New York Personal Injury Guide
Did you suffer a serious injury and unsure how to handle your claim? The New York Personal Injury Guide was created by our Rochester accident lawyers to help residents protect their rights and obtain maximum compensation.
Accidents resulting in personal injury have severe consequences and ramifications for the injured party and their loved ones. They may have exorbitant medical bills, loss of future earning power, and permanent physical disabilities. These numerous personal and financial issues are liable to leave the injured party and their family overwhelmed and penniless, if not handled correctly.
To top it all off, the injured party must also contend with a stressful and confusing adversarial court system featuring tricky insurance companies whose sole objective is to deny them the fair compensation they deserve. With such high stakes at hand, it is imperative that the injured party even the tables and retain an experienced accident and injury attorney who will guide them through their case from start to finish to ensure the best possible outcome.
We are knowledgeable, and determined Rochester personal injury attorneys that dedicate our practice to protecting the rights and interests of injured parties. We work to ensure that injured parties receive the maximum compensation for all of their injuries and losses. We have an excellent reputation and track record for obtaining high dollar settlements and jury verdicts for our clients in even the toughest of cases.
In general terms, the practice of Personal Injury Law involves collecting financial compensation for an injured party’s losses and harms from the at-fault parties. Common at-fault parties include individuals, stores, hotels, airports, businesses, drivers, property owners, and property management companies, along with governmental entities and their employees, including townships, municipalities, and even the State of New York itself.
Some of our typical clients include people who were severely injured by another in motor vehicle accidents whether it be from a truck, car, motorcycle or bus accident. Other common injury cases we tackle stem from premises liability (such as slip and falls), defective products, toxic exposure, construction site accidents, and on-the-job injuries. We also have an unparalleled reputation for aggressively assisting those injured as a result of medical malpractice, due to the errors and omissions of hospitals, nursing homes, doctors, and other medical staff members.
Simply put, we are full-time Rochester personal injury attorneys who represent anyone who has been injured due to the fault of another.
Establishing a Personal Injury Case in New York State
As a threshold matter, in order to pursue compensation for personal injuries, one must comply with New York’s filing deadlines, known as “statutes of limitation.” Different cases have varying time frames within a party must assert their claim after sustaining their injuries. If the party attempts to assert their claim outside of the statute of limitations for their particular case, New York Courts will refuse to hear their lawsuit, and their case is forever time-barred, meaning they have permanently lost the right to pursue compensation for their losses and injuries.
In cases where the at-fault party is a governmental entity, the timeframe for initiating a claim may be as little as 90 days. In cases involving medical negligence or medical malpractice the filing deadline is typically two and a half years from the date a party suffered their injuries. Most other personal injury and wrongful death cases in New York have a three year statute of limitations. These include injuries suffered from motor vehicle accidents, premises liability, product liability, and toxic exposure. It is important to consult with a skilled and experienced Rochester injury attorney so that you can be sure you won’t miss a filing deadline for your case.
Assuming a case is timely initiated, in order to prevail in a typical case of negligence, you must prove that the at-fault party breached a duty of care, and also prove that all of your claimed harms and losses were a direct result of the at-fault party’s breach.
Take, for example, the case of a motor vehicle accident where the injured party was harmed when the at-fault party ran a stop sign, striking the injured party’s vehicle. Here, the duty of care to abide by road signs is owed for the safety and protection of other motorists. The at-fault party breached that duty of care when they disregarded the stop sign and struck the vehicle of the injured party causing them to be thrown about the compartment of his vehicle and suffer permanent and disabling bodily injuries. The at-fault party’s disregard for the stop sign was the cause of the collision, and all of the injured party’s harms can be said to be the direct result of the at-fault party’s breach of his duty of care. Under these circumstances, in New York, the injured party would be entitled to collect monetary damages from the at-fault party for his permanent and disabling bodily injuries.
