It does not matter if you suffered injuries on a construction site, in a slip and fall, or an auto accident, serious injuries can leave you with high medical expenses, lost professional opportunities, and losses in your personal life. If someone else caused your accident, you may have the right to seek compensation for your injuries. Contact Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA and Sibley Dolman today at 833-552-7274 (833-55-CRASH) to learn more about your legal rights following a serious accident.
Serious New York Injuries Deserve Serious Results
Working with an experienced New York personal injury attorney can increase your chances of success and make it easier for you to seek compensation. Many of our past clients have discovered that working with us has increased the compensation that they ultimately receive from the insurance company or liable party in their accidents, even after paying all legal fees.
Consider some of our past results:
- $3.2 million to a victim of a truck accident that resulted in brain injury
- $1.75 million to a victim who suffered both a shoulder injury and a traumatic brain injury
- $1.58 million to a victim who suffered herniated discs in the spinal cord
- $1 million for a car accident victim
The results of our past claims cannot guarantee success in any future New York personal injury claim. However, the attorneys at Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA and Sibley Dolman can pursue your claim.
When you retain us to handle your New York personal injury claim, we:
- Collect evidence related to the accident. The first step in any accident claim is to collect evidence that can help prove who caused the accident. The other party may attempt to show that you contributed to the accident or to shift liability to a third party, if possible. An attorney, however, can go over all of the evidence related to your accident, from reviewing witness statements to evaluating the scene of the accident. Your attorney may even review potential video footage of the accident.
- Help you understand how much compensation to seek. Many clients do not know how much compensation to seek in their New York personal injury claims. Unfortunately, many insurance companies and lawyers that represent big companies often prey on this lack of knowledge after an accident with serious injuries. Insurance companies may, for example, try to offer you a low settlement shortly after your accident. While the settlement may sound good on the surface, it may not adequately cover your medical bills and the other expenses you face as a result of your injuries. An attorney can help you better understand the true value of your New York personal injury claim, including when to accept a settlement offer and when you should continue to negotiate.
- Represent you as needed. For many clients, having an attorney helps decrease stress as they work toward resolutions on their New York personal injury claims. An attorney can represent in negotiations with the insurance company and the party liable for your accident, preventing you from having to deal with the stress often associated with such interactions. An experienced attorney will also represent you in court if your claim goes to trial.
Common Personal Injury Claims in New York
Following an accident, you may have grounds for a New York personal injury claim if another party caused your injuries through negligence.
- Auto accidents. Auto accidents, including motorcycle accidents and accidents with big trucks, occur frequently on New York roads. A moment’s distraction or ignoring the rules of the road can contribute substantially to accident risk. Not only does the driver who caused the accident bear liability for the accident and your injuries, but you may also find that other parties also share liability for motorcycle accidents and their associated injuries.
- Nursing home abuse. Placing a loved one in a nursing home means placing a great deal of trust in the people who run and staff that nursing home. Unfortunately, some nursing home employees may perpetuate the physical, emotional, sexual, and/or financial abuse of your loved one. Nursing homes may provide inadequate care for their senior residents, which can substantially decrease their expected lifespans and lead to visible symptoms of neglect.
- Construction accidents. Construction sites have many opportunities for injury. Exposed electrical wiring, trip and fall hazards, and heavy equipment can all contribute to accident risk on a construction site. Victims can suffer slip and fall injuries, falls from heights, severe burns, and a variety of crushing injuries due to inadequate protections on a construction site.
- Premises liability accidents. When you visit public premises, you assume that you will have a safe visit and that the staff will take whatever precautions necessary to make your experience there a safe one. Unfortunately, accidents may happen due to negligence, including items left precariously on high shelves, trip hazards in the walkways, and inadequate building maintenance.
- Medical malpractice. Physicians owe their patients a high duty of care. Physicians take an oath to do no harm and strive to ensure the health and safety of their patients. Physician negligence, unfortunately, can lead to severe injuries, ongoing suffering, and decreased length and quality of life for affected patients. Medical malpractice may include failure to diagnose a disorder, even with adequate symptom presentation, as well as improper medication administration and never events during surgery. Medical malpractice may also include birth injuries.
Severe Injuries Often Involved in New York Personal Injury Claims
Any victim who suffers severe injuries in an accident due to another party’s negligence may have the right to pursue a New York personal injury claim.
Some injuries, however, show up in a wide variety of claims due to the severe, ongoing impacts on victims’ lives these injuries may cause.
