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Know Your Rights

If you are looking for some more information regarding your rights after suffering a personal injury, please give us a call at 785-4900. You can also read our articles discussing New York state law and personal injuries resulting from car accidents, slip and fall accidents and premises liability cases. Some of our most read articles include:

What If I’m In a Car Accident and Am Injured, and Partially at Fault? Do I Still Have a Case?

Recently, let’s assume tragedy struck: you were severely injured in a car accident. You feel that the negligence of another driver was the cause of the accident, but you are also concerned that you may have been partially at fault as well.

You are interested in pursuing a personal injury lawsuit in order to seek compensation for the pain and suffering you are dealing with, some of which might be permanent. However, you aren’t sure if you have a case – or even the ability to pursue compensation – because you fear that your own negligence may have been partially to blame for the accident.

What do you do? How do you find out if you have a personal injury case under these circumstances? (more…)

How Much Is My Personal Injury Case Worth? How Does a Personal Injury Attorney Determine How Much My Case is Worth?

If you are considering pursuing a personal injury claim, you may be wondering how much compensation you can expect to receive if you decide to move forward with a lawsuit. It’s a great question, and one that an experienced personal injury attorney familiar with your case is the best person to answer. The value of your case is not something you’ll be able to “calculate” on your own.

How much your case is worth depends on a number of factors specific to your case. While some claims can be easily assessed by looking at a few variables, most involve many issues that are addressed by a knowledgeable attorney who can weigh all of the relevant criteria that a jury might consider in arriving at an award. Part of this analysis involves an appreciation by the attorney that juries are composed of persons who may, collectively, arrive at a decision by weighing the issues in a very different way than either side thought would guide their reasoning. Additionally, the analysis would involve looking at what amount the appellate court would most likely uphold if the verdict is appealed. (more…)

Can I Sue My Spouse for Causing a Car Accident in Which I Am Injured?

Can I Sue My Spouse As the Result of a New York Car Accident if He/She Was Driving?

lawsuit against spouseWe spend a lot of time in the car with our spouse, and sometimes he or she is driving. Thus, the real potential exists to be involved in a New York car accident with our spouse, in which he or she is totally or partially at fault.

As odd as it sounds, and as uncomfortable it is to ask, a common question is: Can you sue your spouse for his or her negligence in causing a car accident? The answer is: sometimes.

Like most states, under New York law the general rule is that you cannot sue your spouse for injuries resulting from a motor vehicle accident. This is explicitly provided for in New York Insurance Law Section 3420(g). However, unlike most states, New York law provides for what is called “supplemental spousal liability insurance.” (more…)

Will I Be Able to Recover for Future Pain and Suffering in My Personal Injury Lawsuit?

pain and suffering after an accidentPain and suffering is the most basic and common form of damages for which a personal injury claim is brought. If you have been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, obtaining compensation for the pain and suffering you endure will undoubtedly be an important part of your personal injury lawsuit.

As you move forward with your lawsuit, it’s important to understand the basics of pain and suffering within the context of a personal injury case. It’s also important to know that the law provides not only for the ability to recover for pain and suffering that you have already endured, but that you may be able to recover for pain and suffering you will have in the future, and in many cases, that recovery may far exceed the amount you are entitled to for past pain and suffering. (more…)

I Was Injured When the Driver of a Stolen Car Caused an Accident. What Are My Rights?

If you or a loved one are injured in a New York motor vehicle accident, obtaining compensation for your physical, emotional and financial losses is your right under the law. Usually this compensation is provided for by an insurance company that insures the negligent driver, and not the negligent driver individually. Determining the extent of available insurance coverage and the policy or policies that provide that coverage is important to ensuring that you can be fully compensated.

When the owner of a motor vehicle permits another individual to drive his car, both the driver and the owner are liable for any damage caused by the negligence of the driver. This is called the “permissive use” doctrine and is found in New York Vehicle and Traffic Law Section 388. A driver is said to have permission to use another motor vehicle either expressly (i.e., being explicitly told he or she can use the motor vehicle) or implicitly (i.e., the keys are in a common area or the driver has used the car before without the owner objecting).

