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What Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Do?

Founding Member of Moshes Law, P.C.
During his years of practice, Yuriy has concentrated in litigation and real estate transactions as his areas of expertise.

In New York City, a personal injury lawyer is a legal professional who focus individuals who have been injured due to the negligence or wrongdoing of another person or entity. These injuries can be caused by a variety of factors, including car accidents, slip and falls, medical malpractice, and product liability.

By the end of this blog, you will have a better understanding of your legal rights and options if you have been injured in New York City. 

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Importance of Personal Injury Lawyers in Legal Matters

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), unintentional injuries are a leading cause of death and disability in the United States. In New York City alone, there are thousands of personal injury cases each year.

Personal injury lawyers play a vital role in helping injured victims obtain compensation for their medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. They can also help navigate the complex legal system and ensure that their clients’ rights are protected.

Here are some of the benefits of hiring a personal injury lawyer:

  • Increased chance of compensation: Studies have shown that people who are represented by a lawyer are more likely to receive compensation for their injuries than those who are not.
  • Higher compensation amount: Personal injury lawyers are skilled negotiators who can help you obtain the maximum compensation possible for your injuries.
  • Protection of your rights: Personal injury lawyers can help ensure that your rights are protected throughout the legal process.
  • Peace of mind: Knowing that you have an experienced lawyer on your side can give you peace of mind as you focus on your recovery.

Understanding Personal Injury Law in NYC

Personal injury law in NYC protects individuals who have suffered physical or psychological harm due to the negligence or recklessness of another person or entity.

Here are some key points to remember:

  • You must have suffered a compensable injury. This means the injury must be demonstrable and have caused you damages.
  • The injury must have been caused by the negligence of another party. Negligence refers to a failure to exercise reasonable care, which results in harm to another person.
  • You must be able to prove the other party’s negligence caused your injury. This typically involves evidence such as medical records, witness testimony, and accident reports.

Types of Cases Covered Under Personal Injury Law

Personal injury law covers a wide range of cases, including:

  • Car accidents: According to NYC Department of Transportation, in 2022 there were 290,275 motor vehicle collisions reported in NYC
  • Slip and fall accidents: Slip and fall injuries are a leading cause of emergency room visits for adults older than 65
  • Medical malpractice: A 2020 report by the National Center for Health Statistics found that medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States

Some more include:

  • Construction accidents
  • Dog bites
  • Product liability (defective products that cause harm)
  • Wrongful death (death caused by the negligence or recklessness of another party)

Roles and Responsibilities of a Personal Injury Lawyer

If you’ve been injured in New York City due to someone else’s negligence, a personal injury lawyer can be a strong ally in your fight for compensation. Here’s what a NYC personal injury lawyer can do for you:

Case Evaluation and Guidance:

  • Assess the merits of your claim: Not every accident qualifies for a lawsuit. Your lawyer will review the details and advise you on the likelihood of success.
  • Understand New York’s specific laws: Personal injury laws vary by state. A lawyer familiar with NYC statutes will ensure your case adheres to local regulations.

Evidence Collection and Investigation:

  • Gather crucial evidence: This might include police reports, medical records, witness statements, and accident scene photos.
  • Identify liable parties: Determining who’s responsible for your injuries is key to a strong case.

Communication and Negotiation:

  • Deal with insurance companies: Insurance companies often try to minimize payouts. Your lawyer can negotiate on your behalf to secure a fair settlement.
  • Keep you informed: You’ll be updated on the progress of your case and any settlement offers.

Trial Preparation (if necessary):

  • Prepare for court, if negotiations fail: This involves witness preparation, legal arguments, and ensuring all documentation is in order.
  • Represent you in court: Your lawyer will present your case before a judge and jury, aiming for the best possible outcome.

Here are some additional things to keep in mind:

  • No upfront fees: Most personal injury lawyers in NYC work on contingency, meaning they only get paid if you win. Their fee is typically a percentage of the settlement or verdict you receive.
  • Time limits apply: New York has a statute of limitations for personal injury claims, generally three years from the accident date. Don’t delay seeking legal help.

Statistics:

  • According to the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, over 32 million people visit emergency rooms for unintentional injuries each year in the United States https://www.cdc.gov/injury/index.html.

Challenges and Complexities in Personal Injury Cases

Getting compensation after an injury in New York City can feel overwhelming. Here’s a look at some common hurdles you might face:

  • Proving Fault: New York follows a “comparative negligence” rule. This means the amount you receive can be reduced based on your own share of the blame. In 2022, over 1/3 of personal injury settlements in NYC involved shared fault according to the National Center for State Courts. Building a strong case that proves the other party’s negligence is crucial.
  • Medical Documentation: Connecting your injuries to the accident is essential. Having detailed medical records from qualified doctors strengthens your claim. Gathering and presenting these records can be a complex process.
  • Insurance Battles: Insurance companies often try to minimize payouts. They might dispute the severity of your injuries or deny some of your claimed losses. Negotiating a fair settlement can be a lengthy process.
  • Shared Liability: Accidents sometimes involve multiple parties at fault. Determining the percentage of blame for each party can be intricate, impacting your final compensation.
  • Pain and Suffering: While medical expenses are clear-cut, placing a value on pain and suffering is subjective. Insurance companies might undervalue this aspect of your claim.

Challenges and Complexities in Personal Injury Cases

When selecting a personal injury lawyer, expertise and experience are paramount. Look for a lawyer who specializes in personal injury cases and has a proven track record of successful outcomes. They should be familiar with the intricacies of personal injury law, understand the nuances of your particular case, and have experience dealing with insurance companies and navigating the legal system.  

Additionally, consider their reputation within the legal community and among past clients. Online reviews, testimonials, and referrals can provide valuable insights into a lawyer’s professionalism, communication style, and ability to deliver results.

Conclusion

Personal Injury Attorneys play a pivotal role in advocating for the rights of individuals who have suffered harm due to the negligence or misconduct of others.

If you or a loved one have been injured in an accident, don’t hesitate to seek the guidance and support of our experienced Personal Injury Attorneys in NYC who can help navigate the complexities of the legal system and work tirelessly to protect your interests.

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