Personal injury law is quite complex and if you’re faced with the need to file a personal injury lawsuit, you probably have lots of questions.
Read on to learn the answers to your questions.
What should I do after an accident?
If you’ve been in an accident in which you sustained injuries, the first thing you should do is seek medical care. If you’re not immediately rushed to the emergency room, the next thing you should do is document the scene of the accident. Take images and/or videos and get information from any witnesses present.
Never admit fault or apologize to anyone involved in the accident, even if it seems like it’s the right thing to do. Anything you admit following an accident may be used against you later. If you believe someone else is responsible for the incident, it’s a good idea to set up a consultation with an attorney to go over your options.
How will I know if I have a valid case?
You don’t need to decide by yourself whether you have a case. Once you speak to an attorney, they’ll be able to tell you whether your case is valid. An experienced attorney will assess the facts and determine who may be liable for your injuries as well as what you may be able to recover under the New York Insurance Threshold Law.
In most instances, you will have a case if another person acted negligently which caused you to sustain injuries. This may sound simple, but proving negligence is not always easy, which is why it’s a good idea to allow an experienced attorney to handle it for you.
What is the statute of limitations for a personal injury case in New York?
The statute of limitations varies from state to state. In addition, the statute of limitations varies for different types of personal injury cases in the same state.
For negligence in car accident personal injury cases, the state of New York allows three years from the date of your accident to file a suit.
For medical malpractice, the statute of limitations in New York is two years and six months from the date of the malpractice or from the end of continuous medical care.
For other negligence that resulted in personal injury, the statute of limitations is three years from the date of the accident.
For slip and fall injuries, the statute of limitations is three years from the date of the accident.
For product liability, the statute of limitations is also three years from the date of the accident and/or discovery of the injury, such as in medical device implant cases.
Lastly, the statute of limitations for wrongful death cases is two years from death.
How do I handle a call from an insurance adjuster?
If an insurance adjuster for someone else involved in the accident gives you a call, do not give them any information. They may appear to be warm and comforting, but it’s guaranteed they’re doing whatever they can to get you to admit something to put you at fault for the accident.
If you have an attorney for your case, refer the adjuster to your attorney so they can do the talking for you. If you don’t have an attorney for your case, contact your insurance company. If an attorney for someone else involved in the accident contacts you, also refer them to your attorney. Don’t speak to anyone attempting to collect information for the other party involved in the incident.
What damages may I recover in a personal injury case?
The primary form of damages is compensatory damages, which are then categorized into economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages involve tangible, objective expenses and losses, including medical bills, lost income, earning capacity, property damage, and future medical care expenses.
Non-economic damages tend to be more subjective and include pain and suffering, mental anguish, and life enjoyment loss. In order for damages to be awarded, they must be fairly quantifiable, instead of being speculative.
You may also be able to recover punitive damages if the defendant has been conducting themselves in an exceptionally shocking way, such as reckless and wanton behavior or gross disregard for safety. Punitive damages are designed to serve as a punishment in the hopes the party liable for your injuries will not act in such a manner in the future. It is rare for punitive damages to be awarded, but they may be significant if they are awarded.
How will I know how much my case is worth?
Your case will need to be thoroughly investigated and your injuries fully assessed before you may learn how much compensation you’ll likely recover.
Keep in mind that attorneys are legally barred from promising to recover a certain amount of compensation for you or for forecasting the conclusion of your case.
It may also be a good idea to ask an attorney how much of the recoverable damages you’ll truly be able to collect. Your actual recoverable damages will be based upon the insurance of the at-fault party(s), their assets, your own insurance policy, and potentially your own contribution to the fault of the incident, if any.
Keep in mind, no attorney will be able to provide a proper assessment of your recovery until after discovery in your case is complete. That means that all documents will have to be exchanged between you and the defendant, such as your medical records and the defendant’s insurance coverages and depositions will also have to be completed.
This is why you need an experienced attorney.
We Can Help
If you’ve been involved in an accident in which you sustained injuries, you may have a case. Our attorneys at The Ahearne Law Firm are highly experienced in personal injury law and have helped many other people, just like you. Don’t hesitate to contact our firm with your case right away. After all, it is your health on the line.
Call the New York lawyers at The Ahearne Law Firm today at (845) 763-4100 to speak with an accomplished attorney about your case.