After sustaining an injury due to another person’s negligence, you will need to deal with your insurance company soon after the accident. In order to ensure you get the right compensation and discuss options for litigation against the at-fault party’s insurance company, it is essential to contact a New York personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Doing so is the best way to determine the compensation you deserve and the next steps you need to take to obtain it.
New York Personal Injury Timeline
After being involved in an accident resulting in physical injury, victims have three years from the date of the damage to file a lawsuit against the responsible party per New York Civil Practice Law & Rules § 214. While this is ample time to file the necessary documents with the court, there are other reasons to act swiftly after an accident to obtain experienced and dedicated legal representation.
In addition to the Statute of Limitations, there are other time-critical deadlines that apply to claims and litigation. Another very important time-related consideration is the discovery and capture of evidence. Evidence such as video surveillance footage or the opportunity to question witnesses for statements, for example, may not be available if too much time passes.
For this reason, it is crucial to hire a lawyer that has a thorough knowledge of personal injury practice to meet all statutes of limitations and other time-deadlines, as well as act decisively to obtain important evidence. Failing to do this may very well result in the victim losing his or her right to compensation.
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New York Shared Fault Laws
In the case of litigation, some personal injury defendants will argue that the victims are partially at fault to decrease the amount of compensation they must pay. Even a victim that was wronged can lose their right to some or all of their compensation due to an experienced defense lawyer that understands how to harness shared fault laws to their advantage.
In particular, New York follows the pure comparative negligence rule, which reduces compensation according to the percentage of fault determined. For example, $100,000 in damages will be reduced by $20,000 if the victim is found to be 20 percent at fault for their injuries, as per N.Y. Civil Practice Law & Rules § 1411.
A victim making a claim is best served by having experience, dedicated legal representation to counter the efforts made by such defense counsel generally, and with respect to the application of comparative negligence rules in particular.
Regardless of who is at fault, the New York Workers’ Compensation Board ensures medical care and/or cash benefits for people that are injured while actually on their job, generally described as being, “in the course of employment.” However, victims can lose their opportunity to obtain benefits if a timely and correct claim is not made. For these reasons, prompt, post-accident consultation with a lawyer is crucial to ensure that victims get compensation for their injuries.
In situations where individuals were treated by a medical professional and did not receive proper care, a medical malpractice lawyer is crucial. N.Y. Civil Practice Law and Rules section 214-a states that “action for medical, dental or podiatric malpractice” is to be “commenced within two years and six months” of the incident.
An exception to this rule is if the medical provider’s mistake took place during an “ongoing course of treatment,” which means that the 30-month timeline commences when treatment for the subject medical condition ends. Regardless, consulting with a lawyer experienced with medical malpractice cases is always preferred to dealing with insurance companies alone.
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The Important of Understanding Personal Injury Law
No matter what led to a person’s injury and how much they have suffered due to the actions of another person, it is important to remember that they are not entitled to compensation by default.
To receive the money they deserve, they must provide the proper evidence to the insurance company of the at-fault party and, in some cases, prove that the other party is liable in court. This process requires meetings, capturing, reviewing and analyzing evidence, the drafting of various documents, notices and litigation instruments and, of course, a comprehensive understanding of New York personal injury law. Even familiarity with the relevant statutes is not the same as using them to prove a case in court. This ability is generally the result of significant experience and dedication to the goal of winning the best possible outcome for the injured client.
Hiring a New York Personal Injury Lawyer
If you have been injured due to another person’s negligence and were approached by an insurance company, contact a New York personal injury lawyer at the law firm of Friedman & Simon, L.L.P. Injury Lawyers, as soon as possible. Speaking to an attorney that can fight vehemently for your rights will help you better navigate the legal process in a way that avoids the pitfalls with potentially catastrophic consequences along the way. Call today at 516-932-0400.