Brooklyn Personal Injury Lawyers
Suffering a personal injury can be one of the most harrowing experiences in a person’s life. Personal injuries often result in mounting expenses and treatment the victim never intended. Recovering compensation might be daunting, with many victims not knowing where to begin their recovery efforts.
Fortunately, you can take many steps to protect yourself and your rights after being injured. Personal injury lawsuits can be complex, and insurance companies make their profits by denying and fighting insurance claims. If settlement negotiations fail, filing a lawsuit might be the best way to recover the full range of compensation you might be entitled to. You will most likely have three years to do this in Brooklyn, depending on your specific case. Compensation in personal injury claims typically covers a victim’s economic and non-economic damages.
You can call The Carrion Law Firm at (718) 841-0083 to schedule a confidential and free evaluation of your case with our Brooklyn personal injury lawyers.
First Steps to Take After a Personal Injury in Brooklyn, NY
When a person suffers a personal injury, anxiety and panic can occur during the emergency, and the victim might not be sure what to do after. If you are able, there are several steps you can take to ensure you get the medical treatment you need and prepare you for the recovery process ahead. Our lawyers know that a case can turn on just a few key facts and believe the following steps can positively impact your chances of recovering compensation.
Get to Safety
The first thing you should do immediately after suffering a personal injury is to get to safety. The most important thing is to not make your injuries worse or expose yourself to further danger. For instance, you should move over to a sidewalk if you are involved in a car accident in the middle of an intersection. This is, of course, if you are physically able. Sometimes, the safest thing to do is stay where you are until police and emergency medical services arrive.
Call 911 or Seek Medical Care
Once you are safe, you should call 911 and notify them of the accident. You should provide as much information about the accident to the 911 operator as possible, especially any injuries you might have suffered. You should also provide the same information to any police officers that arrive on the scene. Police reports are incredibly important pieces of evidence used in insurance negotiations.
Not all injuries require the involvement of law enforcement. That said, any auto accident that takes place in Brooklyn must be reported to the police
In most cases, emergency medical services will also arrive at the scene of an accident. It can be difficult to determine the extent of your injuries just after an accident, and you should not assume you are injury-free because you might not be in pain. Injured victims often have increased adrenaline from an accident which can mask the pain until much later. Thus, it is important to seek care from the EMTs, who will likely be the first medical professionals to treat you.
It would also be prudent to seek further care at the emergency room or an urgent care center. Again, your injuries could be much more significant than initially believed. You will be able to receive more extensive care at a hospital or urgent care facility, including being examined by a doctor, receiving x-rays, and undergoing any other tests deemed necessary.
Seeking medical treatment immediately after an accident will also be immensely helpful to any future insurance claims or lawsuits. Medical records often make up most evidence in settlement negotiations and litigation. Receiving medical treatment weeks or even days after an accident can call into question the seriousness of the victim’s injuries.
Document the Scene of the Injury
Documenting the scene of an injury is probably one of the most important steps a person can take but often does not. Documenting as much of the scene at the time of the accident can support your version of events in a potential lawsuit. Most people own a smartphone these days and should not hesitate to use theirs following an accident. For instance, pictures of vehicle damage, road debris, skid marks, and multiple angles of where the accident occurred can support your case if the other driver or insurance tries to blame the accident on you. If you were injured in a slip and fall accident, take photos of the obstruction that caused your injury.
It would help if you also took pictures of any injuries you sustained. If your case goes to trial, pictures of your injuries can be more impactful than simply testifying about what the injuries looked and felt like at the time.
Speak with Eyewitnesses
Depending on the type of accident that caused you injury, eyewitnesses might be nearby. If you can, talk with them following the incident. Ask for their names and phone numbers and inform them that our attorneys might contact them within the next few days to get their statements. Statements from eyewitnesses can corroborate your telling of events, increasing your chances of recovery in Brooklyn.
If you cannot speak with eyewitnesses because you are too injured, do not worry. Our lawyers will work hard to track down eyewitnesses following an accident. If the police were called to your accident scene, they will most likely include the names of eyewitnesses in an incident report.
Speak with Our Lawyers
Once you have had the chance to process your traumatic experience, you should reach out to our experienced personal injury lawyers. You will likely have many questions after suffering a personal injury. Most victims are concerned about how much their case is worth and if it will cover their many damages. You might also wonder how long you will have to file a lawsuit if the situation calls for it. Fortunately, we can help answer these questions and many more, putting your mind at ease and clarifying the recovery process.
How Long Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Claim in Brooklyn, NY?
One of the most important things a victim can know is how long they will have to file a personal injury claim after their accident. Every state has a statute of limitations, which is a legal term for the deadline to file a lawsuit. Under I.S.C. Law § 214(5), most personal injury lawsuits in Brooklyn must be filed within three years of the date of the victim’s injuries.
