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New York Personal Injury Attorneys

Determining Negligence in Personal Injury Cases

July 6, 2021 in

The legal system defines negligence as the failure to exercise a level of care toward others which a reasonable or prudent person would do in the same or similar circumstances. In order for a personal injury case to be successful, it is imperative that the plaintiff can prove that the defendant’s negligence caused their injury. Below, the experienced personal injury attorneys at Sullivan Papain Block McManus Coffinas & Cannavo P.C. explain what negligence is and how to determine whether or not it contributed to your injury.


Overview of Negligence


Negligence must be proven in a court of law before a party can be held legally responsible for an injury. Proving negligence is required for nearly all personal injury accidents, including car accidents and premises liability cases.


It is important to seek legal counsel when filing a personal injury claim. An experienced personal injury attorney will be able to help you understand the concept of negligence as it applies to your specific claim, as well as ensure that enough proof is provided for each of the four elements of negligence.


Four Elements of Negligence


In order to have a successful outcome, the plaintiff and their legal team must prove the following four elements of negligence in order to hold a defendant liable for injuries caused in an accident.


Duty of Care

Under the circumstances, the defendant had an obligation to act with a certain degree of reasonable care. Laws often act as a standard of care, and breaking a law can be a breach of duty. In other situations, the existing relationship between the plaintiff and defendant may create a legal duty.


Breach of Duty

The defendant breached the legal duty of care by acting or failing to act in a certain manner. The court will determine if the defendant acted how a reasonably prudent person would have acted under similar circumstances.



The plaintiff and their legal team must show that the defendant’s negligence was a substantial factor in causing the injury. Causation also takes into consideration whether or not the defendant could reasonably have foreseen that their actions could have caused injury.



The plaintiff must provide evidence of the injury that resulted from the defendant’s actions.


Consult with an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney


It is important to seek experienced legal counsel when filing a personal injury claim. Drawing on their years of experience and subject area expertise, a skilled personal injury lawyer will be able to ensure the best possible outcome for their client.


If you believe that you sustained an injury that resulted from another party’s negligence, we want to help. To discuss your case further and learn how our team of experienced attorneys can help, call us today for a free consultation: 212-732-9000.



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Our fee is on a contingency basis. If we don’t recover money for you, we will never charge you. If you are unable to come to any of our offices, we are happy to visit you at home or in the hospital.

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