We have listed below the most frequently asked questions regarding personal injury cases. Can’t find what you are looking for? Then just give us a call at 212-344-1000.

Q. What Should I Do After An Accident?

A. After an accident, if possible take some cell phone photographs or videos to document the scene. Report the accident, typically to the police. Obtain the badge number or police report number, seek medical help if you are injured to document your injury. Make sure to discuss all of your injuries at your initial consultation even if they are minor, do not omit them. Get the advice of an experienced legal attorney.

Q. How Soon After An Accident Should I Hire An Attorney?

A. Lawyer up as soon as possible. What you say can, and will, be used against you. An experienced personal injury lawyer will help you understand the legal process and assist you in getting the maximum recovery available in your case.

Q. What Is The Statute Of Limitations For A Personal Injury Claim In New York?

A. In general, most actions for personal injury must be commenced within 3 years.  Damages for any medical or dental malpractice claim are limited to 2.5 years with some exceptions.  Wrongful death claims must be started within 2 years of the date of death.  Any injury or medical malpractice claim against or involving a municipality such as the city of New York must be initiated by a notice of claim properly filed within 90 days of the injury.  There are a discovery rule for foreign objects and certain cancer cases.

Q.  What sort of injuries can be sustained due to food poisoning?

A. As per a report issued by the CDC, nearly 48 million Americans succumb to food poisoning each year. This means 1 in every 6 Americans suffers from an episode of food poisoning every year. Most people suffer from common symptoms such as nausea, diarrhea, cramps, abdominal pain, and fever that go away on their own. Infants, elderly people, and people with a weak immune system are susceptible to developing severe symptoms or complications and may need medication, and also hospitalization which can impose financial hardship on them. Severe symptoms include renal or liver problems, bloody diarrhea, severe dehydration, and even neurological problems.

Q.  Can people who succumb to food poisoning, sue?

A. Yes, they can. Anybody who suffers from food poisoning can sue the person or establishment responsible for it. This can be a restaurant that may have sold a dish that caused food poisoning or a meat store that sold contaminated meat. You will have to contact a personal injury attorney who will be able to help you get fair compensation for lost income, medical costs, hospital bills, and other damages by filing a product liability lawsuit or a personal injury lawsuit as applicable.

Q.  How do I know if I have a personal injury case?

A. If you suffered a personal injury in New York to your person or property due to someone else’s fault, you have a personal injury case. Keep in mind that bringing a personal injury lawsuit does not always have to be due to physical injury. In some cases, personal injury claims can be based on a number of different nonphysical harms and losses. For example, in case of an assault, it is not necessary to show that the action of the party at fault caused you actual physical harm, but only that you expected them to harm you. You may also have a personal injury case if someone has inflicted emotional distress on you, invaded your privacy or attacked your reputation.

Q.  How soon after the accident should I file a personal injury lawsuit?

A. Certain time limits, known as the statute of limitations, exist in every state, and this statute varies from one state to another. This governs the amount of time you have to file a personal injury lawsuit against another person. In some states, there may be limited time which could be little as a year for you to file a lawsuit for compensation based on a car accident. In case you fail to file a lawsuit on time and miss the deadline, you may lose your legal right to file your lawsuit. This is why you should immediately consult a lawyer as soon as you discover or suffer a personal injury in New York after an accident.

Q.  Why do I need an attorney for my personal injury case?

A. Many victims of an accident think that they can file a personal injury lawsuit themselves as their injuries or damage to their property are obvious, or because they want to settle the matter as soon as possible and move on with their lives. However, without an attorney, you might not receive the rightful compensation you deserve for your injuries. You should understand that the goal of an adjuster is to pay you as little as possible for damages. With an attorney by your side, you can make sure that this does not happen and you recover maximum damages as per the law in your state.

Q.  I am concerned about my son’s safety while he works on a farm this summer. Are there programs to help prevent farm accidents?

A. States are encouraged by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to develop and operate their own job health and safety programs. It provides approval and monitoring of those plans. Unfortunately, while the injury and fatality rates in construction and other dangerous industries have dropped, the number of farming accidents is not stemmed by the rules. You should educate your son about safety rules and discuss your concerns with his employer. If an accident occurs and your son gets injured, contact a lawyer to find out if you have a legal case and file a claim.

