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Personal Injury

Personal injury law, also known as tort law, refers to all laws and regulations designed to protect individuals and property in the event of injury or damage due to another party’s negligence or failure to act.

While accidents and mishaps do occur, that understanding does not always make up for the pain and damages that can result from a severe accident to a loved one. A personal injury claim seeks to find the party at fault legally and receive some form of monetary damage awards.

Whether it be an accident on the job or even an injury caused by medical professionals (medical malpractice), our attorneys are ready to guide you through recourse with sensitivity to your situation and determination to seek the best outcome in court.

Our areas of expertise include

Automobile Accident

New York is a No-Fault car insurance state in which not every car accident results in litigation. In cases where no one involved was hurt or if the injuries were minor, the No-Fault laws typically dictate how claims are handled.

After a no-fault claim is filed with your insurance agency, only those who meet the requirements of New York’s serious injury threshold may file third-party insurance claims or lawsuits against the at-fault driver.

  • To meet the serious injury threshold as set by New York state law, you must have experienced significant disfigurement, bone fracture, permanent limitation of use of a body organ or member, significant limitation of use of a body function or system, or substantially full disability for 90 days. If you have experienced any of those injuries, you qualify for holding the at-fault driver responsible for the automobile accident and can also pursue compensation for pain and suffering as well as other non-monetary damages.
  • The No-Fault car insurance system only covers injuries that were caused by automobile accidents, but does not cover claims regarding vehicle damage. A claim can be made against the at-fault driver for damage to a vehicle with no limitations in the state of New York.
  • Litigation for automobile accidents would be classified as a tort case, with the most common cause of accidents being negligence. Other common causes include distractions to the vehicle driver and the failure to properly service and maintain a vehicle.
Slip & Fall

Slip and fall is when a person acquires an injury from slipping and falling while lawfully on another person’s property due to the owner’s negligence. In the event of a slip & fall accident, you will have to prove that:

  • You were on the property lawfully (i.e. not trespassing)
  • The property owner was negligent in preventing unsafe conditions
  • Their negligence was the cause of your injury
Wrongful Death

In the state of New York, a claim for wrongful death requires proof of: a death, if it was caused by the wrongful conduct of the defendant, if giving rise to a cause of action the deceased could have pursued in court if death had not occurred, survival by one or more persons who have suffered a loss as the result of the death, and damages the estate can recover.

Damages that can be recovered in a wrongful death lawsuit include:

  • Lost earnings
  • Loss of support
  • Medical expenses
  • Funeral and burial costs
  • Pain and suffering damages
Drug Related Injuries

When manufactured correctly, prescription and over-the-counter drugs can improve your health and life. But when manufactured or marketed incorrectly, serious or deadly injuries and/or side effects can occur.

Whether the drugs themselves were defective or unsafe, your doctor prescribed the wrong medication, a mistake was made when filling your prescription, your medication causes a bad reaction to other medications you are taking, or you simply were not made aware of potential side effects that can cause harm, you may be eligible to file a medical malpractice, negligence, or personal injury claim.

Drug companies spend a lot of time and money developing and manufacturing their products and oftentimes have teams of attorneys to defend themselves in case of consumer injuries. Hiring an experienced lawyer can make all the difference in proving that you or your loved one’s injury was caused by negligence or a defective product.

Construction Accident

This area deals with the personal injury and wrongful death cases resulting from construction accidents, as well as the safety laws, regulations and standards governing the construction industry. There are legal protections and regulations in place under New York State law to protect workers, however many times they are ignored and ineffective, which can lead to physical injuries as well as financial losses. In these instances, the construction company, contractor, site owner, equipment manufacturers, and many more may be held liable for the accident.

Those injured have the potential to file two cases or claims: one being a workers compensation claim, and the other being a lawsuit where one can be compensated for loss of earnings and benefits.

In the case of a construction accident, take the following steps to protect your health and future:

  • Seek medical attention and keep track of your medical records
  • Report your accident to your employer
  • If you can, take pictures of the construction site and its conditions on the day of your accident.
Truck Accident

Truck accident law covers personal injuries sustained by occupants of a passenger vehicle as a result of a collision with a commercial freight truck, also known as an 18-wheeler or "big rig." Liability in these cases is premised on the doctrine of negligence. Multiple laws will apply since the negligent party is a professional truck driver. These include traffic laws and civil liability rules, as well as regulations of the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

Truck accident cases are oftentimes more complicated and challenging than car accident cases, especially when you take them on by yourself. Although New York is a no-fault auto insurance state, this does not apply to accidents in which commercial trucks are involved. It is possible and common to receive compensation from the truck company and/or truck driver directly.