- Traumatic brain injury. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) disrupts the brain’s usual functions, usually due to severe trauma to the head. Traumatic brain injuries commonly occur in slip and fall accidents, nursing home neglect cases, and severe auto accidents. Following traumatic brain injury, depending on the part of the brain impacted by the injury, victims may suffer a variety of symptoms, including difficulty with focus and concentration, memory problems, and problems with emotional regulation.
- Spinal cord injury. The spinal cord controls the body’s movement and communicates its pain levels and other sensations. Complete spinal cord injury, in which the spinal cord severs completely, often leads to paralysis. Incomplete spinal cord injury, however, can also cause severe complications, including limited mobility and difficulty with motor control. Spinal cord injury may also impact organ function below the site of the injury.
- Burns. Burns can occur in a variety of ways: chemicals, heat, friction, electricity, and even cold. Chemical burns, for example, may occur on construction sites due to improper disposal of chemicals. Electrical burns, on the other hand, usually occur due to exposed electrical wiring. Burns can cause a great deal of pain for their victims. Burn victims also experience high rates of complications, including failed skin grafts and infection. Because burns impact the skin, which provides a vital protective layer between bacteria and the body, burn victims may suffer infection more easily than victims of other types of injuries.
- Broken hips. Elderly individuals, in particular, prove particularly prone to suffering broken hips and other severe broken bones as a result of slip and fall accidents. Broken hips cause a great deal of physical pain and can have long-term impacts on a victim’s overall mobility. Some victims with broken hips, including elderly individuals, may also suffer an increased mortality rate as a result of their injuries.
- Amputations. Accidents on construction sites and severe auto accidents, especially those involving big trucks, have a high risk of amputation. Sometimes, amputation occurs during the accident itself, when the force of the accident separates the limb from the body. Other times, the accident may cause such severe crushing damage that doctors cannot repair the limb. In some cases, decreased blood flow to the limb due to crushing damage may cause the limb to turn necrotic. Doctors may need to remove dead tissue quickly to protect the victim’s life. Many amputees choose to use prosthetic devices to improve mobility and independence after their accidents.
- Broken bones. Drivers involved in car accidents may brace their hands against the wheel, substantially increasing their risk of breaking bones in the hands and arms. In a motorcycle accident, victims may lay their bikes over their legs, causing them to break. Broken bones can occur in many types of accidents, especially in the elderly or others with frail bones. Victims with broken bones may lose the ability to work or struggle to complete their usual daily responsibilities in the immediate aftermath of their accidents.
Seeking Compensation After a New York Accident: What You Need to Know
After a New York accident caused by another party’s negligence, contact an experienced New York personal injury attorney as soon as possible. An attorney can help walk you through the claim process and increase the odds that you will receive the maximum compensation.
Claiming Compensation: How Much to Expect
Following an accident in New York, most victims want to understand how much compensation they should expect for their injuries. After all, injured individuals have medical bills to pay—not to mention living expenses, all of which may add up fast after their accidents. Consult our attorneys to learn more about the specific compensation you should expect for your accident.
Most people factor in:
- Medical expenses. Your medical expenses may begin at the scene of the accident and only increase as you continue to receive treatment for your injuries. Your attorney will advise you about how to track and include medical expenses as part of your New York personal injury claim. You will want to include all medical expenses, including the cost of emergency treatment, surgeries and procedures, hospitalization, durable medical equipment, and therapy to aid in your recovery.
- Lost wages. Many injuries can cause you to lose a great deal of time at work after your accident. Sometimes, your employer may bring you back on a limited basis or make modifications to your schedule and duties to make it possible for you to continue working. Other times, you may need to stay out of work until you progress further in your recovery. In your claim, you should include wages lost immediately after your accident, wages lost due to a reduced schedule or medical appointments after your accident, and lost future income if you cannot return to work at all.
- Pain and suffering. In addition to the tangible financial losses associated with your accident, you may qualify to seek compensation for pain and suffering. Talk to an attorney to learn more about how you should include in your claim both the physical pain from your accident and your emotional losses, including feelings of isolation or missed opportunities due to the accident.
Where to Seek Compensation
As part of your New York personal injury claim, your attorney will identify all parties who share liability for your accident. This may include parties who contributed to your accident as well as those who caused it directly.
The liable party must have:
- Owed you a duty of care at the time of the accident
- Breached that duty of care
- Caused your injuries through the breach
In a car accident, for example, the liable party might include a driver who chose to drink and drive. Further investigation, however, might show that the drunk driver’s brakes failed, making it impossible for him to stop. While the drunk driver bears liability for his decisions behind the wheel, and his inebriation likely prevented him from responding appropriately to the failed brakes, the vehicle manufacturer or the brake manufacturer of a new vehicle may also share liability for the accident. If a mechanic recently worked on the brakes, causing an error that led to the accident, the mechanic may also share liability.
