Negligence is a breach of the standard of care imposed upon a professional under the law. The premise underlying negligence claims is that people have a duty to exercise reasonable care and take into account the potential harm that they might foreseeably cause other people. In New York, a plaintiff must show that: 1) the defendant had a duty, 2) the defendant breached that duty, and 3) but for the breach, the plaintiff would not have suffered damages.

First, a plaintiff must establish that a duty existed. Duty, sometimes referred to as the standard of care, is generally that of a reasonable person. However, professionals are held to a higher standard depending on the particular industry. Attorneys, financial and investment advisers, accountants and certified public accountants (CPAs), bankers, engineers, contractors and manufacture’s all have different standards of care. For example, a licensed professional’s negligence is called malpractice. A financial advisor must adhere to the FINRA Code, a set of rules designed to govern financial advisers’ behavior.

Second, a plaintiff must show that the specific standard of care was violated to be successful in a negligence claim. Third, a plaintiff must show that but for the breach, the plaintiff would not have been injured. The defendant is responsible for compensating the plaintiff if the defendant’s actions caused harm to the plaintiff. However, if the defendant could not reasonably foresee something bad happening as a result of his actions, the defendant cannot be held responsible.

Negligence is one of the oldest common law claims in New York. The attorneys at Gana LLP have vast experience handling negligence claims to either maximize recovery or minimize the resulting damage. We have represented a wide array of investors, CEOs, business owners and individuals in negligence actions. Do not hesitate to contact us if you or someone you know has a claim to investigate.