Determined NYC Personal Injury Attorneys Fight for You
Aggressive litigation to deliver the best possible results
Personal injury law is designed to “make a victim whole again.” However, since it is impossible to undo an accident, the law requires a defendant who is found liable to pay sufficient sums to offset the harm the victim has suffered. How much money is sufficient is one of the most urgent questions in any personal injury case. At The Tacopina Injury Firm, we dedicate our efforts to delivering the best results possible for every client we represent. A successful settlement or a verdict at trial depends on the quality of supporting evidence for each of the elements the plaintiff must prove. Our experienced attorneys investigate your case thoroughly and litigate aggressively to make a compelling case for your full recovery.
Elements of a personal injury lawsuit
To prevail in a personal injury lawsuit, an injured plaintiff must prove four elements:
- Duty — The law recognizes that under certain circumstances, people in society have a duty to behave with reasonable care so as not to harm others. So, when you get behind the wheel of a car, you assume a duty to drive with reasonable caution. Certain persons by virtue of their profession and/or relationship to another have a duty to perform at a particular standard. Doctors, for example, have a duty to perform at a higher standard of care than the ordinary person; a doctor must perform as a reasonably well-trained and responsible member of the medical profession.
- Breach — A breach of duty occurs when a person fails to perform with reasonable care under the circumstances. The inattentive driver who runs a red light or the hasty surgeon who perforates a bowel has each made mistakes that would not have occurred but for their carelessness. In the legal context, carelessness is known as negligence and makes the negligent person responsible, or liable, for any injuries that are a reasonably foreseeable result of the negligence. Breach of duty can apply to a negligent act, where the defendant carelessly did something he should not have done, or an omission, where the defendant negligently failed to do something he should have done.
- Causation — Causation is the link between the breach of duty and the subsequent injury. In deciding whether a negligent act or omission caused an injury, the court looks for an unbroken chain of events. For example, the negligent act of looking at a cellphone while driving caused the defendant’s car to wander out of its lane, and having wandered out of its lane, the car struck another vehicle. The second vehicle, having been struck, diverted into a barrier where it crashed, injuring its occupants. Since all of these events happened in succession without any intervening event influencing them, we can say the negligent act of looking at the cellphone was the legal cause of injury to the occupants of the second car.
- Damages — The term damages refers to the losses suffered by the injured party. These include economic losses due to medical bills and lost income, and, in the case of a permanent injury, may include losses in the future. Damages also include intangible losses, such as the victim’s physical pain and mental suffering, loss of quality of life, loss of consortium, and loss of enjoyment of life. Even when parties agree about liability, they can be miles away on the question of damages. At trial, lawyers call experts from many fields to testify about the extent of the plaintiff’s injuries to convince a jury how much to award in damages.
Proof in a personal injury lawsuit requires a finding by the preponderance of the evidence, meaning it is more likely than not that a negligent defendant caused harm to the plaintiff. Our legal team works diligently to assemble the evidence necessary to win your case and to obtain the maximum damage award or settlement possible under the facts.
Contact a determined and accomplished NYC personal injury law firm
Your personal injury case will have a profound effect on your future; the attorney you retain must be up to the challenge. The Tacopina Injury Firm fights tenaciously for our injured clients. To schedule a free consultation and case evaluation, call us today at 347-246-5102 or contact our Manhattan office online.