Getting injured in an accident can be a painful and stressful experience. You may slip and fall in a grocery store aisle or get into a car accident in Midtown. Fortunately, New York law allows you to seek compensation from those responsible for your injuries.
Fighting for compensation may seem difficult when you’re recovering from your injuries. But you do not need to go it alone. Experienced New York City personal injury lawyers, like the lawyers at Glugeth & Pierguidi, P.C., can help gather evidence, identify liable parties, negotiate a settlement, or take your case to court. Contact us today!
What Is a Personal Injury Case?
A Personal injury case happens when a person suffers an injury because of an entity or another person. Typically, personal injury claims arise from the negligent actions or omissions of an individual, business, or government entity. Generally, if you can prove the responsible party’s negligence, you may recover compensation for your injuries.
Negligence is a legal doctrine that is the basis of many personal injury cases. Negligence is generally defined as a breach of a duty of care that causes harm. Every person has a responsibility to avoid causing harm to each other, which the law calls the “duty of care.” When someone breaches the duty of care and causes harm, that’s negligence.
To demonstrate negligence, you must prove the following four elements:
- Duty. Different members of society have different duties of care depending on the circumstances. For the most part, everyone has a duty to act with reasonable care.
- Breach. A breach of duty occurs when someone doesn’t act with reasonable care under the circumstances. Acting recklessly is almost always a breach of the duty of care.
- Causation. When proving a party is liable for their breach of duty, there must be a link between the breach and the accident. Causation can be tricky to prove, especially if something else intervened and added to the harm.
- Damages. Finally, you must experience damages from the accident. If an accident occurred, but there was no harm, there is nothing to recover from the other party.
If you believe you were injured due to another person’s negligence, contact an NYC personal injury lawyer such as those at our office. We can advise you of the possible legal basis of your claim.
Types of Personal Injury Cases
Many assume personal injury claims only include motor vehicle accidents. While car accidents are the most common personal injury cases, there are many subtypes of car accident cases. Plus, there are other types of personal injury claims where an injured person could recover compensation.
Motor Vehicle Accidents
Suppose you are a driver, passenger, or pedestrian who was injured in a motor vehicle accident. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and other losses. While many car accidents involve personal vehicles, other car accidents might involve:
New York has a no-fault insurance system that affects personal injury claims. You should speak with one of our New York City personal injury lawyers to learn about your potential avenues to recovery if you were in a car accident.
Medical malpractice cases also rely on the elements of negligence. However, the duty of care for physicians and other healthcare professionals is unique. For a successful medical malpractice case, a patient will need to show the following:
- They were under the care of a healthcare provider;
- The provider failed to act as a provider in the specialty should act under similar circumstances; and
- As a result, an injury occurs – or a condition or injury worsens.
Medical malpractice cases can be challenging to prove and often require medical expert testimony.
Medical malpractice cases include:
- Surgical errors,
- Improper treatment,
- Prescription errors,
- Birth injuries,
- Failures to diagnose,
- Misdiagnoses, and
- Failures to inform of the risks of specific procedures.
There are many other types of medical malpractice cases. Speak with an attorney if a medical professional injured you.
The owner or operator of a business or private home must ensure their premises are safe for patrons and guests. They must repair or warn of any dangerous condition they know of or could discover through a reasonable inspection of the property. And when they fail to do so, they may be liable for injuries that result.
Common premises liability cases include:
- Slip and falls,
- Inadequate maintenance,
- Snow and ice accidents, and
- Elevator or escalator accidents.
If you believe a property owner was negligent, contact a personal injury lawyer to see if you qualify for compensation.
Any personal injury case can become a wrongful death claim if the victim dies from the injury caused by the negligence of another. However, wrongful death cases have different procedural and legal requirements than personal injury claims. There are rules about who can file a claim and how long you have to file a claim. There are also special damages a family can recover, like funeral and burial expenses. A personal injury lawyer can advise you on the special requirements for New York wrongful death cases.