Q.   Can I file a lawsuit against my employer for an industrial accident?

A. In some industrial accident cases, the injured worker is entirely at fault, whether it is because of recklessness or carelessness at the job site. However, there are many cases where the accident is caused by some type of negligence on the employer or a co-worker’s part. For example, the employer did not provide proper drilling and training in following workplace safety regulations or failed to inspect and maintain machinery and equipment properly and regularly. In such cases, the injured worker may be able to sue for personal injury. Surviving family members may also be entitled to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Even if the employer is not at fault, an injured worker may be able to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits, as long as such insurance is carried by the company.

Q.  What if I have developed an illness as a result of exposure to hazardous chemicals?

A. Not all industrial accident claims are cases with devastating injuries that occurred in tragic accidents. You can also pursue financial compensation for an occupational illness or disease resulting from exposure to chemicals. Many industrial workers in chemical plants, manufacturing, refineries, and other sectors are forced to work directly in contact with, or in the vicinity of, hazardous chemicals that can be highly dangerous and toxic to the worker’s health.

Q.  What should I do if I am pressured not to report my injury?

A. In some cases, employers try to dissuade injured workers from taking action after they have been injured in an accident. Sometimes it is to avoid the consequences of the negative results of reporting lost-time accidents, while in other cases, it could be to keep insurance premiums down. As a worker, you, fortunately, have a right to file a workers’ compensation claim and should not allow retaliation threats to keep you from moving forward.

Q.  What constitutes product liability in New York City?

A. Product liability occurs when a product is defective and hence, dangerous. This can occur due to flaws in the product design, a manufacturing error or a product that is sold without adequate warning about its inherent dangers.

Q.  What do I have to present for my defective product liability case to be a success?

A. There are two ways to provide definitive proof about a faulty product that has to lead to a personal injury. One is the Consumer Expectation Test where the personal injury lawyer proves without a doubt that the plaintiff used the product as it was supposed to be used. Second is the Risk Utility Analysis where the personal injury lawyer demonstrates that a product can perform as expected, but still have certain risks, and these risks outweigh the usefulness of the product.

Q.  Do I have to have the faulty product with me to file a defective product personal injury case?

A. If you have sustained an injury due to a flawed product in New York City, it is advisable to retain the product. Your personal injury attorney will get experts to evaluate the product to figure out the defect and the reason for the defect and how it injured you. In fact, both the plaintiff and defendant’s attorneys inspect the product during the court case. Hence, it is important you preserve the product and ensure you present it to your personal injury lawyer when discussing the case, especially if you want a favorable result from the lawsuit.

Q.  Who will be responsible for a defective product - the manufacturer or the retailer?

A. While the manufacturer invariably has the responsibility to ensure that any product manufactured meets quality standards and is safe, but both the manufacturer and the retailer can be held liable in case of a defective product personal injury. Again, this will vary based on the state you reside in. A seller may have convinced to purchase the product without highlighting the dangers or risks involved. If that is the case, the seller or retailer will be liable, but since the manufacture designs and labels the product, even the manufacturer is equally responsible.

Q.  Can more than one driver be found liable in a bicycle accident lawsuit or claim?

A. The answer is yes. More than one person can be liable under the comparative negligence doctrine in some states. The percentage of fault of each party is determined by the trier-of-fact. Your percentage of fault will play a role in the reduction of your damages.

Q.  Will the insurance company make a small offer?

A. The insurance company most likely is not going to be giving you full value for what your injuries are truly worth. Insurance companies do this because they know you do not have experience valuing this type of injury. They know you do not have experience negotiating with the insurance company. Hence, unless you are totally confident and have years of experience doing this, you may be at a significant disadvantage to sign that release in expectation of obtaining that settlement check right away.

Q.  What is the initial hurdle in filing a lawsuit?

A. If you cannot get over that initial hurdle to show that you have a significant type of injury, the law will prevent you from filing a lawsuit. Hence, what type of injury would constitute a serious or significant injury in the State of New York? For example, a fracture or broken bone is considered a serious injury, scarring on your face is considered a serious injury, if you have to undergo surgery then the injury is considered significant, and there are many other variations of what is considered serious injuries.

Q.  What is the venue for personal injury?

A. The venue where your case is pending is crucial for determining the value of your case. The venue and locality of the court where your case is tried play a major role in determining the value of your case.


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