One bad accident can ruin your life, but only if you let it. Instead of drowning in debt from medical bills and other expenses, you should speak to an attorney about starting a personal injury lawsuit to get fair compensation.
Personal injuries span a wider range of accidents, injuries, and damages. Many personal injuries are unintentional, but the person responsible for the accident should still be held accountable. Other injuries might be caused by dangerous conditions that should have been repaired or even intentional violence. Damages might be significant, especially if your injuries are severe. Economic and non-economic losses must be accounted for. Beginning a personal injury lawsuit requires extensive preparations. Your lawyer can help you find evidence, evaluate your damages, and draft formal legal paperwork, including the complaint. If your injuries are covered by insurance, you can still sue and get the justice and closure you need.
Schedule a free case review with our experienced personal injury lawyers by calling our team at The Martello Law Firm, PLLC at (914) 685-6950.
How Personal Injuries Can Happen in Ossining, NY
Essentially, a personal injury claim involves bodily injuries. You might have a valid personal injury claim if you experienced physical injuries because of someone else’s poor behavior. The key to starting your case is figuring out how your injuries happened.
While people sometimes think they cannot be held responsible for accidental injuries, they should think again. A person might be liable for injuries they cause through their negligence.
Negligence is based on four crucial elements, each of which must be proven to hold someone liable for their unintentional behavior. To prove that the defendant was negligent, it is important to establish the expected behavior under the given circumstances, which is known as the duty of care. The duty of care varies based on the relationship between the victim and the defendant. For instance, a doctor has distinct responsibilities towards their patients, such as obtaining their informed consent, whereas a driver has different duties towards other drivers on the road, such as following traffic rules.
Once you have identified the duties that the defendant owed you, you can move on to showing that they did not fulfill these obligations. For example, a doctor who fails to inform a patient about the potential risks or side effects of a treatment has not obtained informed consent. Likewise, a driver who ignores a stop sign at an intersection has breached their duty to follow traffic regulations.
It is not sufficient to prove that the defendant failed to fulfill their duty to win a case. You must also demonstrate that the breach was the direct cause of your injury. This entails proving that you did not have any pre-existing injuries or conditions. Seeking timely medical attention for your personal injury is crucial because your doctor will be able to determine the root cause of your injury.
Filing a personal injury lawsuit is a means to receive payment for the negative effects of your injuries. Thus, it is important to clearly explain how your current injuries have caused your damages in order to receive compensation. The amount of compensation you receive will depend on the damages you claim, which includes both economic and non-economic factors. The economic factors include the costs of medical treatment and lost wages, while the non-economic factors include the emotional harm caused by your injuries.
Many other injuries are related to unsafe conditions. A classic example is a wet floor without a warning sign. Someone could easily slip and fall and be badly injured because of unsafe conditions. What makes premises liability cases different than typical accident cases is that the defendant does not need to be present or directly involved to be liable. Instead, defendants might be liable simply because they own the unsafe property and failed to maintain it properly.
Some personal injury claims are not accidental but rooted in criminal acts of violence. Even if the defendant faces criminal charges, you can still sue them in civil court. However, your civil lawsuit will probably take a back seat to criminal prosecution, and we might need to wait a bit before we can begin our case. The upside is that if the defendant is found guilty in criminal court, our personal injury lawyers can use their conviction as evidence in your civil lawsuit.
Starting a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Ossining, NY
Many are surprised to learn that most of the work that goes into a personal injury lawsuit occurs before ever setting foot inside a courtroom. Preparations are important, and your attorney can help you get everything you need to file your claim.
We must present evidence and arguments to a jury to convince them of your claims and find the defendant liable. Evidence might be physical objects we can hold up in courts, hospital records about your injuries, or testimony from witnesses with valuable personal knowledge relevant to your accident. A strong case should have a combination of different kinds of evidence.
We must assess your damages before we even file your case. This might seem a bit backward since damages are only awarded at the very end of a trial, but the court needs to know ahead of time what we believe your case is worth.
Damages should account for economic losses and non-economic injuries. Medical bills, lost earnings, and costly property damages are common in personal injury claims. Non-economic losses are often related to pain, suffering, humiliation, and other emotional and psychological injuries. If damages are not claimed when we file your case, we might be unable to get you any compensation for them later.