An attorney can help identify all of the parties involved in your accident and collect the evidence needed to prove their involvement. If you can identify more than one party that shares liability for your accident, it may increase the compensation you ultimately receive for your injuries.
New York Personal Injury FAQ
Following a serious injury, you may have questions about your legal right to compensation. If you have specific questions about your claim or your rights following an accident, contact an experienced New York personal injury attorney as soon as possible. For more general questions about New York personal injury law, we’ve provided answers to some of the most frequently asked questions that we hear from clients.
1. Will I have to go to court to settle my New York personal injury claim?
Most New York personal injury claims settle out of court. Typically, insurance companies and big companies recognize that going to court adds to a claim’s legal expenses, so companies may negotiate a settlement that meets both your needs and their needs. In some cases, however, you may need to take your claim to court to ensure fair compensation. Having an experienced New York personal injury attorney on your side can make it easier to handle your claim, present your case, and determine the funds you need and when to accept a settlement.
2. How long will it take for me to recover compensation from a New York personal injury lawsuit?
You should expect it to take some time to settle your New York personal injury claim. While you may receive a settlement offer from the insurance company shortly after your accident, this offer may not accurately reflect the funds you need to cover the costs of your injuries.
Instead, consider the following factors that may make your New York personal injury claim last longer than expected:
- How long do you need to heal before your doctors to have a solid assessment of your prognosis? In the case of many types of injuries, your doctors will need to wait for you to progress through your recovery before offering a full assessment of your eventual prognosis. In the case of incomplete spinal cord injury, for example, it could take as much as six months for your doctors to fully assess how much your injuries will impact your mobility in the future. The extent to which you heal will likely impact the time you spend out of work, what work you can return to after your injuries, and the amount of your medical bills, all of which will affect your New York personal injury claim. Talk to your attorney to learn more about how much your healing may need to progress before you can file a New York personal injury claim.
- How much compensation should you seek? In a New York personal injury claim, the amount you ask for may vary. Most claims, however, begin with your medical bills: the medical costs you experience as a result of your injuries from the accident. Severe injuries naturally lead to higher bills, since you will need more treatment in addition to more time hospitalized or a higher level of care. In many cases, however, insurance companies and legal teams will fight harder to reduce the compensation you ultimately receive when you ask for a higher dollar amount in compensation for your injuries. This does not mean that you should lower your request, but it does mean that if you have a high-dollar request, you should expect your claim to take longer to resolve.
- How much do you need to negotiate? You cannot control how many rounds of negotiation it will take to reach an agreement with the liable party or the liable party’s insurance company. Sometimes, you may realize quickly that you cannot reach an agreement and decide to take your claim to court. Other times, you may reach an agreement very quickly. Often, this depends on the company’s policies and procedures. Every round of negotiation you need to go through can add to the amount of time it takes to reach a settlement agreement in your New York personal injury claim. If you must go to mediation or negotiation, it can take even longer to settle your claim.
Once you reach an agreement in your claim, the liable party has 30 days to pay your settlement or to begin making payments on a larger claim, depending on the terms set out in the agreement.
3. How do I determine who bears liability for my injuries?
Working with an attorney can help you more effectively determine who bears liability for your accident and, therefore, for your injuries. An attorney will consider the following when assessing liability in your claim:
- Who owed you a duty of care at the time of your injuries? For example, when you place your medical needs in the hands of a doctor, that doctor owes you a high duty of care to ensure that you receive adequate care that doesn’t cause you additional suffering. On the other hand, a doctor who happens to be in the hospital when you receive care, but who does not consult on your case, does not owe you a duty of care as a patient.
- How did the individual or entity breach the duty of care? If you slipped and fell due to inadequate maintenance on the stairs of a hotel, the hotel violated its duty of care to you by failing to rectify that dangerous situation. In an auto accident, a driver who drives distracted or while inebriated clearly violates his or her duty of care to others on the road.
- How did the breach lead to your injuries? Showing how the entity’s violation of its duty of care to you at the time of the accident led to your injuries can prove critical to your New York personal injury claim. If, for example, a drunk driver swerves past you and hits a lamppost, and you don’t sustain any injuries, you do not have grounds to file a New York personal injury claim. On the other hand, if that driver strikes your car, causing you to hit your head on the steering wheel and sustain a traumatic brain injury, you likely have grounds for a New York personal injury claim.
