Dealing with a painful and debilitating injury can put victims in a difficult position. However, if your injuries were caused by another party who failed to reasonably prevent them from occurring, you may be able to seek compensation in court.
Personal injury lawsuits allow victims to file claims against negligent or reckless people or entities to recover for the harm that they sustained. If you are interested in filing your lawsuit, you must do so within three years of the date of your injury, so be sure to act quickly and consult a lawyer about your options as soon as possible.
Contact The Martello Law Firm at (646) 396-0236 for a free case evaluation with our personal injury attorneys.
How Our Westchester, NY Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help Your Case
Deciding to file a lawsuit after suffering a personal injury in Westchester might seem like a difficult choice, but not one you need to face alone. Our personal injury attorneys have years of experience helping our clients recover compensation for the harm they have sustained at the hands of another person. Our firm can manage your case from start to finish, including identifying the liable parties, negotiating with insurance companies, and fighting your case at trial. Our personal injury attorneys can focus on your legal case while you focus on your health.
Analyzing Your Case
When someone suffers a personal injury, they have a right to recover compensation from the liable parties but might not know where to start. Our personal injury attorneys can analyze your case to determine the exact cause of your injuries and who should be named in your lawsuit. Liability might be straightforward in some cases, like a car accident involving only two drivers. However, liability might be more difficult to establish in other cases, like medical malpractice or slip-and-fall lawsuits.
Fortunately, our personal injury attorneys have the skills and expertise to obtain the evidence you need to prove each element of the personal injury you suffered. Proving harder legal claims requires sophisticated legal strategies. With more aggressive legal counsel, you will have more leverage over an insurance company, which can help your case satisfactorily settle before a trial is necessary.
Determining the Liable Parties
Knowing who to sue in your case is not always as obvious as it might seem. While the person who directly caused your injuries will almost always be named in a lawsuit, other parties could be liable depending on the type of personal injury suffered. For instance, if you were injured in a car accident, you would sue the driver, but further investigation might reveal that the car is owned by another person. In that case, the car owner could be sued for negligently entrusting their vehicle to a dangerous driver. In other cases, an employer could be held liable if you were injured by one of their employees while on the job.
We can also help determine liability in difficult cases like medical malpractice. Medical malpractice injuries are often complex. Because several medical professionals are typically involved in the care of a patient, malpractice can occur at any point during treatment.
Gather More Evidence
The evidence you have to support your claims will dictate how successful you are in recovering compensation. The more complex your personal injury case, the more evidence is typically required to prove it. Even in simple car accident cases, the evidence can be substantial. Further, much of the evidence you need will be in the hands of other parties.
Our personal injury attorneys know what evidence is required to prove your case. With our experience, we can track down each piece of relevant evidence no matter the source. We can also direct parties not to destroy evidence before providing it to our office. For instance, if a private business’s security cameras captured footage of your personal injury, we can send a letter to the owner ordering them to preserve the evidence. Our personal injury attorneys can utilize several legal rules to get evidence even when the other party refuses to provide it.
Negotiate with Insurance Companies
Following an accident, an insurance company will usually conduct an investigation into your claim and offer a settlement in exchange for a full release from legal liability. However, once you sign the release, you forfeit your right to sue for damages related to the incident. However, the initial settlement offer presented by the insurance company is often lower than what a victim could actually recover.
Though accepting a settlement may seem like the best way to get compensation quickly, our skilled personal injury lawyers can help you recover the amount your case deserves. Our team can negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf so that your settlement offer reflects the full range of damages you suffered, including medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage.
We can also coach you before speaking with the insurance company or submitting to an independent medical exam. While you will need to speak with the insurance company at some point, it is important to be prepared, as insurance adjusters are skilled at finding ways of putting the blame on unsuspecting victims.
With the evidence we can gather in your case, you stand a better chance of getting a serious settlement offer. If an insurance company insists on a low offer, our personal injury attorneys can file a lawsuit immediately to take negotiations to the next level or go to trial.