The final step in our preparations is to draft and file a formal complaint. The complaint is a document that must contain very specific information about your case. We need to describe how you were injured, who was involved, why the defendant should be held liable, and your demands for relief (i.e., financial compensation).
When we submit the complaint, we must also notify the defendant of your claim. Notice is required by law, and if it is not done properly, you might lose your case before it even begins.
Evidence That Can Help Prove a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Ossining, NY
When pursuing a personal injury case in Ossining, it is crucial to gather evidence to establish the other party’s responsibility for the injuries sustained by the plaintiff. Our team of personal injury lawyers can assist in obtaining various types of evidence that can serve as proof of fault, regardless of who is in possession of it. The most commonly used types of evidence to prove a personal injury case in Ossining include the following:
After an accident, police officers usually investigate and write accident reports. However, if you suffer a personal injury at work, your employer might file an accident report for their insurance purposes and business records. These reports provide a detailed account of the incident, the names of those involved, the nature of the injuries, and citations issued. They are vital in determining fault in a personal injury lawsuit and can help identify additional evidence and witnesses to support your case.
In the event of an accident, witnesses can provide valuable information regarding the incident. They can provide details about what they saw or heard at the time the accident occurred. Additionally, witnesses might be able to shed light on other factors, such as poor weather conditions, road hazards, or other circumstances that you might not remember or have been unaware of. Since witnesses are usually not acquainted with the parties involved, their testimony is considered trustworthy in court as they have no motive to lie under oath.
Expert witness testimony is often used as evidence to establish fault. This type of testimony is provided by individuals who have specialized knowledge that is relevant to your claim, such as in medicine or engineering, which might be beyond the comprehension of the average person. They can help explain how products function or clarify complex diagnoses to the judge or jury. For example, if you suffered a back injury in a car accident, an orthopedic doctor might need to testify about the treatment you received and the future impact on your life.
Photos and Videos from the Scene
When filing a personal injury claim in Ossining, photographs can be a valuable form of evidence. They are particularly useful when certain types of evidence cannot be presented physically in court. For instance, you cannot bring your damaged vehicle into the courtroom, but you can provide photos of it to support your statements during trial.
Photos and videos of the accident scene can demonstrate the cause of the accident and the extent of your injuries. It is recommended that you take photos of your injuries at the scene or the hospital to document their severity at the time of the accident. Take as many photos as possible from different angles of any damage you observe since you never know which ones might prove useful to your case.
In order to prove fault, surveillance footage can be a valuable resource. This is particularly true in car accident cases, and the footage can be obtained from sources such as dashcam cameras or speed cameras at intersections. Nowadays, with the widespread use of smartphones, witnesses might have captured video footage of the accident as well. Moreover, it is possible that nearby residential or business surveillance cameras might have recorded the incident. Our team will investigate the area where the accident occurred to determine if it was captured on any of these types of surveillance cameras.
Personal recollections from those involved can be useful to back up other forms of evidence or serve as the only evidence in a case. However, for personal recollections to be admissible in court, they need to be considered reliable and accurate. Additionally, they should not be influenced by bias or prejudice, and the person providing the recollection must have firsthand knowledge of the incident. Hearsay testimony is generally not allowed.
What if My Personal Injuries Are Covered by Insurance?
The fact that your injuries are fully or partially covered by insurance does not mean you have no standing to sue. If it did, then liable defendants would never be held accountable where insurance is involved.
Many people sue because insurance policies are limited and do not cover the full extent of their damages. If your injuries are fully or partially covered by insurance, you might still claim their full value in your lawsuit. Defendants do not get to benefit from the fact that plaintiffs have insurance.
However, plaintiffs cannot recover damages for the same injuries twice. For example, if your medical expenses totaled $20,000, and your health insurance covered $15,000, you can still sue the defendant for the full $20,000 instead of only $5,000.
Your insurance company will likely initiate a subrogation claim to recover the $15,000 they paid for your damages. Ultimately, you would have your damages fully paid by both health insurance and the defendant with no excess.
Contact Our Ossining, NY Personal Injury Lawyers
You can set up a case evaluation free of charge with our qualified personal injury lawyers by calling The Martello Law Firm, PLLC at (914) 685-6950.