An attorney will go through the evidence related to your accident to identify all parties who may share liability for your injuries. This process may include taking witness testimony, going over any video evidence from the accident, and checking out the scene of the accident. The attorney may also evaluate additional evidence; in the case of an accident with a commercial truck driver, for example, the attorney may look over the driver’s logs to determine whether he or she exceeded the federal limits that commercial drivers may not exceed behind the wheel in a given time.
4. The liable party’s insurance company offered me a settlement after my New York accident. Do I have to file a New York personal injury claim?
Often, the company that covers the at-fault party in a serious accident, including the insurance company that represents a driver who caused an auto accident, will contact an accident victim shortly after the accident to issue a settlement offer. This offer may appear attractive on the surface; if you accept, it will provide you with quick money.
The initial offer, however, rarely provides full compensation for severe injuries. Consult an experienced New York personal injury attorney to get a better idea of how much compensation you should expect for your injuries and when to accept a settlement offer. In many cases, working with an attorney can give you a better understanding of your claim’s true value and prevent you from inadvertently accepting a low offer.
5. How long do I have to file a personal injury claim in New York?
To submit a timely personal injury claim in New York, you must file it before the statute of limitations runs out. However, the statute of limitations may vary based on the severity of your injuries, who caused your injuries, and the factual circumstances surrounding your accident. An attorney may also identify exceptions to the statute of limitations that can make it easier for you to file a claim, even if some time has passed since your accident. Consult an experienced New York personal injury attorney to learn more about how long you have to file your claim.
6. When should I contact an attorney after an accident in New York?
Ideally, you should contact an attorney as soon after your accident as possible. That does not necessarily mean that you need to contact an attorney from the scene of the accident or your bed in the emergency room, but it does mean that you should take steps to contact an attorney as soon after your accident as possible. Do not wait to get in touch with an attorney.
An attorney can offer many services starting early after your accident, including:
- Preventing you from mistakenly accepting a low settlement offer. The insurance company may, for example, pressure you to accept an offer quickly, perhaps even indicating that you will not have the chance to accept the same offer once some time has passed. An attorney will help you better understand your legal rights and how you should handle issues surrounding initial settlement offers.
- Helping to collect evidence immediately after the accident. Collecting evidence often proves harder as time passes after an accident. Eyewitness testimony can grow more unreliable as time passes. Many pieces of evidence may also disappear: the scene around a car accident might disappear, or a construction site might get cleaned up to remove potential hazards, for example. The sooner you contact an attorney, the sooner that attorney can begin working on your behalf to collect all relevant evidence.
7. Is a workers’ compensation claim different from a New York personal injury claim?
Yes. If you suffered injuries on the job, you have different rights than if you had suffered an injury in a different environment. For example, in New York, you will receive a percentage of your income while recovering from serious injuries in addition to coverage for all of your medical expenses. In a workers’ compensation claim, however, you cannot claim compensation for your pain and suffering.
Most of the time, workers’ compensation claims pay out over time, while New York personal injury claims may pay out in lump sums. However, if you suffer injuries on the job that prevent you from ever returning to your usual duties, you may ultimately receive a lump payment that terminates your company’s obligation to you.
8. Can I file a New York personal injury claim even if I did not discover my injuries immediately after the accident?
Sometimes, you may not discover your injuries immediately after an accident. Ideally, you should always receive medical attention after an accident, even if you believe that you did not suffer serious injuries. Sometimes, adrenaline can conceal the pain from the injuries, or you may not notice even serious injuries immediately.
If you do not seek medical attention immediately after your accident, you may still have grounds to file a New York personal injury claim; however, you may need to provide evidence of when your injuries occurred. Talk to an attorney to learn more about what you can expect from a New York personal injury claim if you did not discover your injuries immediately.
9. How much does it cost to retain an attorney to handle a New York personal injury claim in New York?
Many victims avoid retaining legal representation after their accidents because they fear it will cost more than they can afford. An experienced New York personal injury attorney, however, will often prove more affordable than you may realize. Most attorneys will start with a free consultation to get a better idea of the circumstances that led to your accident and the injuries you suffered. Many will also offer to take your claim on a contingent fee basis; instead of paying upfront for legal assistance, you will issue payment as a percentage of the damages awarded.
Do You Need an Experienced New York Personal Injury Attorney?
If you suffered serious injuries due to another party’s negligence, an experienced New York personal injury attorney can make a big difference in your claim. Contact Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA and Sibley Dolman today at 833-552-7274 (833-55-CRASH) to learn more about your legal rights following a serious accident.
Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
1250 Waters Place, Tower 1, Suite 502
Bronx, NY 10461
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