However, that time could be shorter depending on the type of personal injury claim you are making. For example, victims of medical malpractice will have only two years and six months to file a claim for damages. Or, if the claim is for wrongful death, it must be filed within two years of the person’s death.
There are very few exceptions to the statute of limitations. For example, there is tolling for delayed discovery and for minor victims. Delayed discovery refers to cases where victims do not become aware of their injuries for some time after an accident.
In most cases, if your lawsuit is not filed within the specified time limit, the court will dismiss your case, and you will be prevented from using the court to recover compensation. We can review your case’s facts to ensure that the appropriate deadline to file your claim by is identified.
Settling with Insurance After a Personal Injury in Brooklyn, NY
While you should contact your insurance after an accident, there are some crucial considerations you should take into account before accepting a settlement offer. Personal injuries can require expensive treatment, which might pressure a victim to settle their case early. However, determining the long-term value of your injuries can be incredibly challenging without professional help.
If you suffered traumatic injuries, you should not settle before reaching maximum medical improvement (MMI). MMI is a medical term that means your condition cannot be improved with further medical treatment. Essentially, you are as healed as modern medicine can make you. Sometimes, this could mean a patient has fully recovered. In other cases, a victim might be left with permanent disabilities and impairments. Once you have reached MMI, there will be a much clearer picture of the damages you suffered. If it turns out that you require long-term treatment, our lawyers can negotiate on your behalf for a higher settlement amount.
Insurance companies are rarely willing to offer an appropriate settlement to injury victims in Brooklyn. When this happens, proceeding with a lawsuit might be prudent.
Filing a Lawsuit After a Personal Injury in Brooklyn, NY
Filing a lawsuit is typically the best way to maximize the compensation you can receive for your injuries. While most personal injury cases settle before trial, insurance companies can be notoriously difficult to negotiate with.
Insurance companies will often make low settlement offers to save money or might outright deny a victim’s claim. In these situations, filing a lawsuit might potentially be your only option to recover damages. However, there could be limitations on your right to file a lawsuit depending on the way your injury occurred.
One of the most common causes of personal injuries is car accidents. Car accidents are responsible for some of the most devastating injuries a person can suffer, and insurance might not be enough the cover the full extent of the victim’s damages. However, New York’s no-fault laws prevent filing a lawsuit unless the victim can show that they sustained serious injuries in the accident. I.S.C. Law § 5102(d) lists several specific examples of what qualifies as a serious injury, which include death, disfigurement, miscarriage, broken bones, permanent or significant loss of the functionality of a limb, organ, or other bodily systems, and any non-permanent injury that would prevent a victim from performing normal daily tasks for at least 90 out of the first 180 after the accident.
Other types of personal injury cases include certain restrictions on a party’s right to sue, including injuries caused in the workplace and wrongful death cases. We can help you determine if there are any thresholds to overcome in order to file your personal injury lawsuit.
Evidence in Personal Injury Claims in Brooklyn
Evidence in personal injury claims varies, as the circumstances surrounding each victim’s injuries are often unique. That said, there are some often looked to sources of evidence that can be used to prove a defendant’s fault for a victim’s injuries.
When investigating an accident, our lawyers will begin by interviewing eyewitnesses and assessing the accident location. If you were injured in a store or other similar location, there might be surveillance cameras nearby. If the defendant owns surveillance cameras and they are unwilling to hand over footage that pertains to your cause, we can subpoena it to retrieve it.
Our lawyers may also source statements from other witnesses, such as experts. Medical experts can be especially valuable to a case when establishing a victim’s injuries and anticipating the future medical care they will need and the damages they will incur.
Other evidence, such as photographs from the accident scene and a victim’s medical records, will also be important.
Four Elements Necessary to Prove Fault in a Brooklyn Personal Injury Claim
All personal injury claims have the same burden of proof. In short, plaintiffs are tasked with proving that it is more likely than not that a defendant caused their injuries. To meet this burden of proof, you will have to establish four crucial elements: duty of care, breach of duty of care, causation, and damages.
Duty of Care
To begin, you must prove that the negligent party owed you a duty of care. This duty exists within many types of relationships. For example, drivers owe others on the road a duty of care to act in accordance with traffic regulations. Property owners owe those who enter their properties a duty of care to ensure that their properties are relatively safe and free from hazards that might cause injury. Medical professionals owe their patients a duty of care. Once our attorneys establish that this duty of care exists, we can proceed with proving a negligent party’s fault.
