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Accidents happen every day. People are frequently injured in car accidents, workplace accidents, slip and fall incidents, and other tragic mishaps. You should not have to suffer and pay expensive bills because someone else caused your accident. A personal injury lawsuit can help you get compensation for your injuries.
Personal injuries include a wide variety of damages and losses. There are a thousand different ways to have an accident in New York, and there are just as many kinds of injuries. Injuries usually come with financial costs, like medical bills, which might significantly burden accident victims. Speaking with an attorney about your case is important to understand what laws apply to your claims. To get compensation for your damages, we need evidence. The issue of evidence is often far more complicated than people realize. Evidence might take many forms, and it must meet rigorous standards to be admitted into court. A lawyer can help you assess your damages and find evidence to prove your claims.
Call our personal injury lawyers at The Martello Law Firm, PLLC at (914) 598-8913 and ask about a free case review.
How Do I Know If I Have a Personal Injury Case in New Rochelle, NY?
Knowing if you have a personal injury case on your hands might take a bit of self-reflection and a meeting with an attorney. If you are considering legal action, you can ask yourself a few questions to determine whether you have a personal injury case:
- Were you harmed in some way?
- Did you suffer physical, emotional, or financial injuries or losses?
- Did someone else cause this harm?
If the answers to these questions are yes, you might have a valid personal injury lawsuit.
The key component of a personal injury lawsuit is that your injuries happened to you rather than “injuries” to property. This includes injuries to your body, mind, or emotions. Most personal injuries come from accidents or acts of negligence. However, sometimes injuries come from a defendant’s intentional actions. In either case, our New Rochelle, NY car accident lawyers can help you through the challenging process of filing your lawsuit.
Personal injury cases span a broad legal spectrum, and various laws might be implicated in your case. This makes it even more challenging to understand the nature of your claims. Your case might be complex, and you should seek help from a New Rochelle personal injury attorney.
How Do I File a Personal Injury Lawsuit in New Rochelle, NY?
A personal injury lawsuit begins when you and your attorney file a complaint with the right court. This is far more than merely submitting some paperwork. Your complaint must contain very specific information and be backed up by evidence. Even if you have all the right information, your complaint might be rejected if it is not written properly. Our New Rochelle, NY personal injury lawyers can help you file your complaint and start your case.
When we file the complaint, we must assert what we believe happened. This will read like a statement of facts, with each statement being listed as a separate bullet point, and each bullet point containing a claim. These core claims will make up the heart of your lawsuit.
We must provide evidence to support each of our claims of what happened. Without evidence, a court will not accept the complaint. Even if the complaint goes through, the defendant could easily attack a weak complaint that lacks evidence, and the case might eventually be dismissed.
Once your complaint is filed, the defendant is permitted to respond and admit or deny your claims. Anything facts in dispute may be decided at trial. After the civil process begins, there may be numerous pre-trial hearings to attend, evidence to investigate, and information to share and discuss with the opponent.
Common Types of Personal Injuries in New Rochelle, NY
A myriad of injuries and losses may lead to personal injury cases, but not all cases are the same. Specific situations might be affected by unique laws. It is important to discuss your case with our personal injury attorneys. Our team can represent you in many cases, including the following:
- Car, bus, and truck accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Premises liability
- Wrongful death
- Medical malpractice
- Workplace accidents
- Defective products or goods
No two personal injury cases are alike. The evidence and arguments you need to succeed in your case may differ from another personal injury case. It is good to speak with a lawyer as soon as possible to maximize your time to prepare your case.
Probable Damages in Your New Rochelle, NY Personal Injury Case
Damages are arguably the most important element of your lawsuit, as they directly influence your financial compensation. Your damages arise from your injuries and losses, which might be more numerous than you realize. Some damages are unrelated to money, while others are meant to serve as a punishment for wrongdoers.
Compensatory damages are awarded to help plaintiffs make up for the things they lost because of their injuries. While people sometimes think that plaintiffs who get a big damages award in a lawsuit are suddenly rich, this is not always true. Much of the money plaintiffs are awarded is money they have already lost or spent, and the compensation is meant to put them back to where they were before the accident.
Monetary damages are based on actual sums of money you spent or lost as a result of your injuries. For example, medical bills and property damages are common economic damages claims in personal injury lawsuits. Even when plaintiffs have health insurance, medical bills can be incredibly expensive. The same goes for property damage. Insurance is often limited, and you might have damages you cannot cover alone.
Many other damages are based on personal, subjective experiences. These non-economic damages tend to be rooted in emotional and psychological trauma, anguish, and suffering. If you were struck by a car, you might be traumatized. After all, surviving a near-death experience greatly affects one’s mental health. Another possibility is that you were involved in an accident where not all injured victims survived. Survivor’s guilt can haunt people for years, and you should be compensated for the pain you endure.
