Personal Injury Law
If you have been injured in New York, it is extremely important to speak with an attorney right away. There are time restraints on certain filing requirements; for example: in a a car accident you have 30 days from the accident to file for “No Fault” claims. These time limits are extremely important and may preclude you from getting relief for your injuries if your claims are not filed in a timely manner.
Automobile accidents occur everyday. If you are in an automible accident it is important to retain an attorney immediately so that your rights can be protected. Immediately after an accident you should make a report to the police, try to take pictures of all evidence including streets and cars, and attempt to get any witnesses information. Many times people are injured badly and are unable to get evidence and/or witness information due to the fact that an ambulance was needed to take them to the hospital for medical treatment. In these instances, it is even more important to contact an attorney right away, in order to begin the investigation immediately while evidence still exists and the incident is fresh in any witnesses' mind. If your injuries are deemed "serious injuries" then you may have a lawsuit against the person, persons, or entities that caused the accident, own the vehicle or are insured. In order to determine if your injuries qualify as "serious injury" contact the firm immediately.
New York is under “No-Fault” Law. In summary “No-Fault” law allows anyone injured in a car accident, regardless of who is at fault, with some exceptions, to recoup certain economic losses up to $50,000.00 as a result of an accident. The "No-Fault" coverage you receive comes from the vehicle you drove, rode in, were hit by, or came into contact with. After a car accident, you have only 30 days to make your "No-Fault" application otherwise you may be denied all claims.
The "No-Fault" Law was enacted with the intention to increase the speed in which minor injury claims were resolved and to reduce the amount of lawsuits. Due to this goal, the law states that in order to bring a lawsuit for non-economic loss including pain and suffering, an injury must qualify as a “serious injury”.
In order to bring a pain and suffering lawsuit against the negligent person or entity in a car accident, the plaintiff's injuries must meet or exceed the "serious injury" threshold. According to insurance law Section §5102(d) of the New York State Insurance Law "serious injury" is defined as:
1) Personal injury which results in death;
2) Dismemberment; significant disfigurement;
4) Loss of a fetus;
5) Permanent loss of use of a body organ, member, function or system;
6) Permanent consequential limitation of use of a body organ or member; significant limitation of use of a body function or system; or
7) A medically determined injury or impairment of a non-permanent nature which prevents the injured person from performing substantially all of the material acts which constitute such person’s usual and customary daily activities for not less than ninety days during the one hundred eighty days immediately following the occurrence of the injury or impairment.
In order to meet this threshold, the plaintiff’s injuries must meet at least 1 of the 7 above listed definitions.
Even if your injuries do not meet this threshold you should contact an attorney to learn if you have any other options.
Slip and Fall Accidents:
Slip and Fall accidents are very common accidents which happen everyday. They can be caused by tripping over hazards, falling down steps, slipping on ice or a wet floor. Slip and Fall accidents can lead to very serious injuries that may require surgeries and/or years and years of pain and suffering and even death.
If you slip and fall you may have a case against the owner of the property.
Some examples of slip and falls are:
-falling down steps;
-slipping on a wet floor;
-tripping over a misplaced tool or equipment;
-tripping over an object which should have been removed; or
-slipping on ice due to negligence or improper care
Not all slip and fall incidents create a recoverable situation, however, if any of the above occurred you may be entitled to recovery for your injuries if certain precautions were not taken by the owner. The typical standard is a reasonableness standard. Depending on your specific facts, the owner may or may not have acted reasonably. In order to determine if you have a case you should contact an attorney immediately after an accident.
Intentional Torts- ex: battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress
Medical Malpractice- ex: Foreign Object left in body during a surgery
Product Liability: ex: Defective Automobile and/or defective design
Worker’s Compensation: ex: Getting injured on the job
Police Misconduct: ex: False arrest and police Brutality
Wrongful Death Claims
Shared Fault Rules:
In New York, we use a pure comparative negligence rule which means that a person is entitled to recovery of damage to the percent of fault which was not their own. For example: if a person suffers from damage amounting to 100,000 and a jury decides that the person was 10% at fault then that person can recover 90% of their damages meaning in our example $90,000. In New York, we are pure comparative negligence meaning that even if you are determined to be 90% at fault you could still recover the remaining 10% of damages from the opposing party.
Joint and Several Liability:
In New York, we use a pure comparative negligence rule meaning that a defendant pays his percentage of the damages proportionally according to his percentage of fault.
However, in car accident cases, all defendants involved, regardless of the percentage of fault, are liable for the damages of all the defendants.
For example: A three (3) car accident occurs. Driver of car "A" is very seriously injured.
A jury determined that the fault was split 80% to "Driver B" (regular person) and 20% to "Driver C" (a large corporation). In this case, if "Driver A's" injuries are $100,000 typically each driver would be liable for their own portion of the damages meaning "Driver B" would owe $80,000 and "Driver C" would owe $20,000. If "Driver B" only has an insurance policy with limits of $50,000 and no assets then the plaintiff, "Driver A", can seek the rest of the damages from "Driver C" meaning that "Driver C" would pay their share of $20,000 plus the $30,000 of "Driver B's" percentage.
Statute of Limitations:
The Statute of Limitations is a set time period, from the date of occurrence or date of which a person should have known about an injury, in which that person has to file a lawsuit.
Below are some statute of limitations:
1) Personal Injury: 3 Years from date of accident
2) Product Liability: 3 Years from date of accident
3) Other Negligence Claims: 3 Years from date of accident
4) Medical Malpractice: 2 1/2 Years (30 months) from date of accident,
unless it is due to a foreign object, in which case it's 1 year from discovery of the object
5) Wrongful Death: 2 Years from date of Death
6) Libel and Slander: 1 Year from Act
7) Intentional Torts: 1 Year from Act
Ex: Assault, Battery, or Intentional Infliction of Emotional Harm:
8) All Suits against Government Entities: 90 days from date of occurrence to submit Notice of Claim
If a lawsuit is not commenced within the statutorily determined timeframe, the plaintiff may be barred from recovery.
It is important to contact an attorney immediately after any accident or incident resulting in an injury.