Hard as it may be to believe, there are cases where you can recover damages for your injuries even when you don't remember - or never knew - how the accident occurred.


While our earlier post "How to Prove Your New York Injury Case When You Don't Know What Happened," dealt with the limited issue of res ipsa loquitur, or where the accident is the kind which cannot happen without the defendant's negligence, there is yet another way you can prove your negligence case even where the plaintiff himself or herself doesn't know how it happened - where someone else witnessed the accident.


And that is precisely what happened in Gretes v. W2001Z/15 CPW Realty, LLC, where despite not recalling how he had been injured at the worksite, the plaintiff's supervisor at the Manhattan construction site told him how he had been hurt, namely, by falling from an unfinished staircase that lacked handrails, which allowed him to proceed on his claim under NY Labor Law 240(1).


The lesson here?


Lest you think this is some silly doctrine that couldn't work under New York law - this worker recovered $3.25 million.

Jonathan Cooper
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Non-Compete, Trade Secret and School Negligence Lawyer
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