Generally, a personal injury case begins with establishing negligence, which is the recognition of a legal duty and breach of that legal duty. This means that there must be something expected, such as a property owner’s duty to keep the premises safe, and the “breach” might be oil left spilled on the floor for an unreasonable amount of time. It also needs to be proven that the “breach of duty” caused the injury claimed. This is known as “causation.” Just because the oil was on the ground, doesn’t mean it caused the accident, it must be proven that that it was slipping on the oil that caused the accident.
Once negligence is proven, as above, the damages are assessed. An experienced Personal Injury Lawyer NYC knows how to maximize the claim for damages in many ways. Having top medical professionals as experts lends credibility to the damages claim, which is why referrals to “medical mills” are always avoided. This is how a claim for pain and suffering is maximized. Other aspects of damages include lost future earnings, if a person will be making less money throughout their lifetime due to the impact of their injuries. If a person was athletic, loss of their ability to participate in sports is an aspect of damages. This falls under the umbrella of the “loss of the pleasures of life.”
If a person has a special talent that makes money, and the result of the accident causes them to lose such a profession, the amounts of compensation can be very high. For example, if a fashion model is scarred on their face, the compensatory damages would be higher than for the average person. The damages for a scar on the face would also be higher for a young single woman, than for an 80 year married retired man, as the scarring would have more impact on the life of the former, and for a longer period of time.
Similarly, a torn ligament of the knee, requiring surgical repair, would be a serious injury for any victim, but for a star athlete could mean the loss of millions of dollars a year in income. A stiff back would make it difficult to do some physical work or even to drive a taxi, but it might make it impossible for a professional dancer to continue their career. Personal injury law takes into consideration the age, profession and many other aspects of an individual regarding the amount of damages.
In some cases negligence lawyer in Queens will also be able to collect punitive damages. Punitive damages are only available when a case goes to a trial and a verdict is rendered. The purpose of punitive damages is to send a message to the defendant that their conduct is so heinous that is must be punished. An example of punitive damages is when a tobacco company that lied about the health risks of smoking is sued by a plaintiff with lung cancer, and the jury awards punitive damages to punish that behavior.
If you are looking for the most reputable negligence lawyer in Queens, consider Wittenstein & Wittenstein, a venerable firm that has been serving the community in New York City (Queen, The Bronx, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Staten Island and Long island) for more than 60 years. A free consultation will give you the peace of mind you are seeking.