Defining Negligence

By its strictest definition, negligence is when one party fails to prevent accident or injury that would otherwise be prevented by a reasonable person. In order to prove negligence, your attorney must prove that the defendant failed his/her duty to provide “reasonable care” for the safety of others. Further, your attorney must prove that his/her client(s) suffered an injury as a result of the actions of the negligent person. An injury does not just have to be physical, it can be financial or emotional as well. Lastly, your attorney must prove that the plaintiff had damages (usually associated with monetary value). Damage can’t be perceived, it must be proven in a court of law. Finally, there has to be a link between the defendant’s actions or inactions and the plaintiff’s injury. In other words, it is not enough to be injured in a store, you must be able to prove that the shop owner’s negligence caused your injury.

Compensatory and Punitive Damages

The financial reward for winning a civil case is divided into two categories. Compensatory damages are the amount of money you need to compensate you for your financial loss and pain and suffering. Punitive damages are an amount that is imposed on the person or party who is liable as a punishment. In most cases, punitive damages are used to keep the person or entity from further negligence.

What do I do if I am named as a defendant in a civil suit?

If you are accused of negligence or if you are named in a civil case, it is important to contact an attorney immediately. The standard of proof needed to prove liability in civil cases is much lower than that of criminal cases. Where someone must be found guilty beyond reasonable doubt in a criminal case, civil cases can be won by proving liability by a mere “preponderance of evidence.” Whether you are on the receiving end of a protective order or the recipient of a negligence claim, an experienced civil defense attorney can help prepare your case, file the necessary motions and find holes in the plaintiff’s case. It is vital to consult with an attorney to help you prepare to argue your case before a judge. Using our expertise and passion for detail, Cohen|Harris is known for using every tool at their disposal to prepare every detail in your civil action. Call us for a free phone consultation to discuss your case.

Car Accidents

Car accidents are one of the most common reasons for pursuing a personal injury case in the US. Most people who are in an accident don’t want to sue anyone; they simply want to be made whole as quickly as possible. Truthfully, most accident cases never see the inside of a courtroom with both parties agreeing to a settlement long before the case goes before a judge. We at Cohen|Harris want you to receive the compensation you need to return to the normal life you had before your accident.

What should I do if I have been in a car accident?

If you are ever in a car accident, your priority should be your safety and the safety of your passengers. If you are not seriously injured, take a moment and begin taking pictures of your car, the other car that was involved in the accident (including the license plate number), the driver of the other car, the location of the accident, and the first responders at the scene. All of these pictures may come in handy later when you begin piecing together what happened. Next, be sure to get the name and badge number of the police officer who is filling out the report. Requesting a copy of that report will be easier with that vital information. Even if you feel fine, and everyone was insured, it is important that your next phone call is to an attorney who can discuss your case. At Cohen|Harris, we offer free phone consultations to anyone who has been in an accident. Before you speak with an insurance company, let us help you determine what you need to be made whole.