3 Important Elements to Prove in a Personal Injury Claim
If you have been injured because of someone else’s negligence or intentional wrongdoing, you may have grounds for a personal injury claim. Depending on the facts of your case, the defendant may be liable for any lost wages, healthcare expenses, pain and suffering, and other damages you have incurred as a result of the accident.
Unfortunately, the opposing party or insurance company will look for any possible reason to undervalue, dispute, or deny your claim. To win a fair settlement or verdict, you must be able to prove:
- The defendant’s misconduct was negligent or intentional, or your cause of action is covered by strict liability;
- You suffered an injury or loss; and
- The value of any damages you have incurred.
Insurance companies in New York employ a variety of tactics to reduce their liability. They might misrepresent statements you provide in a recorded phone call or argue that your own negligence contributed to your injury. The claims adjuster may even review your social media accounts for posts that can be used to dispute your claim.
At LoTempio P.C. Law Group, we can help you stay one step ahead of the insurance adjuster and fight for the compensation you deserve. Our legal team can evaluate your case for free, perform a thorough investigation, gather evidence, and handle settlement negotiations on your behalf. Call 716-855-3761 to schedule a consultation with a personal injury lawyer in New York.
Let’s take a closer look at three important elements to prove in a personal injury claim:
1. Negligence, Intentional Wrongdoing, or Strict Liability
Negligence is the basis of most successful personal injury claims. Negligence means the defendant failed to exercise a level of care that someone of ordinary prudence would have exercised given the circumstances.
For example, drivers are negligent when they speed, operate a vehicle while under the influence, or make illegal turns. Business owners may be considered negligent when they fail to remedy potential hazards within a reasonable amount of time and a customer suffers an injury as a result.
Some tort claims are governed by strict liability, which means the claimant does not have to prove negligence in order to hold the defendant liable for damages. In the state of New York, strict liability applies to some product liability and dog bite cases.
You may also have grounds for a personal injury claim if you were intentionally harmed by another individual—for example, if you were attacked in a parking lot.
Just because a person was negligent or a product was defective doesn’t mean you have grounds for a personal injury claim. You must tie the cause of action to your damages. The types of evidence your attorney may use to prove causation will depend on the facts of your case but might include the police report, witness testimony, surveillance footage, and dash cam recordings.
3. The Value of Your Damages
Proving damages is the third component of building a strong personal injury case. In the state of New York, personal injury claimants can pursue compensation for the following types of damages:
- Healthcare expenses;
- Lost wages and benefits;
- Loss of earning capacity;
- Property damage;
- Home care, rehabilitation, and other objectively verifiable losses;
- Pain and suffering;
- Scarring and disfigurement;
- Emotional distress;
- Mental anguish;
- Loss of enjoyment in life;
- Loss of consortium;
- Loss of opportunity; and
- If the defendant’s conduct was particularly egregious, punitive damages may be available.
Depending on the facts surrounding your case, your attorney may use the following types of evidence to prove the value of your damages:
- Medical records;
- Diagnostic images;
- Photographs of any visible wounds;
- Hospital bills;
- Statements from medical and financial experts;
- Invoices for home care or domestic help;
- Income tax returns and paystubs;
- Quotes for repairing any damaged property; and
- Daily journal entries detailing the recovery process.
Discuss Your Case with a New York Personal Injury Attorney
If you were injured through no fault of your own, turn to LoTempio P.C. Law Group to discuss your options for pursuing compensation. We have helped thousands of clients in personal injury and wrongful death cases. Call us today at 716-855-3761 or use our Online Contact Form to set up a free consultation with an accident lawyer in New York.