Frequently Asked Questions About Personal Injury
Below are some of the most frequently asked questions by our clients. We hope that your question is answered below. If not, please feel free to contact us to discuss your case and answer any questions you may have for our experienced law firm.
New York City Automobile Accident Questions
Q: What should I do if I’m in a car accident?
If you are involved in a car accident, you should seek necessary medical treatment immediately. Even if you are not injured, you must call the police and file a formal police report which can later assist with insurance claims and any lawsuits which may follow.
During this time, you will be required to show your driver’s license and documentation of your insurance coverage. You must obtain this information from the other driver as well. If you have a camera, you should take a photo of the scene to show any damage to your vehicle. You should also contact your insurance carrier as soon as possible so they can instruct you on the necessary steps to file your claim.
To ensure that you receive the greatest settlement possible, contact a personal injury attorney who can initiate an investigation before witnesses forget their testimonials and evidence is lost.
Q: I was in a minor accident and the other driver and I just exchanged insurance information without calling the police. My insurance company is now giving me a hard time for not having a report. Is a police report necessary for all car accidents?
It is always a good idea to call the police at the time of an automobile accident. Although all insurance carriers have different policies regarding the necessity of a police report when filing a claim, many will accept an auto insurance claim without one. Nonetheless, police reports help determine the involved parties and document who was at fault. This information will assist your insurance company in their investigation and may expedite the resolution of the claim.
Q: I was in a car accident and the other motorist’s insurance company just called me for a statement. Am I required to provide one?
Absolutely not! More often than not, the other driver’s insurance company is calling to obtain information which can be used against you as you seek to recover losses. Respectfully decline their request and inform them that if they would like a copy of your statement, they may contact your insurance carrier directly.
Q: Who is responsible for my medical treatment and expenses?
In most cases, the at-fault party and/or their respective insurance providers are responsible to pay for medical treatment and other expenses such as vehicle damage. However, fiscal responsibility for injury resulting from a car accident varies significantly from state to state. As a result, you must contact a local law firm that can help you determine fault and recover any financial losses you’ve incurred.
Q: The accident was partly my fault. Do I still have a case?
If you have been injured in a car accident, a construction accident, or a slip and fall, you might wonder if you have a personal injury case. In New York State, even if you are partially at fault, you may be entitled to compensation. You need to consult with an experienced attorney to have your case properly evaluated.
Q: The accident was my friend or family member’s fault. If I sue them, will it cost them money?
If you fell at a family member’s house or were a passenger in a friend’s car, you may be apprehensive about filing a claim. Rest assured that automobile insurance and homeowner’s insurance will cover most claims. The insurance company will even provide your friend or family member with an attorney, free of charge, as part of the insurance coverage.
Q: What is no-fault insurance?
No-fault insurance is part of the vehicle owner’s insurance coverage that pays all bills for medical treatment for anyone who is injured as the result of a car collision. The no-fault insurer must pay all bills, as soon as treatment begins, without delay, no matter who caused the accident. A medical office or hospital that does not know which insurer to bill will most likely send you their bill directly. Therefore, you should inform all health care providers that you were injured as the result of a car accident and that there is no-fault insurance available.
Q: What does no-fault insurance cover?
Usually, no-fault insurance covers treatment for about two months. It covers visits to physicians such as chiropractors, orthopedists, neurologists, the emergency room, and testing such as MRI and CT scans. It also allows a small amount daily to cover other expenses, such as transportation to and from medical appointments.
Q: How much is my case worth?
Every case is different. Many questions must be answered to make that determination. Whose fault was the accident? How serious are the injuries? Are there lasting effects? Is there enough insurance coverage? These are just some of the factors that must be evaluated by a competent and experienced attorney to properly evaluate your case.
New York City Slip & Fall Questions
Q: I tripped and fell over an uneven sidewalk outside of my neighbor’s home. He says it is my fault because I was talking on my cell phone and not paying attention at the time I fell. Do I have any liability?
Your neighbor and all property owners have the responsibility to take reasonable steps to provide for the safety of visitors. However, the injured party must also show that he or she was exercising reasonable caution. If your neighbor can prove that you were being careless at the time of the accident, it may hinder your claim. To fully evaluate the situation and determine who is responsible and to what extent, you should contact a knowledgeable attorney.
