When you’ve sustained an injury due to the negligence of another party, it’s understandable that you want to seek compensation for your losses. The laws regulating personal injury claims in New York are complex and vary based on the cause of your injuries.
A personal injury lawyer in New York can help you navigate your claim and understand the legal parameters for your case. The personal injury lawyers at Abrams & Associates, P.C. are here to assist you through the process, starting with this guide to this state’s relevant personal injury laws and regulations.
When To Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer in New York
If you are in an accident that leads to injuries, and someone else’s negligence caused the accident, you may want to contact a New York personal injury attorney right away. Once you begin the process of seeking compensation, anything you do or say can impact the outcome. A lawyer who has experience working with these types of cases can provide you with insight into how strong your claim is, clearly outlining its strengths and weaknesses and offering options for proceeding.
Negligence is often the cause of car crashes, slip-and-falls, and workplace accidents, but it isn’t as easy to pursue a personal injury claim in these instances as you might think. In some cases, the laws protect the other party, while proving liability is notoriously tricky for others. In all instances, the burden of proof rests with you, the injured party. The insurance companies make it harder for you to recover your losses.
Though the point of insurance is to ease the financial distress accidents cause, the providers are in it to make money, so they do not part with it readily in any situation. These companies also understand New York laws, and they won’t hesitate to use them to their advantage. When you work with a law firm in New York City, your personal injury attorneys deal with the insurance companies so you don’t have to. It still pays to know about the state’s laws that impact personal injury cases.
What To Know About New York’s Comparative Fault Law
The first law you should know about is New York’s comparative negligence law. Whether you receive compensation for your losses in a personal injury case depends on who is at fault in the accident. This state enacted a comparative fault law outlining how the courts award compensation in personal injury cases. An experienced personal injury attorney in New York can help you present a strong case. Fortunately, New York joins 12 other states in following the pure concept of comparative fault.
If you file a personal injury lawsuit, the court looks at the evidence both sides present to determine how much each party was responsible for the accident that led to your injuries and calculate the total value of your losses. The court assigns a percentage of liability to all parties involved. The final amount you receive in compensation depends on your contribution to the accident that caused your injuries.
When the other party is 100% liable, you receive the entire amount the court awards in the case. New York personal injury lawyers can build a case that supports holding the other party responsible. However, if the judge determines that you had some responsibility for your injuries, you receive the amount awarded less the percentage you were at fault. If the court determines your total losses equal $50,000, but you were 10% liable for the accident, you receive $45,000 instead of the total amount.
The court determines compensation based on:
- Lost wages
- Accrued medical expenses
- Future medical expenses
- Lost work capacity
- Rehabilitation costs
- Mental health care expenses
- Pain and suffering
In addition to New York’s comparative fault law, the type of accident you have determines how you can proceed in a personal injury case.
What To Know About New York’s No-Fault Auto Insurance Law
Approximately 1,916,000 car accidents on U.S. roadways in 2019 led to injuries for approximately 2,740,000 people. Car accidents are stressful enough without dealing with an injury. Unfortunately, injuries are far too common, compounding the trauma of a crash.
At Abrams & Associates, P.C. – a personal injury law firm in New York, we understand the impact an auto accident has on your life. When you work with a New York personal injury lawyer who understands the legal challenges involved in getting compensated for your injuries after a car accident, you get the support you need to navigate the insurance and legal system.
Understanding No-Fault Personal Injury Protection
New York legally requires you to obtain no-fault personal injury protection with your car insurance. Any time you get into an auto accident, you file a claim with your own insurance company, no matter whose fault it is. With no-fault insurance laws, your insurance company pays for expenses related to your injuries. If you are a passenger in another person’s vehicle, that individual’s insurance covers your injury-related losses.
In both instances, the insurance company only covers expenses up to $50,000 per person. Coverage pays for:
- Medical bills and rehabilitation costs
- No more than $25 per day for expenses such as transportation to medical appointments for no more than a year
- 80% of your lost wages for up to three years after the accident, with a monthly cap of $2,000
If your injuries exceed the limits set, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit. A New York personal injury attorney can help you determine whether your situation fits within the legal guidelines for personal injury lawsuits in car crash cases.
Suing for Personal Injuries After a Car Accident
You can sue the driver of another vehicle to recover losses related to the accident only if you sustain an injury that meets the criteria established in Section 5102 of New York’s car insurance law for a serious injury, including:
- Significant disfigurement
- Permanent loss of functioning in an organ, body part or system
If your injuries meet the legal criteria and your losses exceed the $50,000 provided for in your auto insurance, you can file a lawsuit. A personal injury lawyer in New York can help you prove that the other driver was at fault in the accident and is responsible for your injuries.
