Personal injuries can affect every aspect of your life, from your financials to your personal enjoyment of life. If you suffered your injury due to the negligent conduct of another person, you may have the ability to seek financial compensation from them through a personal injury lawsuit.
If you can prove the four elements of negligence – duty, breach of duty, causation, and damages– you may be able to recover for the harms that you have sustained. These harms may be financial in nature, such as medical costs, as well as personal, such as the effects of pain and suffering on your life. You may even be able to recover if you were partially responsible for causing the accident or your injuries.
Your serious injury deserves serious legal attention. At Legal Care New Jersey, we can set you up with one of our seasoned Jersey City personal injury lawyers who will put you on the path to the recovery that you deserve. To get a free initial case review, contact our offices at (732) 838-9769.
Proving the Elements of Negligence for a Personal Injury in Jersey City, NJ
Personal injury lawsuits are available to victims who suffer their harms as a result of some negligent, reckless, or intentional conduct on the part of someone else. By far the most common conduct that creates liability is negligence. There are four key elements of a negligence claim in a New Jersey personal injury lawsuit: duty of care, breach of duty, causation, and damages.
Duty of Care
To establish liability, a victim must show not only that the defendant owed them a duty, but what that duty was. Duties exist and are defined based on the relationship between the victim and the defendant. For instance, a doctor owes a patient a duty of care when they agree to treat them. Their duty will have different requirements than another legal duty (such as the one between a restaurant owner and a patron) because they are defined by what another reasonably prudent person in the same field as the defendant would have done in a similar situation.
Breach of Duty
Once you establish the existence and responsibilities of a legal duty, you must also show how the defendant failed to meet those responsibilities. This is referred to as breach of duty. As an example, drivers owe a duty to others on the road to drive responsibly and to obey traffic laws, so if a driver exceeds the speed limit or swerves without using turn signals, they are in breach of this duty. Proving breach of duty often requires plaintiffs to introduce expert witness testimony, which our Jersey City personal injury lawyers can help obtain for our clients.
It is not enough to show that the defendant owed you a duty that they violated. You must also show that the breach of duty was the cause of the accident that injured you. New Jersey uses the “but for” test for causation in civil suits for negligence. Essentially, if the injury would not have occurred “but for” the negligence, the negligence is found to be the cause of the injury.
The goal of any personal injury lawsuit is to recover compensation in line with the harms that you have sustained as a result of the defendant’s conduct. This is your chance to express how the defendant’s negligence has affected you, and how you should be compensated for it. If you cannot demonstrate that your injuries are compensable, you will not be able to recover in your lawsuit, so speak to your Jersey City personal injury attorney about how to prove the consequences of your accident.
Calculating Damages for a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Jersey City, NJ
Every personal injury lawsuit is different. The parties, the cause of injury, and the injuries themselves are all unique, making the prospect of estimating potential damages very difficult without additional information. To get a better picture of what your case is worth, contact one of our Jersey City personal injury lawyers today.
As a personal injury victim, you can claim damages for all of the financial and personal consequences that your injuries cause you. Damages will include compensation for the economic costs of your ordeal, such as medical expenses and lost wages while recuperating from your injuries. They will also account for the less tangible consequences of a personal injury such as pain and suffering. In certain cases, personal injury plaintiffs may pursue punitive damages, which are awarded when the defendant’s particularly heinous conduct deserves additional punishment.
Comparative Negligence for a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Jersey City, NJ
Not every personal injury is one-sided in terms of fault. New Jersey uses a rule called comparative negligence, which is how the courts account for situations where the victim is also partially responsible for causing the accident or their subsequent injuries. For instance, if the defendant negligently causes a car accident by driving through a stop sign, but the victim was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the collision, they may be comparatively negligent.
In these cases, New Jersey law requires that the court reduce the plaintiff’s recovery in an amount proportional to their part in causing their own harm. If the court determines that the plaintiff was 20% responsible for their own injuries, their recovery will be reduced to only 80% of their damages. If the plaintiff’s level of responsibility rises above 50%, they will be barred from any recovery at all.
Legal Care New Jersey Is Here for You After Your Jersey City Personal Injury
Call Legal Care New Jersey today to obtain a free initial case review for your potential personal injury lawsuit in Jersey City. You can reach our Jersey City personal injury attorneys by calling our offices at (732) 838-9769.