New York State allows an injured party to recover compensation for two main categories of damages: economic damages and non-economic damages. Economic damages refer to all categories of damage that can be quantified with a relatively precise dollar amount. These types of damages include past and future medical expenses, past and future lost wages, loss of household services, the cost of property damage, and out-of-pocket losses caused by the accident. Non-economic damages can be thought of as losses that cannot be quantified or assigned a fair market dollar value. They include past and future pain and suffering, past and future mental anguish, disfigurement and scarring, permanent impairment or disability, and loss of consortium for the lost society and companionship of a spouse or parent.
It is of the utmost importance to retain an experienced Rochester personal injury attorney as soon as possible so that each category of your economic and non-economic damages can be accurately accounted for from day one. One of the classic errors an unrepresented party typically makes is failing to account for each specific category of losses and harms. In many cases, our office utilizes experts such as economists, life care planners, and vocational experts to ensure that all of our client’s damages and losses are fully taken into account and maximized for settlement negotiations or trial.
Call Our Rochester Personal Injury Attorneys
When you or a loved one has suffered severe personal injuries, you only have one chance at getting the fair compensation you deserve. The wrong outcome can have a catastrophic impact on the financial future of you and your family.
We are trusted and determined Rochester personal injury attorneys who pride ourselves on getting that one shot right for you. We understand how much is riding on your case and we ruthlessly fight to ensure that each of our clients receives the maximum possible compensation for his or her injuries. For decades, we have made it our business to protect the interests and rights of injured parties. For us, assisting injured parties is not just a profession; it’s our calling!
Make the right decision and allow us to handle your personal injury case today. There are no costs or out-of-pocket expenses to you, as we work on a contingency fee basis. We only get paid when we win your case, so you have nothing to lose. Call for a free consultation so that we can start work on your case immediately. When you’re injured, you can’t afford to gamble with your future. Rest easy and place your case in our trusted and experienced hands. Let us work for you. Call today.
Frequently Asked Questions | New York Personal Injury Guide
How Do I Pick the Best Injury Lawyer?
The most important thing to consider in looking for an attorney is to choose one, like us, who has handled this type of work day in and day out for a long time. For example, I’ve been handling these cases for 36 years, and there’s nothing that can replace experience. Another very important thing is to make sure you have the personal attention of an experienced attorney. You really need to be able to consult regularly with that person and follow your case on a day-to-day basis to make sure your case gets the attention it deserves.
What Is the Discovery Phase Like?
The discovery phase of a personal injury case here in Rochester is a very, very large portion of the case. It begins right after the accident happens and ends when your accident case is nearing its end and you’re discussing the merits of accepting a settlement versus the possibility of going to trial. Discovery normally refers to the exchange of information between the two sides. That could encompass a lot of written documentation, including medical records, and formal answers to certain questions. The discovery phase also involves sworn testimony about how the accident happened and the nature and extent of your injuries. While it is the longest part of most cases, it’s very often one of the most important parts because it’s during the discovery phase that we’re able to gather the information that will be essential to you as our client as we determine the value of your claim.
What Impacts the Value of My Case?
When someone comes into our Rochester office asking about the value of an injury case, we tell them that two things have the most impact on their case. First, how did the accident happen and who’s at fault? Second, what is the nature and extent of the injury? We will fully work up each case by listening to what our client has to share about how the accident happened and then reviewing investigative reports and accident reports. Next, we revisit the client’s description of the accident with emphasis on the injury and how it’s affected their daily life, including the ability to work, play sports, recreate, or simply pursue normal activities. We can then give you a very, very good estimate of the value of your case. Very often, an insurance company will make an extremely low offer right off the bat; however, when you come to an experienced personal injury attorney such as myself or other members of my firm, we can give you a clear picture of what your case is worth.
Do I Have a Claim If I Never Saw a Doctor?
A lot of people who come into our Rochester office tell us they were involved in a car accident some time ago and, although they didn’t go to the hospital or seek medical treatment right away, they’re now having problems. We assure them that, even if they didn’t go to the hospital right away or get immediate medical treatment, they can still pursue a personal injury claim. Actually, the normal reaction for a person who’s been involved in a motor vehicle accident but is not experiencing tremendous pain right then is to say, “You know, I think I’m going to be okay. I’m a little sore. I’m going to go home and see how this goes.” A lot of people take a wait-and-see approach. Sometimes, later, after some time passes, they realize they actually do have some medical problems. That’s when they first seek medical treatment. Many of our cases have started that way. We’ve had a lot of success representing people who didn’t go to the hospital or get immediate medical care. Certainly, you have the right to bring a claim if you have been seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident, even though you chose not to go to the hospital or see a doctor to treat your injuries immediately following your accident.
