Do I have a case?
The answer to this, as with most complicated questions is – a big maybe. To figure out whether you have a case or not requires a thorough understanding of the law and is not an easy yes or no answer. Small details, for example in a slip and fall case, such as – who owns the particular part of the sidewalk – will determine whether there is a case or not.
Generally, personal injury claims have two elements. There must always be liability – or responsibility – meaning who was at fault, there must also be some amount of damages or injury. These injuries can be minor – like scrapes and bruises, or serious, like a fracture or permanent scar.
For example, motor-vehicle accident cases has some very specific laws governing whether a lawsuit may be brought or not. New York State has some of the strictest laws in the Country related to recovering money from a motor-vehicle accident. NYIL (or New York Insurance Law) Section 5102(d) states that you must have suffered a serious injury – found in the following 9 categories:
- significant disfigurement;
- a fracture;
- loss of a fetus;
- permanent loss of use of a body organ, member, function, or system;
- permanent consequential limitation of use of a body function or system;
- significant limitation of use of a body function or system;
- a medically determined injury or impairment of a non-permanent nature that prevents the person from performing substantially all of the material acts that constitute his or her usual and customary daily activities for not less than 90 days during the 180 days immediately following the occurrence of the injury or impairment.
To recover in New York State – a person must suffer an injury which falls into one of the categories above. Even if you think you may not have a serious injury – call us and let us discuss your case with you.
How much do you charge?
Consultations are always free. Personal injury and medical malpractice cases are accepted at our firm on a contingency basis – which means that the only time we get paid is when we are successful at recovering money for you. If we recover nothing, we get paid nothing.
Other types of cases are based on contract and fees are discussed based on the nature of the work to be performed.
Is there anything I should do before coming in to speak with you?
Yes absolutely! If a motor-vehicle was involved – try to take pictures and send them in to us. Pictures are invaluable to your case – no matter how you try to describe the damage done to a vehicle, a picture will show that damage better. Also try to get a police report from the local police precinct where the accident occurred.
If the case relates to a slip and fall – take pictures of the scene. Especially if there is debris, snow, ice, or a problem with the area, such as an uneven curb or sidewalk. You never know when it will be repaired and then there will be no photo evidence of the scene.
If there are any witnesses, try to get their information together and let them know they may be contacted by us to find out what happened.
If you have any paperwork from an insurance company, hospital, doctor, or anywhere else, make sure to gather everything together and bring it in. This will save us time and be better prepared to speak with you about your case.
Call us to discuss your case, whether it is a motor vehicle accident, trip and fall, work-related, construction accident, or any other type of case – place your trust in our experience.
Are there any restrictions in bringing my case?
Yes there are. There are all sorts of timelines, deadlines, and other restrictions placed on bringing suit, but there are also prerequisites to bringing a suit, such as in a case involving the City of New York, for example, where you have 90 days to file what is called a Notice of Claim.
There are all sorts of rules in putting different insurance carriers, State and City entities, and private companies and individuals on notice of a lawsuit or potential claim. Rather than risk complicating your case by waiting – give us a call now. Our consultations are completely free.
Another example of a restriction for your case would be related to motor-vehicle accidents. In accidents where you are injured, you have 30 days to file for what is known as “No-Fault” benefits whereby your hospital, medical, and doctors bills will be paid by either your motor-vehicle insurance carrier, the insurance carrier for the motor-vehicle you were a passenger in, or the vehicle that struck you, depending on the circumstances of your case. These forms must be filled out correctly and sent to the proper carrier and department. Let our firm handle this paperwork for you and you can be assured that it will be done right.
Your best and most safe course of action is to call us as soon as possible and discuss the case with us so we can advise you on how to proceed.