An injury or accident will undoubtedly raise multiple questions for an injured person and his or her family. Rest assured, our injury lawyers in NYC have heard these and other questions over the years and would be more than happy to answer any questions you have. Below is a small sample of some of the more common questions our injury lawyers get asked by clients along with some brief answers:
How Can I Find A Personal Injury Lawyer If I’ve Been Seriously Injured?
First and foremost, it is critical to find attorneys who specialize in the area of law where you need assistance because those lawyers understand your situation and needs as they deal with those issues every day. An attorney who specializes in one area of the law may not have the experience and resources to handle a personal injury matter. Family and friends are an excellent source for an attorney referral as they may very well have experiences with personal injury lawyers, either positive or negative.
What Factors Should I Consider When Choosing An Injury Lawyer In NYC?
Any law firm you consider should be able to completely and thoroughly answer your questions. Any attorney you choose could be your attorney for the next several years. You should be both comfortable and confident with the attorney and law firm. When considering a particular firm, these are a sample of questions you should be asking:
- Is this law firm experienced?
- How long have they been practicing personal injury law?
- Does this lawyer or firm go to court or trial on a regular basis?
- What is the experience of this law firm in handling my specific type of case?
For various reasons, it is important to choose an injury lawyer that is not afraid to try cases. It is important to choose a law firm that regularly tries cases for their clients because those attorneys have experience, as well as the respect of fellow attorneys and judges. That does not mean you want lawyers who are reckless with your lawsuit. You are the client and you should choose an injury lawyer who you feel has your best interests in mind.
How Much Time Do I Have To Hire An Attorney And Start A Lawsuit?
This is a complicated question that is dependent upon a variety of factors, including the specific laws of the jurisdiction relative to you case. As a rule, the sooner you hire an attorney the better. Not only are there limitation periods for the case itself, there all also limitation periods for ancillary claims related to the initial injury (I.e. no-fault claims, workers’ compensation claims, etc.). Additionally, from an attorney’s perspective, the sooner a lawyer is retained, the sooner the lawyer can begin the investigation. This is vital in certain cases where accident scenes change, witnesses become unavailable or video recordings and other evidence is simply discarded in the normal course of business after a certain time. Early contact with an injury lawyer is often vital in preserving key evidence necessary for the successful litigation of your case.
Is There A Charge For The Initial Consultation With Your Injury Lawyers?
No. We offer free personal injury consultations, as do most plaintiff personal injury firms in NYC. Our legal fees are on a contingency fee basis which means you are only charged if we accept your case and recover monetary damages on your behalf. In addition, our firm lays out the expenses necessary for the lawsuit and those disbursements are repaid from any recovery.
Should I Bring Any Documents When I Meet With My Injury Lawyer In NYC?
Yes! You should bring whatever documents you have and let the attorney decide what is important and what is unnecessary. The types of documents you should bring include copies of police reports, scene photos, vehicle photos if a car accident occurred, insurance information, medical reports and any witness information. It is important to understand that our firm can usually obtain any documents you may not have for this initial meeting.
What Information Will My Injury Lawyer Need From Me?
The lawyer will ask you questions about your medical history, work history and basic background information to put together a more complete picture of you as a person. The attorney will spend a great deal of time reviewing your medical history, as well all medical treatments you have received as a result of the accident.
Below is a list of some essential information you should have ready for your lawyer following a personal injury:
- Names and addresses of all medical providers you have seen in the 5 years prior to your accident
- Names and addresses of all medical providers you have seen as a result of your accident
- Names and addresses of your current medical providers, as well as any medical providers you intend to see due to the accident
What Should I Expect During My Initial Meeting?
In your meeting, the attorney will be asking many questions in order to determine if there is the basis for a successful lawsuit. You will likely be asked to sign a retainer agreement, which is usually “Subject to Investigation.” This allows your injury lawyer to represent you and begin an investigation to gather the evidence relevant to the case.
What Types Of Damages Can I Recover In A Personal Injury Case?
In general, you are entitled to recover for your past and future pain and suffering, past and future medical expenses and loss of income. Loss of income includes work you missed while you recovered from the accident, as well as future anticipated work loss if your injury prevents you from returning to the workforce. You may recover for "non-economic" damages you have endured, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, mental anguish and loss of enjoyment of life. Some of these damages are easy to identify and quantify, while others are less concrete. Rest assured that our NYC injury attorneys have the experience to evaluate each case and persuade the insurance company or jury of the true value of your case.
How Much Is My Personal Injury Case Worth?
Every case is different and highly dependent upon a number of unique factors, such as the nature and extent of your injuries, how the accident happened, who was involved and the relative fault of each party. Visit our Verdicts & Settlements page for some representative results that we have achieved for our clients, but remember that the facts of those cases were unique and recovery in your case may be different.
What Is Demonstrative Evidence?
We see and hear a lot of things about lawsuits and trials every day as we watch movies and television. While these stories are often dramatic, they may not be providing you with the correct picture of how your litigation process will actually work. A trial following a serious injury is complex and requires your lawyer to prove that the party that caused your injury acted negligently. As such, you may see that your injury lawyer and witnesses are using visual aids to explain to the jury different aspects of your accident and how you were injured.
These visual aids are called demonstrative evidence, and they can be a huge factor in your personal injury case. Demonstrative evidence is pretty much anything used to prove negligence that isn't spoken testimony. Demonstrative evidence can be either illustrative or physical.
- Illustrative Evidence: This type of evidence can include photographs of your accident scene or graphs showing the intersection where you were hit, as well as which way the cars were heading. If you're involved in a medical malpractice case, evidence can include charts of your health progress, blown up pictures of injuries and specially designed illustrations showing how your surgeries were performed. These pictures basically tell your story to the jury. We want them to know what happened to you and how it affected your life. This will also allow them to understand what a witness is talking about when they discuss either medical or other types of information. Being able to visually see your story is a strong motivator in getting the jury to know you and understand your struggles.
- Physical Evidence: This type of evidence is anything a lawyer can pick up and show to the jury. Physical evidence can include a weapon used in a criminal trial or a broken stair that caused you to fall and injure yourself. At an accident scene, physical evidence can be a bumper that was torn off or even bloodied clothing. Damage to your car can be physical evidence, as well. In such instances, before you get it repaired, it is a good idea to get the vehicle completely evaluated and preserve evidence for future use. In the event of an accident or injury where you are unable to pick up actual physical evidence, it's always a great idea to take photographs of everything.
How Long Before My Case Is Resolved?
It may take an extended period of time before a case is successfully resolved. Although most cases settle without the need for trial, a long period of case preparation is often necessary to reach that point. We understand that the expenses you have incurred as a result of your injuries are extensive and the anxiety that comes with financial worries can be overwhelming, but we will not rush a case to a quick settlement that is not in your best interest. We will make sure you receive the care you need while we work on your case. With over 60 years practicing personal injury law in NYC, our attorneys have the experience to help you and your family while your case is pending.