Q: What should I do if I am injured on someone else’s property?
If you are injured on someone else’s property, take note of the surroundings and the hazard which caused you to fall. If you have a camera or mobile phone with photo capturing ability, try to take photos of the hazard as this may serve as evidence of the condition of the property at the time of injury. If there are any witnesses, ask for their contact information or a written statement of the accident from their perspective. If you are in a business setting, the business will probably require that you submit an accident report at the time of the incident. Be sure to retain a copy of this report for your records. In the upcoming days and weeks, keep clear records of any medical treatment needed and document any missed work which occurred as a result of your injury. Most importantly, contact a personal injury attorney who can review your case and inform you of the best course of action to receive compensation for your suffering and lost wages.
Q: As a homeowner, what am I required to do to ensure that I am not liable for damages should someone slip and fall on my property?
As a property owner, it is your responsibility to maintain a safe environment for all visitors to your property. If there is a defective condition, you must warn individuals of the hazard and correct it in a timely manner. Regular maintenance will ensure that you are aware of any unsafe condition and can fix it to avoid injury to others. The extent of liability, if any, can vary depending on each situation, so it is best to consult a qualified personal injury lawyer who is familiar with the specific laws of your local jurisdiction.
New York Nursing Home Negligence Questions
Q: What is considered “abuse”?
The law protects a resident in a nursing home facility from any physical, mental, sexual or verbal abuse. Examples of abuse include, but are not limited to striking, shaking, hitting, harmful verbal statements, inattentiveness, disciplinarian restraints, and/or isolation. Any act or failure to act that harms a resident may be considered nursing home abuse. The nursing home is supposed to provide a safe and secure living environment and abide by state and federal laws and regulations regarding the standard of care.
Q: What are some warning signs of mistreatment and abuse?
Nursing home abuse and negligence can take many forms and have multiple consequences. Sadly, many older adults who live in nursing homes often have difficulty communicating, especially those who suffer from mentally debilitating diseases such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Warning signs of mistreatment and abuse include, but are not limited to reddened or broken skin, rashes, sores, unexplained broken bones, head injuries, unexplained bruises, cuts, or scratches, burns, sudden weight loss, infection, or pneumonia.
Q: Does New York State provide rights specific to nursing home residents?
Yes. New York State provides additional and separate rights to nursing home residents. If these rights are violated, the resident or his/her family may be entitled to monetary payments for their pain and suffering and also for their attorneys’ fees. These rights include, but are not limited to: right to privacy (including in their rooms, communications, medical treatment, visits, and meetings with family and resident groups), rights to proper safeguarding of property and money, freedom of choice and independent decision making, right to quality of care and treatment without discrimination, a complaint procedure that is responsive and easy to use, and a right to exercise their rights without fear of punishments.
New York City Product Liability Questions
Q: I was injured when using a hairdryer. If I decide to seek compensation for my injury, who can be held liable for my injury?
In most cases, the manufacturing company is held liable for injuries caused by defective products. However, depending on the nature of the case, other parties may be held fully or partially liable. For example, if your product was repaired by an individual independent of the manufacturer, the repair technician may be held responsible. In other cases, the retailer of the product may be liable. To determine who is liable, you should contact an attorney who specializes in product liability matters.
Q: What is the most common defense used by manufacturers to avoid liability in defective product cases?
In many cases, manufacturers will argue that the user misused the product and, as a result of this incorrect use, injury ensued. This defense may be valid in many cases, however, the manufacturer must provide notification of intended use and warn of dangers of misuse. If these warnings were not expressed on the product prior to use, the defense may not hold as much weight in court.
Q: I received notification from a law firm that I may be part of a class eligible to receive compensation for injury from a defective product, should I join the class action suit?
When a product causes widespread injury to its users, class action suits are often initiated by a group of plaintiffs. When contemplating whether or not to join this class of harmed users, be sure to consult a personal injury attorney because doing so may compromise some of your rights. Our law firm can help evaluate your case and advise on the best course of action.