According to common law, the term “negligence” refers to any situation where an individual fails to exercise ordinary care. In other words, a person acts (or fails to act) negligently when he/she does not exercise the same amount of care that a typical, prudent person would exercise in the same situation. Most personal injury cases involve some form of negligence. For instance, a car accident claim might involve driver negligence, such as texting while driving or excessive speed.
A hospital could act negligently by failing to change a patient’s bandages, resulting in an infection. There are five forms of negligence: gross, comparative, contributory, mixed contributory & comparative, and vicarious. If you suffered an avoidable injury, a New York City negligence lawyer from Hecht Kleeger & Damashek, P.C., can help you file a successful lawsuit.
Gross negligence describes the actions of a person who showed little or no concern for the safety of others. Gross negligence is different than a simple, careless action. While a driver might act carelessly by taking his/her eyes of the road to adjust the radio, another driver might commit an act of gross negligence by driving recklessly. While the term “carelessness” could imply a subconscious action, gross negligence involves a blatant and conscious disregard for the life of another person.
Additionally, an act might be considered grossly negligent if it is resulted in the foreseeable danger or injury of another person. Compared to typical negligence, gross negligence is extreme and does not align with the actions of a normal, cautious person. In New York law, gross negligence is more than a heightened form of simple negligence; it is an entirely different act that implies some form of intentional misconduct.
Comparative negligence occurs when the injured party (the plaintiff) is responsible for a portion of his/her injuries; however, comparative negligence only applies when the victim is marginally responsible for his her suffering. In this situation, the plaintiff may not be able to collect full compensation for medical bills, missed wages, and other damages. For example: a driver could run a stop sign and crash into another vehicle, injuring the other driver. However, the other driver is could be comparatively negligent if he/she failed to wear a seat belt. In this situation, the injured driver is partially responsible for the damages because he/she did not take reasonable care to wear a safety restraint. Similarly, a pedestrian would be somewhat responsible for his/her injuries if he/she failed to use a crosswalk.
Contributory and comparative negligence are easy to confuse with each other. However, an individual cannot collect any compensation for his/her injury if the accident involved contributory negligence. This type of negligence is not found in many personal injury cases and has been deserted in many areas of law. Generally speaking, contributory negligence and comparative negligence could involve the same circumstances, except that the plaintiff is kept from collecting any money if the court deems him/her responsible for the accident.
In some cases, the plaintiff is found more than 50% responsible for his/her injuries. In this situation, contributory negligence and comparative negligence apply to the case. Depending on the circumstances, the plaintiff may be eligible to collect a percentage the damages recovered for the accident. In other lawsuits, the court may decide that the plaintiff will receive no payment for his/her injuries.
At Hecht Kleeger & Damashek, P.C., our New York City negligence attorneys believe that victims of avoidable accidents have the right to pursue compensation for their suffering – even if the defendant claims that the plaintiff is responsible for the accident. When you work with our team, you can have peace of mind knowing that we will fight for the money you need and deserve.
The term “vicarious liability” applies to circumstances where the defendant is held responsible for the actions of another person or an animal. Dog bite lawsuits are founded on vicarious liability. If a dog owner neglects to warn guests that his/her pet is dangerous, the owner will be held vicariously liable for any injuries caused by the dog. Vicarious liability can also apply to injuries caused by children or minors, where the parent or guardian of the child is considered responsible for the child’s actions. In some cases, young children are considered incapable of committing negligence.
Employer negligence claims can involve vicarious liability as well. For example, employers are responsible to train their employees; if an employer neglects to provide adequate training, a new employee could make a mistake and cause an accident or injury. Although the employer did not actually commit the act of negligence, he/she may be somewhat responsible for the employee’s actions. This is especially likely when the employer oversees a dangerous work environment, such as a construction site.
At Hecht Kleeger & Damashek, P.C., our team of New York City personal injury lawyers is committed to providing clients with the best legal guidance and representation that we can offer. Our attorneys have accumulated more than 75 years of legal experience and recovered more than $200 million in settlements and verdicts for past clients. When you work with Hecht Kleeger & Damashek, P.C., you know that a top New York City law firm is on your side. Contact us to learn more about your options with our firm; we want to help you recover damages for your avoidable injury.