If you or a loved one has suffered serious injuries in New York State because of the negligence of another, we offer our most sincere sympathy. Many people who suffer injuries are understandably overwhelmed. You may be asking yourself, “What happens now? Who should I speak with and when?” The answer is “today.” Continue reading and contact a competent New York City personal injury attorney from the Law Office of Brian J. Elbaum to learn more about personal injury claims and how we can help you through the legal process.
Why You Should Hire a Personal Injury Attorney in New York City
A huge reason to hire an attorney right away is that memories and evidence tend to fade away over time. Prompt investigation of the facts by the attorney helps to ensure the protection of evidence that will be crucial to your case.
When interviewing possible attorneys to represent you, always ask whether the initial consultation will be free or “complimentary.” Be sure to ask friends, business contacts, and family for referrals to attorneys who have strong trial experience in your particular type of case. Do not hire an attorney who is merely a general practitioner. You need a specialist to get the results you want. When you interview a potential New York City personal injury attorney, be sure to ask whether you will be regularly dealing with them directly, or their junior associate, paralegal, or nurse.
Most personal injury lawyers will expect to be paid roughly 1/3rd of any legal recovery you may receive, whether through settlement or trial award. However, you do not have to pay any money out of pocket to hire the attorney to represent you and it is the attorney who pays all of your case’s expenses and out of pocket costs upfront, such as filing fees, office expenses, and hiring expert witnesses to prove fault and/or the amount of your damages.
It is important to respond quickly to any question or request for information that your attorney sends to you. The faster you respond, the faster they can move your case along. However, if you feel that your attorney does not return your calls, e-mails, or texts quickly, consider changing attorneys.
Our Legal Services
The Law Offices of Brian J. Elbaum fight for clients who’ve been wrongfully injured in a wide array of circumstances, including the following:
- Auto Accidents
- Slip & Falls
- Construction Accidents
- Defective Products
- Dog Bites
- Nursing Home Neglect
- Work Injuries
- Wrongful Death
- Medical Malpractice
Why You Need Medical Care After an Injury
If you have suffered a serious injury, seek medical attention immediately. Some injuries, pain, and limitations are not immediately noticeable and may take time to develop. You may not even be aware that you have suffered an injury immediately after the accident. Your attorney will recommend a doctor to you so that all of your injuries may be properly documented and treated.
The longer you wait to seek medical attention, the harder it may be for your attorney to relate your injuries to the accident.
Don’t Speak With Insurance Companies – Speak With Us
If you are contacted by a representative of the defendant’s insurance company, do not respond. The insurance company is not on your side. They represent the defendant that you may be suing. After you hire your attorney, ask your attorney to respond to the insurance company on your behalf.
If the insurance company makes an early settlement offer to you, you should understand that the offer will be low and nowhere near the amount you could possibly receive through settlement or trial.
Beware – accepting an early settlement offer will prevent you from proceeding with your lawsuit against the defendant that the insurance company represents. Insurance companies usually make higher offers once the case approaches its trial date. If you need another surgery or treatment down the road but have taken an early settlement offer, you cannot go back in time and get more compensation. It’s important to wait until we understand the full extent of your injuries.
Working Out the Value of Your Case With Your Personal Injury Attorney
In general, you and your attorney need to prove that the defendant you are suing owed you a duty of care, that they failed to perform this duty of care either by their action or failure to act, that this defendant caused your injuries, and therefore that your injuries resulted in money damages. Types of money damages that may possibly be awarded to you include past and future wages, pain and suffering, medical bills, and property damage.
It should be noted that if you are found to be partially responsible for your own injuries, then your awarded damages may be reduced accordingly. This would be defined as your proportion of fault, or “comparative/contributory negligence.”
Overall, the legal process is extremely slow. Cases routinely take 3-5 years to arrive at trial. If you cannot afford to wait this long for your settlement or trial award, you may wish to discuss with your attorney accepting an earlier, yet lower, settlement offer.
Few people have the necessary money to continue paying all of their bills while their lawsuit works its way through the court system. Unfortunately, attorneys are prohibited from loaning their clients money while they wait for their cases to conclude. However, your attorney may be able to suggest other financial options.
Statute of Limitations
it is very important to hire an attorney as soon as possible. In most New York City personal injury cases, you must sue the defendant who caused the accident within three years from the date of injury. This three-year period is called the “statute of limitations.” If you fail to sue your case within the three-year period, your case will be thrown out and you will be unable to obtain either a fair settlement or an award at trial.
Also, if your personal injury case involves a New York State government defendant, or “municipality,” you must serve a Notice of Claim upon the municipality within 90 days after the date of your accident. The municipality is then allowed to question you at a “50-h” hearing. Following this hearing, if you wish to sue the municipality for personal injury, you must do so within 1 year and 90 days of your accident, unless the injured party is a child or incompetent. This is the municipality statute of limitations. If you fail to follow these timelines, you will be unable to obtain either a fair settlement or an award at trial against the municipality.
Please note that if you are injured at work you may need to file a worker’s/workman’s compensation claim to protect your rights. Consult with an experienced New York personal injury attorney to learn more.
Contact A Dedicated New York Personal Injury Attorney
If you or a loved one are in need of an experienced New York City personal injury attorney, please contact our office today to get a free consultation with Brian Elbaum. We proudly serve clients in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Harlem, the Bronx, Queens, and Staten Island.