What To Know About New York’s Premises Liability Law
Slip-and-fall accidents lead to approximately 1 million emergency room visits every year. Falls were the primary cause of non-fatal injuries in 2019, accounting for 32% of all non-fatal injuries. If you sustain injuries in a slip-and-fall accident on someone else’s property, contact a personal injury law firm in New York to get help with your case.
When you slip, trip or fall on someone else’s property, New York’s premises liability law is one of the primary relevant regulations that determine the outcome of your case.
Proving Property Owner Negligence
Though it may seem evident that the property owner’s negligence led to the accident that caused your injuries, the state’s premises liability law makes it challenging to prove liability without solid evidence. The property owner owes visitors a duty of care, maintaining a safe environment and providing notice when hazardous conditions exist. There are some caveats to this law. The duty of care does not extend to trespassers or to those engaged in specific activities that are naturally risky.
To prove that the property owner neglected the duty of care expectations, you must demonstrate the following:
- You were on the property legally and not engaged in one of the exempted activities.
- A dangerous condition existed that you could not reasonably have expected.
- The owner knew about or should have known about the hazard.
- The owner did not take steps to remove or repair the hazard or warn visitors of its existence.
- The dangerous condition caused your accident and led to your injuries.
A New York personal injury attorney can help you gather the evidence you need to build a strong case. When you have a personal injury lawyer in New York who understands the complexities of a premises liability case, you may improve your chances of securing compensation for your losses, including pain and suffering.
What To Know About New York’s Workers’ Compensation Law
In 2019, nearly 1.2 million people across the U.S. sustained non-fatal injuries in the course of performing their job duties, while the New York Workers’ Compensation Board received 181,560 claims for on-the-job injuries that same year. This state requires almost every employer to provide workers’ compensation insurance for their employees, including family members.
Filing a Workers’ Comp Claim
New York’s Workers’ Compensation Law prohibits employees from filing a personal injury lawsuit against their employer, no matter how severe their injuries or how negligent the employer’s actions are. When you have a workplace accident that leads to injuries, you file a claim with your employer. Workers’ compensation insurance benefits include medical care and lost wages. Insurance pays a portion of your wages, but only if your injuries cause you to miss more than seven workdays.
Settling a Workers’ Compensation Claim
In some cases, hiring an attorney from a personal injury law firm in New York can benefit your case. If your injuries are serious or result in permanent disability, a lawyer versed in the state’s laws and who has experience with these cases can help you obtain a settlement from the insurer. When you settle a workers’ compensation claim, you typically receive a lump-sum payout, and the insurer closes your case.
Often, settlements require negotiations with the insurance company. The amount the insurance provider offers may not sufficiently compensate you for your medical expenses or lost earning potential. An Abrams & Associates, P.C. attorney gathers information from medical and industry professionals to support your claim, presenting the evidence and negotiating with the insurer. With a personal injury lawyer in New York fighting for you, you may improve your chances of getting a fair settlement.
Filing a Third-Party Personal Injury Lawsuit
The only time you can file a personal injury lawsuit for a workplace accident is when a third party is liable. These lawsuits often occur as a result of a car crash. If you get into an auto accident while performing your job duties, and the other driver is at fault, you may be able to sue the at-fault driver.
On-the-job auto accident cases can get complicated, but NYC personal injury lawyers can walk you through the process and handle the legal matters. You should be aware that if your lawsuit is successful, you may have to reimburse the workers’ compensation insurance provider for any benefits they paid.
When To File a Personal Injury Lawsuit in New York
If you are in a motor vehicle accident that leads to injuries requiring medical care, taking immediate action can help you if you need to file a New York personal injury lawsuit to receive just compensation for your losses. Take photos and video of the scene if you are physically able and get the names and contact information for every person involved and witnesses. Accident victims should seek medical attention right away and tell the attending physician about the circumstances surrounding the accident.
If you are in a slip-and-fall accident, notify the property owner. Likewise, make sure you inform your supervisor immediately when you are in a workplace accident. Before talking to a claims adjuster or filing your insurance claim, you may want to contact an attorney to learn about the options available to you, given the specifics of your case. Time is of the essence, as New York’s statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits is three years.
Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer in New York, NY
If you sustained physical injuries, emotional distress, or other harm from an accident, someone else’s negligence, or from medical malpractice, hiring a NYC personal injury lawyer may improve your chances of recovering the compensation you deserve. At Abrams & Associates, P.C., we believe in giving our clients individualized assistance and will provide a free case evaluation. No two cases are exactly alike, and you have a right to legal counsel that treats you as an individual. We have a strong track record helping New York residents with their personal injury claims, and we’d like to help you.
Contact us today for a free consultation and to learn more about what we can do for you.