If somebody hurt you or if your injuries only happened because somebody else was negligent, then you have the right to file a personal injury claim. This is a broad area of law encompassing auto accidents, slips and falls, product-related injuries, medical malpractice, and more. A successful personal injury claim lets you recover compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other expenses and losses related to your accident. But before the insurance company or court hand over compensation, you need to prove liability and the value of your case.
Since 1981, Buttafuoco & Associates has been helping people get the compensation they need after a serious injury. Our personal injury lawyers in New York investigate the accident, file the appropriate paperwork, negotiate with insurers, and, if necessary, litigate your case in court. All this so you get the compensation you need. Call us at 1-800-NOW-HURT to set up a consultation with a lawyer and get started.
What is a personal injury lawsuit?
A personal injury lawsuit is a legal claim arising from an act of negligence that resulted in injury or death. Negligence is the failure to act in a reasonable manner to prevent harm from coming to others.
Here are just a few examples of personal injury cases that we handle.
Cars, trucks, buses, motorcycles – if you were in an auto accident, then you can file a PIP claim with your insurance. But if another party caused your accident, you may also be able to file a liability claim against the at-fault driver. Pedestrians and bicyclists can also file PIP and/or liability claims after an accident with a motor vehicle.
Slip and Falls/Premises Liability
Slip and fall accidents are a type of premises liability case that occur when a hazard on another party’s property causes a person to slip or trip and fall. Premises liability also includes environmental hazards, attractive nuisance (pools, trampolines, etc.), and animal attacks.
When a medical professional fails to follow the standard of care, it can lead to medical errors. These errors happen in any health care setting, from hospitals to home care nurses. Birth injuries are a form of malpractice that can have a lifelong impact on your child’s health.
We expect our consumer goods to be safe. But when defective design or dangerous components cause injuries, the manufacturer is liable for any injuries that result. Products liability claims can range from food products and medications to firearms and recreational equipment.
Abuse or Neglect by a Caretaker
When you trust the care of your elderly loved one or child to another person that violates that trust by abusing or neglecting your loved one, you have the right to hold that person and even their employer liable for damages, in addition to any criminal charges they might face.
What must I prove in a successful personal injury claim?
Insurance companies are not in the business of paying claims – they are in the business of paying as little as they can. Getting compensation in a personal injury claim requires much more than simply filing a claim and expecting the insurance company to give you what you think you deserve. Any personal injury claim requires careful planning, thorough investigation, and exhaustive evidence collecting, not to mention patience and perseverance.
Ultimately, a personal injury claim needs to prove the following four elements through evidence and legal argument.
Duty of Care
The defendant owed you a duty of care to keep you safe. For example, drivers owe others on the road a duty of care; doctors owe patients a duty of care; manufacturers owe consumers a duty of care; and property owners owe visitors a duty of care.
Breach of Duty
The liable party breaches this duty when he or she fails to exercise reasonable care in upholding their duty of care. This is called negligence. For example, drunk drivers; doctors who fail to perform common tests; manufacturers who fail to disclose risks of their products; and property owners who fail to correct hazards.
Once you have established the liable party breached the duty of care, you must prove that it caused your injuries. In other words, you need to prove that your injuries are related to the accident. This can be challenging, as many insurance companies argue that claimants’ injuries are either non-existent or occurred before or after the accident. Psychological conditions and other injuries that are not visible with any imaging technology can be especially difficult to prove.
Even if you can prove the first three elements, you do not have a claim against the other party unless the accident caused damages. And again, this is challenging in a lot of cases. Insurance companies may downplay your injuries and related expenses, argue you are not as injured as you claim, or underestimate the long-term effects of the injuries.
When our personal injury lawyers take on a case, they work with expert witnesses and trained investigators to prove every aspect of these cases. This is often what it takes to build your case and get compensation. Filing the paperwork is just the beginning.
What can I recover in a personal injury lawsuit?
Do not accept the insurance company’s settlement offer without first bringing it to your personal injury lawyer. Once you settle, you cannot re-file the claim if you later realize that the settlement does not account for all damages.
Before you settle your case, you need to have a clear picture of your short-term damages, as well as your long-term damages. This means evaluating the prognosis of your injury, how it affects your ability to work, what medical treatment you might need in the future, how the injuries might affect you psychologically and emotionally, and more.
At Buttafuoco & Associates, our personal injury lawyers review every aspect of your case and work with medical and vocational experts to project the long-term damages you may face. We do not settle your case until we are confident you are getting the full amount of damages to which you are entitled.
Do not go about this process alone. Find out how Buttafuoco & Associates can help you through the personal injury claims process. Call 1-800-NOW-HURT today to set up a free consultation.