Legal Advice from a Negligence Lawyer in Israel
Do you require the services of a negligence lawyer in Israel?
Did you or your child slip and fall because of the carelessness of others? Or have you survived a car accident and suffered bodily damage because of someone’s reckless driving? Were you the victim of medical malpractice or the negligence of another professional? If you suffered harm because of the carelessness of others and you find yourself wondering: “How can I sue for negligence in Israel?”, then the following article is for you.
We will explain the legal definition of negligence and the elements of negligence that must be proven in court. Additionally, you will learn what to expect from a good Israeli negligence lawyer as well as the process a negligence attorney must follow in order to ensure that their client is given the compensation they deserve. If after reading this article you still have additional questions on the topic of negligence claims in Israel or if you need the assistance of a malpractice and negligence attorney, please contact us. Our law firm in Israel has offices in Tel-Aviv and in Jerusalem. You can call 03-3724722 or email us at [email protected].
The legal definition of negligence in Israel
In Israel, negligence is categorized as a type of civil wrong that is addressed by civil tort law (dinei nezikin). According to the Civil Wrongs Ordinance, if a person in Israel behaves in a way that “a reasonably prudent person would not”, or if a professional (e.g. a physician) behaves in a manner that deviates from the desired behavior of “a reasonably prudent person qualified for that profession”, then their actions are legally defined as ‘carelessness’. Note that carelessness can manifest as either an action or a failure to act. If that careless conduct causes harm or losses to someone, then it meets the legal definition of ‘negligence’ (rashlanut in Hebrew), a civil wrong that merits compensation. Medical malpractice is a particular type of negligence, as is reckless driving.
When a negligence lawyer in Israel successfully proves that the defendant was in the wrong, then the court will force the defendant to financially compensate the claimant for their losses, pain, and suffering. Proving negligence requires knowledge of the intricacies of Israeli case law and a vast array of legal precedents. Therefore, it is important to rely on the services of an experienced civil attorney when filing negligence cases.
The elements of negligence
There are four elements that must be proven by the claimant’s attorney in order to establish negligence:
1. That the defendant had a duty of care towards the claimant. This can be a professional responsibility to uphold a particular standard of care, such as between an employer and their employee or a doctor and their patient. However, it could also be a general neighborly duty of care to not act in such a way that causes harm to others.
2. That the defendant breached their duty of care. In order to establish this, a negligence lawyer in Israel must successfully argue that a reasonable person should have been able to foresee the harm that their actions could cause and adjust their behavior accordingly.
3. That the claimant of the lawsuit experienced harm or losses of some sort.
4. That the harm was caused by the defendant’s careless behavior.
The size of compensation
If all four of these conditions are shown to exist then the judge may order a case evaluation by an expert in order to determine the size of compensation that the defendant owes to the claimant. This sum will include compensatory damages for measurable losses as well as possible aggravated damages for pain and suffering. A damages lawyer will always seek to maximize the size of compensation awarded to their client. Since the attorney fees are normally a percentage of the damages awarded, personal injury lawyers in Israel are highly motivated to prove their client’s case. Additionally, if the attorney fails to prove negligence on the part of the defendant, then their client will not owe them any fees.
Conversely, the defense attorneys representing the defendant will attempt to demonstrate that their client’s performance does not meet the legal threshold required for it to be considered negligence – either claiming that the defendant’s behavior cannot be considered unreasonable or that it did not actually cause harm. Additionally, the defense attorneys will attempt to shrink the size of the potential compensation.
A central strategy toward this goal is to try and prove contributory negligence on the part of the claimant. In other words, if the court becomes convinced that the claimant filing the lawsuit was not adequately prudent and cautious in their own actions, then the claimant would be at least partially responsible for the damage they suffered. In cases in which the court rules that the negligence is shared between the two parties, it will award damages in direct proportion to the share of responsibility ascribed to the defendant.
“Can I sue for negligence too?”
If someone carelessly caused you harm in Israel, then you should contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. You do not need to be an Israeli citizen in order to file malpractice claims, personal injury lawsuits, or other negligence cases. Any adult who has suffered harm in Israel is eligible to file a claim and parents may file a lawsuit on behalf of their minor children. The longer you wait after the negligence occurred, the harder it may be to prove your case. Moreover, note that Israel has a statute of limitations. With few exceptions, the prescribed period in which you are permitted to submit a civil lawsuit is seven years since the negligent act. If more than seven years have passed, and no exceptions apply, then the lawsuit will be dismissed out of hand.
How to file a negligence claim in Israel
Before filing a damages claim, it is important to consult with an experienced civil lawyer with whom you can establish a trust-based attorney-client relationship. Remember that your attorney has a legal obligation to preserve your right to confidentiality. Note that in some cases, such as medical malpractice lawsuits, you will be required to waive your medical confidentiality, which is normally protected by doctor-patient privilege, so that your case of negligence can properly be assessed by the courts and their appointed experts. Your lawyer will help you gather as much documentation and evidence as possible regarding your case. They will then contact an expert in the relevant field and ask for a preliminary assessment of whether the alleged wrongdoing meets the legal criteria for negligence. Based on that assessment, your tort lawyer will inform you how likely it is that you will receive compensation if you file a lawsuit.
If you then choose to proceed, you may need to pay a substantial sum to a qualified expert to substantiate that negligence did indeed occur – especially in cases of alleged medical or professional malpractice which require technical knowledge. The expert must have no conflict of interest in relation to the lawsuit so that their opinion is accepted as credible by the judge. When a judge receives two contradictory expert opinions, one submitted by the claimant and one by the defendant, the courts may appoint a neutral expert to offer their own professional opinion. The judge will then issue a verdict and determine how much compensation the defendant owes to the claimant.
Consult a negligence lawyer in Israel
If you found this article to be informative, then you may be interested in other articles concerning tort law in Israel on our website such as: Filing a Negligence Lawsuit in Israel – How to Receive Financial Compensation, Expert Advice from a Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Israel, and Advice from a Civil Tort Attorney in Israel. If you have more questions regarding negligence claims in Israel or if you need legal representation, please contact our law firm in Israel. We have offices both in Jerusalem and in Tel-Aviv and we would gladly meet with you for a legal consultation.