Personal Injury in New York

When you’ve been injured by someone else’s carelessness, it’s important to take some initial steps toward making sure your injury claim can be settled fairly and as quickly as possible:

Write down everything you can remember about how the injury occurred, including the names, addresses and phone numbers of potential witnesses, police officers, insurance company representatives ( or company or workers’ compensation representatives if it was a work injury)

Talk to a New York personal injury lawyer before making any statements, written or verbal, to insurance company adjusters or representatives

Let anyone you think may be responsible for the injury know right away that you’re intending to file a claim against them

Take steps to protect any evidence you may need to prove your injury, such as your totaled car, photographs of an accident or injury scene, clothing you were wearing, damaged personal belongings, and so forth

How Do I Figure Out Who Is At Fault?

In most cases, in order to collect on an injury claim in New York, you must prove the person who caused the injury was “negligent” – careless and neglectful. In New York, you must prove:

  • The person who caused your injury owed you a duty not to injure you, but didn’t live up to that duty
  • There was a connection between the other person’s duty to you and your injury
  • You suffered damages

If you were careless, and your carelessness contributed to your injury, the amount you can recover will be reduced in proportion to your carelessness, under New York comparative negligence law.

New York’s joint and several liability rules also make anyone who was more than 50 percent responsible for your injury is liable for all your resulting damages, regardless of whether there were other people who were also at fault to some lesser degree. But any person who is 50 percent or less at fault is separately responsible only for your “noneconomic” damages- such as pain and suffering, emotional distress and damage to your family relationships.

If you’ve been injured using a consumer product, the manufacturer of the product may be responsible under a “strict liability” legal theory if the product was unreasonably dangerous. Under New York law, you’d need to prove that:

  • The product was in a defective condition, and unreasonably dangerous even if you used it in the way it was intended to be used
  • The defect caused your injury
  • You suffered damages
  • The danger wasn’t “open and obvious,” such as a sharp knife

What Is My Claim Worth?

In New York, the person who injured you will be responsible for:

  • Past, current and future estimated medical expenses
  • Time lost from work, including time spent going to medical appointments or therapy
  • Any property that was damaged, such as your vehicle
  • The cost of hiring someone to do household chores when you couldn’t
  • Any permanent disfigurement or disability
  • Your emotional distress, including anxiety, depression, and any interference with your family relationships
  • Any other costs that were a direct result of your injury

A lawyer will know what type of expert witness to hire to best prove your damages.

How Long Do I Have To File A Legal Claim?

In New York, you only have three years to file a lawsuit against the person who injured you. If your lawyer hasn’t been able to come to an agreement with any involved insurance companies, you’ll definitely want to file a lawsuit before the three-year statute of limitations runs out.

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