Can a Preexisting Condition Affect My Case?
So often, we have clients who come in to see us after they’ve been injured in a car accident and tell us that they injured that same part of their body several years ago. That occurs in many, many of our cases. One thing that’s very important – and one that we, as personal injury attorneys, are very familiar with – is the ability to segregate the part of your injury that is due to your current accident from anything that’s attributable to a preexisting condition. The simple fact that you have a preexisting condition doesn’t mean that it was aggravated by your current accident. You could have hurt your arm or neck 10 or 15 years ago and, while you may have a preexisting condition, it may not have bothered you for those 10 or 15 years. It’s very important to work with a lawyer who’s handled this type of case and can distinguish between the types of injuries which are actually affected by a preexisting condition and those that are not.
How Long Does It Take to Get Compensation?
A lot of people come into the office wanting to know about the end of the case and asking how long it will take for them to get some money or a settlement. The answer really depends on a host of factors, but as a general rule, most cases should be finished within two to three years. Many are finished more quickly, simply because they can be settled at the initial phase – right after the accident and before any lawsuit is started. Generally, however, once a lawsuit has started, two to three years is a reasonable estimate of a time period in which your case should be resolved.
Can I Get Lost Wage Reimbursement?
Many people come into our office wanting to know how they will be reimbursed for lost wages because they’re no longer able to work. The most important thing to do is file your no-fault claim within 30 days. Once you’ve done that, you submit the medical proof of your injury and your lost wages. Once that information is submitted to your insurance company, they will process the claim and start reimbursing you for your lost wages.
Will We Settle Out of Court?
A lot of people who come into our offices want to know whether or not they will have to go to court or if their case is going to settle. In Rochester, most cases do settle. Some cases settle right off the bat, while others settle partway in. Very often, however, personal injury cases settle towards the end. Based on statistics, far more cases settle than actually go to trial, so it would be very likely that, at the end of the day, you will receive a settlement as opposed to going to trial.
What is the Time Length to Fill Out a No-Fault Application?
The most important thing to know about filling out a no-fault application is that you have 30 days in which to do it. If you wait past 30 days, it’s very, very difficult to make a claim for your medical bills and lost wages. That 30-day time limit is one of New York State’s very, very tight rules. Completing the application is not difficult. Contact us, and we can certainly guide you through it. The most important thing to remember is that very strict 30-day time limit within which you must file your claim with your own insurance company.
Why Should You Continue Your Personal Injury Treatments?
People often come into our Rochester office asking whether it’s important for them to continue their treatment, and our answer is, “If you still need treatment, it’s important to continue.” In other words, if you are still unable to do certain activities, if you’re still experiencing any limitation of motion, or if you still have pain as a result of the injuries you sustained, it’s important to continue that treatment. It’s important to continue your treatment for two reasons. First, you need to get well; however, it’s also important to get that treatment to document the fact that you’re still having some problems that were sustained in that accident. When people ask whether they should continue their treatment, the answer really depends on whether you’re still hurting. If you still have pain, make sure you get the necessary treatment.
Retain an Experienced Rochester Accident and Injury Attorney
There is a lot on the line when you or a loved one suffer personal injuries due to the fault of another. Both your physical health and your financial well-being are at stake. All the while, the big insurance companies lurk, pulling out all of the punches and stops to keep you from getting the financial compensation you deserve.
We are knowledgeable Rochester personal injury attorneys with decades of experience and an impressive track record of leveling the playing field for injured parties through ruthless and aggressive representation. When you meet with us, you will find a dedicated office of attorneys and staff that not only truly care about your well-being, but who are willing to fight for you every step of the way as well. Best of all, we work on a contingency fee basis, which means we only get paid when we win your case. There are absolutely no costs or out-of-pocket expenses to you. Call for a free consultation so that we can get started working for you right away.