Some plaintiffs end up with more money than when they started because they are compensated for things that did not actually cost money. Pain and suffering, though technically free of charge, may be worthy of very valuable compensation.
While compensatory cover what plaintiffs lose because of an accident, punitive damages are geared more toward the defendant’s behavior than the plaintiff’s wellbeing. Punitive damages are intended as a punishment for defendants if their behavior is especially shocking or outrageous. Remember, the bar for punitive damages is very high, and they are rarely awarded even if they are available.
Punitive damages are only awarded after a trial. You typically cannot include punitive damages in a settlement. If your claims stand a good chance of being awarded punitive damages, you should pursue a trial rather than accept a settlement.
How to Present Evidence in a New Rochelle, NY Personal Injury Lawsuit
Evidence takes many forms. The evidence available in your case depends on how you were injured, who was involved, and other factors you need to discuss with a lawyer. On top of that, how we present evidence and use it to your advantage will also vary based on your unique circumstances. Below are possible ways that evidence can help your case and get you compensation.
A big part of using evidence is determining what can and cannot be presented to a jury. Not all evidence is good evidence, even if it is relevant to your claims and seemingly useful. All evidence must adhere to the Maryland Rules of Evidence. While making sure all our evidence is in line with a very long set of complex rules might seem difficult, we can use the rule to our advantage by keeping out the evidence presented by the defendant.
A motion to suppress may be filed before the trial and used to urge the judge to keep certain evidence out of the courtroom for not meeting evidentiary standards. For example, perhaps the defendant wants to present evidence that the plaintiff contributed to their own injuries. If the evidence fails to meet an important rule, the plaintiff can file a motion explaining why it should be excluded. If the judge agrees, the evidence is out and cannot be used against you.
We might have various reasons to exclude certain evidence. The evidence might be overly inflammatory, prejudicial, irrelevant, or consist of hearsay. Excluding bad evidence might be key to our legal strategy, especially if the defendant plans on submitting a lot of questionable evidence to the court.
We should also consider the types of evidence available to us. Testimonial evidence comes from witnesses with first-hand knowledge relevant to the case. Witnesses may testify in court and explain what they know to a jury.
Many witnesses are eyewitnesses who saw the accident or incident that led to your injuries. Having several eyewitnesses who can all support our claims that the defendant caused your injuries might sway the jury in your favor.
We might also need witnesses who did not witness your accident or injuries but they have other personal knowledge relevant to the case. For example, alcohol-related accidents might require witnesses who saw the defendant drinking at a bar shortly before the accident. Another example might involve you being injured by a unique weapon or instrument, and witnesses might have personal knowledge that the defendant owns the same instrument.
Physical evidence, also called real evidence, includes objects that can be held before a jury. Weapons, articles of clothing, and other objects somehow connected to your accident might all be considered physical evidence.
Some physical evidence is too large or cumbersome to transport to a courtroom. For example, it is likely impossible to get your wrecked vehicle into the courthouse after a car accident. Even so, juries need to see the damage to your vehicle to understand the accident. Photos of physical evidence that cannot be transported may be used instead.
Some evidence is contained in recorded documents that might shed light on how your accident happened. Documentary evidence might involve specific kinds of records maintained for certain reasons.
A common example is business records. If your lawsuit involves negligence by a business or employee, business records might contain information about the negligence. For example, if you were hit by a truck, we could use business records from the trucking company to learn about regularly recorded business activities, such as how often the truckers take breaks and when trucks are inspected. These records might show us that the trucker had not taken a break in a very long time and they were very tired or that the truck had not been inspected.
Records are tricky because they are often considered inadmissible hearsay. To get around this rule, we need to make sure the records meet the standards for business records set by the rules of evidence.
Do I Need an Attorney for a Personal Injury Lawsuit in New Rochelle, NY?
The law does not require you to hire an attorney to represent you in a personal injury lawsuit. However, a personal injury lawsuit is often a very complex and time-consuming matter, and plaintiffs benefit from having the assistance and advice of a skilled lawyer.
Multiple hearings and proceedings are involved in a personal injury case before getting to trial. If procedures are not strictly followed, your entire case could be compromised. Our personal injury attorneys have experience in the courtroom and can help you navigate the complex legal processes in your case.
You might have the opportunity to settle your case out of court instead of going to trial. Defendants and plaintiffs both often prefer settlement agreements because they save time and effort by avoiding a trial altogether. A good settlement requires intense negotiation, and you might not know how to advocate most effectively for what you need. An attorney has the skills required to negotiate with opponents and get you a settlement that covers your damages.
Hiring a lawyer is a crucial decision because legal strategies and complex procedures are involved in nearly every step of the civil process. An experienced lawyer can advocate on your behalf and avoid legal missteps that would set back your case.
Speak to Our New Rochelle, NY Personal Injury Lawyers
Call The Martello Law Firm, PLLC at (914) 598-8913 for a free case evaluation, and our personal injury lawyers can help you file your case and get the compensation you deserve.