After sustaining serious injuries in an accident, you may not be able to afford the medical care that you need. You may be concerned about taking time off from work to recover. If the accident was caused by someone else, you may be able to hold the at-fault party accountable for the losses sustained as a result of your injuries. You should consult Queens personal injury lawyer Shane D. Scott about your next steps. Our firm takes care to provide each client with the personal attention required by his or her case.Personal Injury Cases
Many personal injury cases are pursued under a theory of negligence. If we can establish liability, we can recover compensatory damages, such as medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering, on your behalf. To establish negligence, we would need to show that the defendant owed you a duty to use reasonable care, the defendant failed to meet its duty to use reasonable care, the failure caused your injuries, and you sustained damages. The duty of care depends on the situation. For example, drivers must act safely behind the wheel, obeying traffic laws and staying alert to their surroundings. Property owners are required to take reasonable steps to maintain their property in a safe condition. Doctors need to meet standards required in their profession.Vicarious Liability
When a defendant is on the job when an accident happens, it may be possible to establish vicarious liability. For example, if you are injured in an accident caused by a truck driver, you may be able to hold accountable the trucking company that employs the driver under a theory of vicarious liability. A personal injury attorney in Queens will need to show that the truck driver was in the course and scope of employment with the trucking company to hold the trucking company liable. Vicarious liability can apply even if the company was not negligent.Comparative Negligence
Defendants and their insurers may look for ways in which you were to blame for an accident, which is known as comparative negligence. When a defendant raises comparative negligence, the jury will look at the arguments and evidence on both sides, determine the total damages, and assign a percentage of fault to each of the parties involved. Your damages will be reduced by a sum proportionate to your fault, if you were at fault to any degree. For example, if the total damages are $500,000, and you were 20% at fault, you can recover $400,000 from the defendant. New York uses a pure comparative negligence system, which means that a victim can recover damages unless they were completely at fault.Joint and Several Liability
Sometimes actions by multiple parties contribute to an accident. A Queens personal injury attorney can investigate all the contributing causes and sue all the appropriate defendants. In New York, defendants can be held jointly and severally liable for economic damages. This means that any defendant can be held fully responsible for economic damages like medical bills and lost wages, even if they were only partially to blame for the accident. If a defendant was no more than 50% responsible for an accident, they will be only severally liable for non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life. In other words, the defendant will be responsible for your non-economic damages in an amount equal to their degree of fault. However, if a defendant was more than 50% responsible, they will be jointly and severally liable for non-economic damages as well.Consult a Seasoned Personal Injury Attorney
If you were injured through the fault of another party, you may be able to recover damages through a personal injury lawsuit. You should consult Shane D. Scott about whether you have a viable claim. You should never assume that an insurer or lawyer for the other party is on your side, even if they seem polite and sympathetic. Call us at (800) 230-0744 or complete our online form to contact a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer in Queens.