Pedestrian Accident

Pedestrian accidents have the unfortunate possibility of causing serious injuries. New York is a no-fault auto insurance state, so a pedestrian who was involved in an accident is entitled to a no-fault claim regardless of fault.

No-fault claims will cover up to $50,000 worth of hospital and medical bills, prescription drugs, imaging, physical therapy, and diagnostic tests, as well as damages for pain and suffering if you are seriously injured. However, if your loss is greater than the $50,000 covered by no-fault insurance, then you can submit a personal injury claim.

Railroad Accident

Trains and subways are an important part of transportation in New York and especially in New York City. If you or a loved one has been involved in a train crash, derailment, or any other accident involving trains or subways, you may be entitled to recover losses caused by the accident.

Causes of railroad accidents and derailments include:

  • Improper track maintenance
  • Excessive speed
  • Train collisions
  • Incorrect switch alignment
  • Objects left on the tracks
Industrial Accident

Industrial injuries can happen to anyone in the manufacturing industry whose job entails mechanical, chemical, or hand-made processes. These accidents are likely to occur when around or while using heavy machinery. All work sites are required to follow specific safety measures in order to prevent injury, however, if these measures are ignored or ineffective then the safety of you and everyone else at the work site is at risk.

If you are injured as a result of ineffective or ignored safety measures, then you may qualify for workers’ compensation or for a negligence claim against your work site, equipment manufacturers, or other third parties who may have led to causing your accident.

In the case of an industrial accident, take the following steps to protect your health and future:

  • Seek medical attention and keep track of your medical records
  • Report your accident to your employer
  • If you can, take pictures of the work site and its conditions on the day of your accident.
Defective Product

Defective products that do not or cannot perform their intended use can cause all types of issues and injuries. All product manufacturers, designers, and distributors in the US are required legally to ensure that the products they create and sell are in no way defective or pose any wrongful injury to consumers using their products. In the state of New York, you have up to three years to file a product liability claim if you believe that your injuries were caused by a defective product.

For a product liability claim to be successful, it is necessary to prove that the product was defective and evidence such as medical records, photographs of the injury and product, and other damages be recorded.

Typical product liability claims include:

  • Defective product design
  • Manufacturing defects
  • Failure to warn consumers of potential dangers
  • Marketing misrepresentations of how the product should be used
Premises Accident

A premises accident is when a person gets injured while lawfully on another person’s property due to the owner’s negligence. These injuries are typically caused by slip, trip, and fall situations or when the property owner’s negligence causes unsafe conditions for others.

In the event of a premises accident, you will have to prove that:

  • You were on the property lawfully (i.e. not trespassing)
  • The property owner was negligent in preventing unsafe conditions
  • Their negligence was the cause of your injury
Medical Malpractice

Injuries that occur as a result of medical negligence or negligence may qualify you for a medical malpractice lawsuit in which you are entitled to recovering pain and suffering, medical expenses, and loss of earnings as a result of your injury.

In order to file a complaint in a medical malpractice case in the state of New York, an expert physician must be consulted in order to review whether or not there is a reasonable cause to pursue the malpractice case.

Examples of medical negligence includes, but is not limited to:

  • Failure to diagnose a medical condition
  • Surgical errors and complications
  • Delay in diagnosis
  • Failure to disclose risks involved with treatments and procedures

In the state of New York, those who have suffered, the plaintiff, have sixty days to file a notice of medical malpractice action with the clerk of the Court.

Work Related Injuries

Those who have been injured or become ill as a direct result of their job may be entitled to workers’ compensation, which is insurance that provides benefits and/or medical care to employees who have been injured or become ill. In a workers’ compensation case, the amount that the injured party receives is not linked to who was at fault in the accident. However, if the injured party was injured as a result of being intoxicated or the intent to injure themself or someone else, then the worker loses their right to workers’ compensation.

In the case that you are injured while on the job or become ill as a direct result of your job, you must:

  • Obtain first aid or medical treatment as soon as possible
  • Report your injury to your supervisor
  • Fill out and mail a claim for workers’ compensation
Negligence
Negligence is a common cause of all personal injury lawsuits and is the failure to behave with the level of care that a person of normal prudence would have exercised in the same circumstances. Generally, negligence occurs when a person acts carelessly or in a way that puts others at risk. There are multiple types of negligence in New York, including contributory and comparative negligence.
  • Contributory negligence means that the plaintiff’s own negligence was a factor in causing the injury or accident.
  • Comparative negligence means both the plaintiff and the defendant were negligent and percentage of fault must be determined to award damages proportionally.
  • Gross negligence, which is a conscious or reckless disregard for others’ safety and is more serious than simple negligence.
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