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What are the elements of a negligence case?

The effects of an accident can be significant. Most personal injury cases hinge on whether the person who caused the plaintiff's personal injuries was exercising reasonable care. When a New York resident fails to behave with the standard of care that an ordinary person would have exercised in similar circumstances, it can be said that he or she was negligent.

When considering if someone was negligent, courts look at the foreseeable likelihood that the person's actions or omissions will result in harm, the probable severity of any harm that might result, and the burden of taking steps to reduce or eliminate the risk of harm. If it can be shown that the person in question was negligent, he or she may be required by law to compensate the accident victim for the injuries caused by their actions or omissions.

In order to prove a prima facie case of negligence, the plaintiff, the injured party in this case, has to show that the defendant owed the plaintiff a legal duty. It must also be shown that the defendant breached the duty and the plaintiff suffered an injury that was caused by the defendant's breach. Injury could either be bodily injury, property damage or both.

Whether one realizes it or not, individuals owe one another duties on a routine basis. For example, a motorist has a duty to drive safely and observe traffic rules, a doctor has a professional standard of care to maintain in their line of work and property owners are obligated to ensure their property is free from reasonable risks. When a person's actions violates legal standards, it might be possible to pursue a personal injury case against them and receive compensation to cover the injuries and costs associated with the incident in question.

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