Preparing and Filing Your Lawsuit
If insurance negotiations fail or never started, our personal injury attorneys are ready to file your lawsuit immediately. Using the evidence we obtained, our team will draft a complaint detailing your accident and the injuries it caused. Your complaint will also state the compensation being sought from the court. Once your complaint is drafted, we will submit it along with your evidence. This includes paying the filing fees that are required when filing a lawsuit.
Many victims worry that they cannot afford legal representation after being injured by another person. However, victims will often lose out on much more by not pursuing compensation. Personal injuries often cause mounting medical expenses for victims. They will usually also have many out-of-pocket expenses dealing with their injuries. Through a successful lawsuit, you can recover compensation for these losses and much more. Even after attorneys’ fees are paid after receiving your award, you will often have more money in your pocket if you file a lawsuit than if you had not.
Proving Negligence in a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Westchester, NY
You may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against whoever caused your accident. Personal injury suits typically rely on the plaintiff’s ability to prove that the defendant was negligent. Negligence requires four key elements: duty of care, breach of duty, causation, and injury.
Duty of Care
In a negligence case, the defendant must have owed the plaintiff a duty of care, or a responsibility to take reasonable steps to ensure their safety. Duties exist based on circumstances and the relationship between the plaintiff and the defendant. Examples of relationships where a duty exists include those between doctor and patient, property owner and guest, and manufacturer and customer.
Breach of Duty
The second step in a negligence case is proving that the defendant failed to meet their duty of care. To do this, you must establish what specific duties the defendant owed you, as well as how they fell short of them through their actions (or failure to act).
Once you have established the first two elements, you have proven that the defendant was negligent. But you still must show that the negligence was the cause of the accident that injured you. Proving causation can be complicated because external factors can come into play, including a defensive argument that you were contributorily negligent. Your Westchester personal injury attorney can answer any questions you may have about proving causation for your potential case.
The last step of the traditional negligence argument is proving that you sustained compensable injuries as a result of the accident. You should always seek medical attention immediately after you are injured to get necessary treatment and to document your injuries.
Damages in a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Westchester
Proving injury is also critical for establishing what your compensation should be in your personal injury lawsuit. This compensation is also referred to as “damages.” Damages are meant to provide recourse for personal injury victims in line with the consequences of the defendant’s negligence.
You can recover damages for specific expenses you incur as a result of your injuries. The majority of these expenses will be medical bills. You can be compensated for the money that you are forced to spend on emergency procedures, hospital stays, surgery, rehabilitative therapy, and specialist appointments, to name a few.
You may also seek damages in line with your loss of wages from missing time at work while rehabbing from your injuries. If your injuries lead to long-term setbacks in your ability to perform the functions of your job, your damages could include money to represent your decreased earning potential or missed opportunities for advancement in your field.
The consequences of your injuries are not limited to the bills that you have to pay or the paychecks that you lose. Personal injury victims suffer chronic pain, loss of enjoyment of life, or psychological conditions such as anxiety or depression brought on by the victim’s condition.
It is too difficult to estimate the value of any given personal injury case without sufficient information about the victim, the circumstances of the accident, and the injuries sustained. If you are curious about what you stand to gain from a lawsuit against the party responsible for your accident, our Westchester personal injury lawyers can listen to your story and present you with the options that are best for you.
Statute of Limitations in a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Westchester, New York
The “statute of limitations” (or time limit for filing a lawsuit) in the State of New York runs for three years from the date of the injury. This means that you must file your suit with the appropriate court less than three years after the accident, or else you will be barred from recovery for your injuries.
It can take more time than you might expect to prepare and file a lawsuit, as you will have to identify all possible defendants, gather information, and come up with damage estimates. Further, the sooner you file your lawsuit, the sooner you will likely see the compensation you will require to recover comfortably from your injuries. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you speak to one of our personal injury lawyers as soon as possible after your injuries are evaluated and treated so that you can get started on your recovery.
The Martello Law Firm Can Help You Recover for Your Personal Injury
To speak with our personal injury lawyers and receive a free case review, call The Martello Law Firm today at (646) 396-0236.