Negligence is a lack of ordinary care. Here are some examples of negligence:
1. A woman in a car drops her cell phone while driving 50 miles per hour on the highway. Inexplicably, she reaches down to search for the ringing cellphone and takes her eyes off the road. You can guess what happens next.
2. A boy walking by his local pizza place is fascinated by a construction crew working on a building next door. The big equipment; the cranes, the bulldozers, the dump trucks are just waiting for him to run in and play with these "toys." The gate to the construction site is left unlocked and the front door is open. This is known in the legal field as "An attractive nuisance." The boy's curiosity encourages him to walk into the empty construction site with all these big pieces of construction machinery. What do you think can happen to a young boy playing with heavy machinery at an empty construction site?
Who do you think might have been negligent in securing the doors to the construction site? When the boy is crushed between a forklift that moved and a wall, do you think there has been a lack of reasonable care for the owner of the site and construction crew to protect the site from trespassers?
3. A company makes a ping pong table and the bolts holding the table together were not properly heat-treated, causing the bolts to have stress fractures. While playing ping pong, the table collapses and 200 lbs. worth of ping pong table crushes the leg of a young girl with aspirations of becoming a gymnast. Do you think the manufacturer of the ping pong table owed a duty of reasonable care to the consumer who knows nothing of the manufacturing process?
4. A mechanic fixes your brakes on your 2005 Ford Taurus. He charges you four hundred dollars and tells you the brakes are good as new. What he doesn't tell you is that he only learned how to fix brakes last week, and forgot to test drive them before allowing you to drive home. You get in the car to go home and when you approach a red light, you naturally put your foot on the brake. Can you guess what happens? There is no brake. Putting your foot on the brake does nothing and the resulting crash puts you in the hospital for three weeks, and the driver of the car in front of you is in surgery as we speak.
Is it reasonable for the owner of the car repair shop to have looked into the credentials and experience of the mechanic before hiring him?
5. You are a pedestrian crossing the street with a "Walk" sign, in the crosswalk, when you are hit by a car that went through a red light. Is it reasonable to assume that a driver will recognize that a red traffic light means "STOP" and not "GO"?
6. You are an avid bicycle rider, riding in the street in the same direction of traffic. A man in a parked car decides at that moment to fling open his driver-side door to exit his car. Unfortunately for you, you were about to pass his car but were thrust into moving traffic by a 50 lb car door that destroyed your femur and caused the car behind you to drive over your legs and your bike. Do you think this person who flung open the door was careless for not looking behind him to see if there was any oncoming traffic?
These examples of negligence are seen every day by an experienced New York personal injury trial lawyer. When you've been a victim of negligence there are important steps you need to take in order to protect your legal rights. Knowing these rights will help you in deciding what your options are.
Gerry Oginski is an experienced medical malpractice and personal injury trial attorney practicing law in Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens, New York, Staten Island, Nassau & Suffolk. He has tirelessly represented injured victims in all types of medical malpractice, wrongful death and injury cases since 1988. As a solo practitioner he is able to devote 100% of his time to each individual client. A client is never a file number in his office.
For more information, call Gerry personally at 516-487-8207 for answers to your legal questions.
Also, go over to http://medicalmalpracticetutorial.blogspot.com for Gerry's free instructional videos on New York Medical Malpractice, Wrongful Death & Accident law.