personal injury claim

When you get injured due to another’s fault, you may have a claim for personal injury. In New York, this usually involves seeking compensation under the doctrine of negligence. A wide variety of cases fall under personal injury, including motor vehicle accidents, construction accidents, and premises liability claims. The statutes governing these cases are outlined in New York's legal code.

These statutes affect personal injury claims by imposing deadlines for filing claims, requiring you to prove your injuries meet or exceed the serious injury threshold to file a claim, limiting who can file a wrongful death claim and the damages they can receive, and whether or not you from filing a lawsuit against government agencies.

Investigating a personal injury claim is a huge undertaking that requires experience, determination, and expert knowledge of the many statutes governing these claims. The first step to getting on with your life is contacting someone specializing in this area. Our attorneys at Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP have decades of experience and a proven record of success in handling complex claims. Call us at 212-344-1000 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation.

Statute of Limitations will Affect Your Claim

The statute of limitations is a law that places time limits on your right to sue. In New York, there's a three-year time limit for most personal injury claims. That means if you don't file your lawsuit within three years of the date the accident occurred, you lose forever the right to seek compensation through the courts. 

This time limit counts down from the date when the accident occurred and doesn't necessarily pause if you were unable to discover an injury until later. You should take legal action as soon as possible after an accident, even if you're not sure whether you have a valid claim.

New York Consolidated Laws cover many topics, including:

  • Agriculture 
  • Judiciary 
  • Public Service
  • Labor 
  • Transportation 
  • Motor Vehicles
  • Education 
  • Taxation and Finance 

Elements of Negligence in New York

The elements of negligence are often defined by the standard of care that is expected of an individual in a given situation. You must prove the following to win your injury case against an individual or company that caused your injuries:

  • Duty of Care: A duty of care is a legal obligation or responsibility involving one party and one or more others. The duty owed depends on the relationship between the parties, including their respective roles and circumstances.
  • Breach of Duty: A breach of duty occurs when a person fails to fulfill the obligations in legal documents or assumed under common law. Failing to perform a duty can be grounds for negligence even if the failure caused no harm.
  • Causation: The breach of duty caused your injuries or damages. To establish causation, it must be shown that it was more likely than not that the defendant's actions resulted in the plaintiff's injury or loss.
  • Damages: Your injuries must have cost you money, such as medical bills and lost wages, or property damage has occurred due to your injuries.

In New York, each party is responsible for their own negligence and any damages resulting from their negligence. The comparative fault rule allows plaintiffs to recover damages in proportion to their percentage of fault - even if they are more at fault than the defendants.

Comparative Negligence in New York

New York follows the state rule of “pure comparative negligence,” which means that both parties may be legally responsible for an accident. This can affect your right to recover damages if you are partially responsible for an accident. If it is determined that your actions contributed to the cause of your injuries, then you can only recover compensation in proportion to the other party’s level of fault. 

For example, let's say you were texting while driving and collided with a driver who drove through a stop sign. You might be found 40 percent at fault and the other driver 60 percent at fault. If you suffer $100,000 in damages, you can collect up to $60,000 from the other driver's insurance company.

Comparative fault can cut your settlement by as much as 50%. Based on this, in a car wreck where you're seriously injured, a reduction of this magnitude might mean the difference between getting a new van and not being able to replace your broken-down used car.

Claims against a Government Entity or the State of New York

The federal, state and local governments enjoy immunity from lawsuits. However, New York has waived sovereign immunity for personal injury claims under the Court of Claims Act. Correlating with this, in New York, the government and its municipalities may be subject to liability for damages caused by their negligent acts or omissions. Moreover, the process for filing a claim against the State or a city is very different from filing a lawsuit against an individual or private business.

When someone is injured as a result of the negligence of a municipal employee or as a result of some condition of property owned by a city, town, village, county or other municipality in New York, they must commence legal action by serving a notice of claim within 90 days of the incident. The failure to serve a notice of claim within this time frame will bar any recovery against either the State or any municipality in New York.

Wrongful Death Claims in New York

A wrongful death occurs when one person causes the untimely demise of another individual through either reckless or intentional actions.

New York State's wrongful death laws are regulations that determine who can file a lawsuit, how long they have to file it, and how the compensation will be divided among those involved. To be eligible to file a wrongful death claim in New York State, the deceased must have had one or more living children or parents at the time of their death. 

The spouse of the deceased may also file a wrongful death claim. A personal representative must administer all estate claims. The compensation for each heir is determined by what kind of loss they suffered due to the death. To file an estate claim, parties must do so within two years of the event that caused the injury.

The monetary compensation awarded for a wrongful death claim is designed to compensate surviving family members for their loss. It could include compensation for medical costs incurred before death, funeral costs, lost income, lost potential wages and other expenses related to the demise. 

It could even include compensation to surviving family members who might have been dependent on the income or support provided by the deceased party before they passed away. Stemming from this, these claims can be complex, and you should contact an attorney immediately if you or your family is involved.

The personal representative has a fiduciary duty to beneficiaries under New York law, meaning they must act in good faith and with reasonable care when pursuing a wrongful death action. And once the claim is filed and compensation received by the estate, it is distributed according to the deceased person's will or state law if there is no will.

No-Fault Insurance Laws in New York

New York is one of the few states with a no-fault insurance system. That means that rather than sue the other driver, you need to file a claim with your own insurance company to get compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and other losses. This prevents most people from being able to file a lawsuit against another driver after an accident unless their injuries are severe enough to meet specific thresholds such as permanent disfigurement or loss of function.

New York sets a threshold for what constitutes a serious injury. Only those injuries that meet or exceed this threshold can be litigated in court. If your injuries fall below the threshold, you cannot sue beyond what your insurance will cover. 

Understanding New York's threshold for suing another driver for damages helps you decide whether to go to trial or negotiate a settlement. It also affects the maximum amount of your PIP recovery. A New York car accident lawyer can help you get through the process and make sure you aren't taken advantage of by the insurance company.

Speak to the Personal Injury Attorneys at Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP

In New York, anyone injured because of the negligence of another person or organization may have legal recourse by filing a personal injury lawsuit. Our competent personal injury attorneys at Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP, can help you navigate the intricacies of your case and determine whether you are entitled to damages.

We handle many different cases, including auto accidents, slip and fall accidents, construction accidents, truck crashes, dog bites, and premises liability claims. Our expert legal team gives each client our full attention from the initial consultation to trial, and we'll pursue all possible strategies to maximize recoveries.

Our qualified attorneys are well-versed in personal injury law, and we have the resources and the capability to get the best possible outcome in your case. For a free case review with one of our lawyers, call us today at 212-344-1000 or complete this online form.


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