Permissive Use and Stolen Vehicles

The permissive use doctrine does not apply where the driver does not have permission to use the owner’s motor vehicle. This arises most often in theft of a motor vehicle. Since the thief has neither the express or implied permission to use the owner’s motor vehicle, injuries resulting from the thief’s negligence will not be imputed on the owner. (more…)

Is There a Limit to How Much of My Lost Wages No Fault Insurance Will Cover? Am I Able to Sue to Recover My Lost Wages?

If you’ve ever been involved in a car accident, you know that the costs of repair, inconvenience, and lost work time of even a minor “fender bender” can be substantial. The costs of accidents that result in personal injury can be completely overwhelming. The hardship on your life caused by a car accident that was not your fault can be even more difficult to handle.

New York law, since 1974, has provided benefits to all persons who insure a car in New York State. So called No Fault covers lost wages, medical bills, and other expenses you may incur as a result of your involvement in an accident. As a driver, occupant or pedestrian involved in an accident in New York, it is comforting to know that No Fault benefits protect you regardless of who is at fault for the accident. (more…)

I Was Injured When My Car Was Struck Because the Other Driver Didn’t Have His Headlights On: What Are My Rights?

car accident injuriesDrivers of cars and trucks owe a legal duty to other drivers, passengers, and pedestrians to use “reasonable care” when driving that is commensurate with the care used by other drivers under similar circumstances. Failing to do so is negligent and may result in liability for injuries caused by the failure to do so. Determining whether or not a driver negligently operated his vehicle is normally a factual inquiry to be decided by a jury. The issue is sometimes determined “as a matter of law,” meaning that the conduct was so clear as to be capable of being determined by a judge. The conduct may be assessed under statute (legislature made law), under “common law” (a body of law created through decisions in other cases), or by a combination of both.

Drivers and Negligence Per Se

When a driver is found to have violated a statute, he may be found negligent based solely on such violation. In other words, the violation of a statute in and of itself is sometimes sufficient to sustain a finding of negligence, known as negligence per se. This includes conduct such as speeding, running a red light, or failing to yield the right of way.

Another common example of negligence per se is when the driver fails to use his headlights while driving at night. Injury caused as a result of failing to use headlights can bring about liability. This issue also applies to dim or broken lights, whether they are headlights or taillights.  (more…)

What Do I Do To Keep My Sidewalk and Driveway Clear of Ice and Snow? How Do I Know I Won’t Be Sued?

Shoveling a snowy driveway is part of homeowner responsibilities during the winterWinter can be a challenging time, especially for homeowners who are responsible for maintaining their property. Part of home ownership is the responsibility to maintain outside surfaces when it snows or temperatures cause water to freeze and form ice on sidewalks and driveways. Winter brings snow and icy conditions that require immediate attention after a storm. Homeowners want their property to be safe for members of their family and friends, and also have a legal duty to keep them safe for visitors.

This legal responsibility leaves many homeowners wondering what is required of them to meet their legal responsibility under New York law. Are they responsible for a slip and fall during a storm? Do they have some time after the storm ends to clear the snow or ice? Do they have to remove ALL of the snow or ice to meet their legal duty? What will happen if someone slips and falls on their property during the winter months despite their best efforts to keep their sidewalk and driveway safe for visitors? (more…)

What is Pain and Suffering as a Form of Damage in a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

If you’ve been injured in an accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence, you are entitled to seek compensation for the damages you have incurred as a result of the accident. In virtually every personal injury claim the most basic and common form of damages is for what is known as “pain and suffering.”

Within the context of a personal injury lawsuit, what exactly is pain and suffering? Here, our experienced team of personal injury lawyers will explain the concept of pain and suffering when it comes to pursuing a personal injury case. (more…)

I Slipped and Fell on Ice and Was Injured. If I Didn’t See the Ice, Am I Still Able to Obtain Compensation for My Injuries?

slip and fall injuries and comparative faultEven during mild winters here in the Northeast, the threat of ice looms large. Though we may experience less snowfall during mild winters, when warm spells alternate with overnight cold snaps, rain, freezing rain and standing water repeatedly melt and refreeze. Icy walkways and parking lots are often the result. For this reason, slip and fall accidents and injuries are still very common even during winters when the average temperature is higher and the average snowfall is lower than usual.

Because there isn’t much snow on the ground during mild winters like the one we are currently experiencing, icy sidewalks and parking lots tend to catch people by surprise even more often than they do during typical snowy winters. After being injured as a result of falling on ice, this leaves many people wondering if they are entitled to compensation. (more…)