue a personal injury lawsuit against their employer. The answer lies in an old legal theory called respondeat superior. Respondeat superior originates from an ancient Latin saying, “let the master answer.” This principle held masters legally responsible for the actions of their servants. In the modern world, respondeat superior is still commonly applied in common law to hold employers liable for the actions of their employees.  

Respondeat Superior In The Present Day

The legal theory of respondeat superior began from the idea that workers have only limited financial capacity. Additionally, negligent or reckless conduct of superiors, such as masters and employers, must be contained. Once a relationship between the employer and the employee has been established, a respondeat superior relationship is created, and the employer can be held legally responsible for an employee’s negligent actions or omissions if they occur during the scope of their employment. Since employers typically have higher insurance policies and more assets to pay for damages than their employees, victims have a much better chance of recovering adequate compensation.  

Liens-300x200Many accident victims seeking damages in personal injury lawsuits are surprised to learn that an insurance company, doctor’s office, physical therapy clinic, or another party has placed a medical lien against their monetary compensation. As a result, victims may receive significantly less money than they anticipated. Since liens can substantially affect your financial outcome, knowing what they are and exactly how they work is crucial. 

How Are Medical Liens Used?

After suffering injuries in an accident, most victims cannot afford to pay for their medical treatment upfront. Instead, third parties, such as government agencies, insurance companies, or hospitals, cover the costs. These third parties have a legal right to seek reimbursement for their expenses. Medical liens are often enforced against a victim’s settlement or jury award to collect payment for treatment provided. Medical liens are most frequently utilized in the following four circumstances: 

Insurance-Limits-300x300If you, or a family member, have suffered injuries in a Buffalo, New York car accident, you may be entitled to obtain monetary compensation. However, New York is a “no-fault” state which means that regardless of who was responsible for the crash, both drivers and passengers must file claims against the no-fault insurance of the vehicle that they were in. Under New York law, proof of no-fault insurance, also commonly referred to as personal injury protection (PIP) coverage, is required before registering a vehicle. Personal injury protection coverage promptly pays accident victims for their economic damages, such as hospital bills, lost income, and other essential expenses. 

Minimum Liability Insurance Coverage

Every motorist is required to purchase minimum amounts of liability insurance coverage, including: 

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