Among seasoned and knowledgeable Long Island personal injury attorneys, such as from The Law Offices of Joseph Lichtenstein, PC, the term “negligence” has often been used to establish another person’s fault for the grievance of another, and cases stemming from this have been the subject of many lawsuits. Juris Doctor David Goguen discusses the intricacies of being negligent and the consequences thereof in his article for AllLaw.com.
By definition, negligence is the breach of one’s duty of care for another. “Duty of care” is a legal term that refers to the responsibility one person has to avoid causing harm to another. In a personal injury lawsuit, the first step in proving that another person was negligent is to establish that he or she was assigned the duty of care in the situation from where the injury originated. The injured person (the plaintiff) needs to prove and show evidence how the other party (the defendant) did not perform that duty, or how the defendant “breached” the duty of care. The last step in establishing negligence is to show via evidence and testimonies how the plaintiff was harmed by the defendant’s action (or inaction).
Duty of Care and Personal Injury Lawsuits
When it comes to medical malpractice, a doctor’s duty of care is to provide treatment with the same level of skill that a reasonably competent health care provider would under similar circumstances. In defective product cases, the manufacturer, distributor, and seller have the legal duty to produce and sell products that are free of unreasonable or unexpected dangers to consumers.
Who’s at fault?
Once the duty of care is established, the plaintiff’s job (usually through his or her personal injury lawyer from Long Island NY) is to determine exactly how the defendant violated (or “breached”) that standard of care. What did the defendant do (or fail to do) that caused his or her conduct to become unreasonable under the circumstances? In short, how should the defendant be charged as the cause of the plaintiff’s injuries?
Hospitals are liable for employee actions
Nurses, medical technicians, and paramedics are considered hospital employees, while most doctors are treated as consultants. As long as the employee was doing something job-related when he or she injured the patient, the patient can sue the hospital.
However, if a doctor injures a patient while working in the hospital, the hospital will not be liable for the doctor’s mistake unless the doctor is an employee. Along this line, if a hospital employee commits malpractice while under a doctor’s supervision, the patient can sue the doctor, but not the hospital.
(Article excerpt and image from “Understanding Negligence in a Personal Injury Case”, AllLaw.com)