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What is Negligence?

We all understand that those who hurt others should pay for the damage they caused. Personal injury cases make up a large percentage of lawsuits claiming damages. Claims based on another party’s negligence are quite common and the legal concept of negligence can cover a wide variety of situations from an oil tanker spill to a Smithtown business’s failure to sweep the area in front of their store.

If you suffered an injury caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. Since, however, the legal definition of negligence consists of a number of elements these cases are not always easy to win. Experienced personal injury lawyers in Long Island, NY can help you prove your case.


In order to be liable for negligence a person must cause a foreseeable injury by breaching the duty of care that they owe to others.

  • Duty– There can only be a finding of negligence if someone owed you a duty of care. This duty can exist under specific laws, such as the duty of a store owner to shovel snow from the sidewalk in front of his store, or through a special relationship like a doctor’s duty to his or her patient.  
  • Breach– A finding of negligence requires that a person did not perform their duty. The person who has a legal duty must act as a reasonable person would act under those circumstances and failure to do so is a breach of duty. Thus, a driver speeding on an icy road has breached his duty to the safety of other drivers and pedestrians.
  • Causation– A person is generally only held liable for damage that was a foreseeable and direct consequence of his breach of duty. For example, a negligent driver may be liable for the injuries of the passengers in the car he hit but not for the injuries sustained by the tow truck driver when the damaged car fell on his foot.

Law firm devoted to helping injured persons

If you have suffered an injury caused by someone else, Jakubowski, Robertson, Maffei, Goldsmith & Tartaglia  has personal injury lawyers that can help you recover to the full extent of your loss. With over eight decades of combined experience in the field, we’ve seen almost everything. We offer you a free consultation and we work on a contingent fee basis. If you don’t recover for your injuries, we aren’t paid. Please contact us online or call us to schedule a meeting.

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