Negligence law determines whether an injured party has grounds for a personal injury claim. States throughout the U.S. hear cases based on negligence, and this type of law also varies from state to state.
Negligence is a legal term that refers to a duty of care that one individual owes to another. When individuals fail to uphold their duty, and the failure causes harm or injury, negligence has occurred.
To bring a personal injury case, the lawyer must show that negligence occurred. Furthermore, evidence must prove that the injury resulted from the negligence and that compensable damages exist.
The following would be an example of negligence:
An apartment property owner has been told by a number of tenants that a step is loose on a stairway. Months have gone by and the property manager failed to repair the step. A new tenant moves in, is unaware of the loose step, slips and falls, and breaks a leg.
What complicates negligence law is determining whether negligence is shared. That is to say, whether both parties contributed in some degree to the accident injury.
Some states allow injured parties to recover compensation even if the defendant was only one percent at fault (pure comparative negligence). Other states will not allow a claimant to recover any compensation if they contributed in any way to the injury. However, many states base recovery on a form of contributory or comparative negligence. This is the case in New York.
Based on New York law, contributing to negligence does not bar recovery of compensation for damages. This is true for personal injury, property damage and wrongful death. However, the amount of compensation for damages that is recoverable is diminished in proportion to the conduct that was contributory.
For example, if the court decides the injured party was 15% at fault, then the party may only recover 85% of the amount of damages incurred.
Our attorneys at Sackstein, Sackstein & Lee, LLP can evaluate your situation and advise about recovering compensation for damages.