The second element that must be established in a personal injury claim is the breach of the defendant’s duty of care. This is the negligent act. A breach of duty of care might look different, depending on the case. Common breaches in various personal injury claims include driving under the influence, speeding, leaving a hazard on one’s property, and distributing a defective product. Through evidence, our lawyers will prove that a breach of the defendant’s duty of care occurred.
The next step is proving causation. Essentially, we must prove that the breach of the defendant’s duty of care is what caused your accident and injuries. Again, this is proven through evidence. It is not enough to prove that a defendant was speeding at the time of your accident. You must prove that the fact that they were speeding is what caused the incident to take place. Eyewitness statements and security camera footage can be invaluable when proving causation in a personal injury lawsuit in Brooklyn.
The final element that must be proven in order for injury victims to recover compensation is that a victim suffered real damages as a result of an accident. You can prove your damages through evidence such as medical records and lost wages. A victim’s damages can continue to add up in the days and weeks following an accident and even during the course of a lawsuit. Continue to provide our lawyers with updated information regarding your various damages so that we can request an accurate amount in compensation during your lawsuit.
What Compensation Can I Receive for a Personal Injury in Brooklyn, NY?
There are a few categories of damages intended to compensate a victim in different ways. The amount your compensation is worth will depend on numerous factors, including the extent of your injuries, financial losses, and the impact of the accident on your life and attitude. The three types of compensation that a person could be awarded are economic, non-economic, and punitive damages.
Economic damages are intended to compensate a person for the financial losses their injuries have caused, including medical costs and lost wages. Damages for medical expenses include hospital visits, physical therapy, and other future medical expenses. Lost wages can include future lost earnings depending on the extent of the injuries. Economic damages are relatively straightforward to calculate since these damages can be proven with medical bills, records showing lost wages, and other invoices. Economic damages are not limited in personal injury claims in Brooklyn.
Non-economic damages are more challenging to prove because they are based on your subjective experience. Non-economic damages refer to the mental, physical, and emotional stress you have suffered because of your injuries. The most common forms of non-economic damage are pain, suffering, and emotional distress. These damages are intended to compensate victims for the psychological impact of their injuries. A person can also be awarded non-economic damages for the loss of enjoyment of life they have experienced following the accident. If you are married, your spouse can recover non-economic damages for their loss of consortium, compensating a spouse for the loss of services their loved one’s injuries have caused.
While many states impose limits on a victim’s recovery of non-economic damages, especially in medical malpractice claims, New York does not. That said, in order to recover compensation for pain and suffering, you will most likely have to file a lawsuit in Brooklyn.
While non-economic damages are recoverable in personal injury lawsuits, they require proof of damages. Because of this, our lawyers might advise you to see a therapist to help you cope with your mental and emotional difficulties following an accident. Keeping a journal to document your progress can also be helpful. Certain expert witnesses may be able to provide statements explaining the pain and suffering victims with similar injuries often experience.
Punitive damages are the last category of compensation but are very different from the previous two. Economic and non-economic damages are compensatory, meaning they are intended to compensate victims for their losses to make them whole or as close to whole as they were before the accident. Punitive damages, on the other hand, are meant to punish a defendant, not compensate a plaintiff. However, punitive damages are available only in those cases where especially appalling conduct caused the accident.
For example, if a driver was operating their vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol, a victim might be able to recover punitive damages. Or, if a product manufacturer knowingly distributed a defective product that injured a victim, punitive damages might be recoverable. lawyers are here to answer any questions regarding the compensation that could be available in your case, including your chances of recovering punitive damages in Brooklyn.
How Can a Brooklyn, NY Personal Injury Lawyer Help?
Our lawyers do several things to fight for the best results for our clients. Recovering compensation for your injuries can be incredibly difficult on your own. Important records and deadlines might go overlooked without the right experience and knowledge. Having an experienced lawyer on your side can make all the difference.
The first thing our lawyers can do for you is provide a thorough evaluation of your case. This can help determine your case’s strengths and weaknesses, what compensation you may be entitled to, and what your legal options are moving forward.
Our lawyers can also investigate your case to obtain important evidence to support your claim. This can include obtaining police reports and medical records, recovering surveillance footage, and consulting with experts.
One of the most important functions of a strong legal team is to shield a client from making any incriminating statements to insurance representatives. We can handle communications and negotiations with insurance companies, so you do not inadvertently harm your chances at recovery.
If settlement negotiations fall through, our lawyers are more than ready to litigate your case. From filing the complaint to closing arguments at trial, our attorneys can manage every aspect of your lawsuit to help obtain to best results possible.
Call Our Brooklyn, NY Personal Injury Lawyers to Discuss Your Case Today
To discuss your case for free with our personal injury lawyers, call The Carrion Law Firm now at (718) 841-0083.