What If I Contributed to the Accident or Injury?
New York is one of 13 states that operate under a pure comparative fault system. This system assigns responsibility to parties based on their share of fault in the accident. If the harmed party is partly at fault for the accident, they can still recover damages against the other party. Their compensation will, however, be reduced based on their percentage of fault. For example, if a driver not wearing a seatbelt is assigned 30% fault for their injuries, they can only recover 70% of their damages from the other party.
A harmed party might share some fault if:
- They were not wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident;
- They were a pedestrian who was jaywalking; or
- They were a bicyclist who was not wearing a helmet.
You should speak with a NYC personal injury lawyer if you may have contributed to your injuries.
What If I Am the Victim of Government Negligence?
So what if you slip and fall on a spill in a government building or you suffer injuries from a public bus crash? Sometimes, you can sue the government. But some personal injury victims have an extra hurdle to clear when they want to initiate legal action against government agencies or employees. This additional hurdle is called qualified or sovereign immunity, and it means that a government actor cannot be sued for its negligence unless it has waived immunity. Although you can typically sue government entities for negligence, you generally have to follow specific rules to preserve your claim.
Suing the State of New York’s Government Workers or Entities
Fortunately, Article II, Section 8 of the State of New York’s Court of Claims Act has waived the state’s qualified and sovereign immunity from liability in negligence and tort claims against its agents. When you have the proof, you are free to file a lawsuit against a state agency that has caused you harm, but you must comply with the following deadlines:
- If you are an executor or an administrator who wants to bring a wrongful death claim, you must file it within 90 days of being appointed (or within two years of the death if you notified the attorney general of your intention to file a claim);
- If you have a personal injury claim against a government actor who unintentionally hurt you while performing their duties, you must file it within 90 days (or within two years of the injury if you notified the attorney general of your intention to file a claim); or
- If you have a personal injury claim against a government actor who intentionally hurt you while performing their duties, you must file it within 90 days (or within one year of the injury if you notified the attorney general of your intention to file a claim).
You have to serve the attorney general with your personal injury claim against the state, and your claim needs to include information about:
- The location of the incident,
- The nature of the incident, and
- The injuries you suffered.
There are many fine details you cannot miss when you sue the government, so your best option for maintaining a successful claim is to have an experienced attorney handle the matter from start to finish.
Suing New York City’s Government Workers or Entities
If you plan to sue a New York City employee or entity, you need to give them proper notice within 90 days. One of our knowledgeable attorneys can help you identify which government agency is the appropriate defendant in your case and where you should send your Notice of Claim.
After you submit your notice, you might have to wait 30 days for the city to investigate your complaint and offer you a settlement (if it chooses to do so). If you complete the 30-day waiting period without settling, you can sue the city, but you must ensure that you submit your lawsuit within 1 year and 90 days from the time of the incident or your related loss.
What Compensation Can I Recover in a Personal Injury Case?
There is no one-size-fits-all situation when it comes to personal injury compensation. Courts generally consider several factors when calculating potential compensation. These factors include the following:
- The severity of the injuries;
- The extent of property damage;
- The cost of medical treatment and rehabilitation; and
- Each party’s percentage of fault.
A court may consider many other factors relevant to a person’s potential compensation.
Generally, an injured person can recover compensation for:
- Medical bills,
- Physical therapy,
- Lost wages,
- Future lost income, and
- Pain and suffering.
Our attorneys can help you calculate your potential compensation for your case.
Need a New York City Lawyer for Personal Injury?
The attorneys at Glugeth & Pierguidi, P.C., have recovered over $100 million for clients in New York and New Jersey. Our attorneys have been listed in the National Trial Lawyers Top 100 and recognized by Best Lawyers. There is no question we are the confident and professional personal injury attorneys you need for your New York City personal injury case. Contact us online or call 212-256-9255.