Long Island Personal Injury Lawyer
A severe personal injury can turn your life upside down. This is the unfortunate reality that thousands of people on Long Island have to go through at some point in their life. Facing the aftermath of an accidental injury can be extremely challenging for the victims and their loved ones. The silver lining is that you don’t have to go through this moment on your own.
A personal injury claim may involve any accidents or incidents that caused you harm. Car crashes, work accidents, slip and falls, and more may all be part of a personal injury lawsuit. When you file a personal injury lawsuit, you must calculate your damages – the total value of all your injuries that you want the defendant to pay. Filing your lawsuit with the right court is also crucial to your case.
Our personal injury attorneys at The Carrion Law Firm are dedicated to fighting for personal injury victims on Long Island. We can fight aggressively to hold the liable parties accountable for your injuries. Call (718) 841-0083 today and schedule a free case review.
Common Personal Injury Claims on Long Island
Personal injury is a complicated and extensive civil law area covering different types of negligence and subject matters. Every personal injury case on Long Island is different, and each one has its unique set of circumstances. Our Long Island personal injury lawyers have the experience, knowledge, and skills to work in many different personal injury cases, including the following:
Car accidents are widespread in Long Island and the rest of the State of New York. Every year, thousands of injured victims report crashes, injuries, and property damage. The most critical part of understanding these cases is that car accidents can be avoided most of the time. In many of these cases, severe crashes occur due to negligence from another driver.
Over our years of experience, we have seen numerous cases involving speeding, drunk driving, and distracted driving that end in catastrophic, life-altering injuries. You don’t have to be alone during this challenging time. The car accident lawyers at The Carrion Law Firm can help you fight for the compensation you need after your crash.
Slip and Falls
Slip and fall accidents happen more frequently than you may imagine. These seemingly inoffensive accidents can lead to severe injuries that may take a long time to recover. Most of the time, slip and fall accidents happen while on another person’s property. The property owner or landowner must answer for your losses when this occurs.
Unfortunately, drowning accidents happen more frequently than many people may think. Perhaps the most disturbing fact about these accidents is that children are the most vulnerable. While many associate drowning accidents with swimming pools, these fatal events can happen in many different settings. Drowning accidents can happen in bathtubs, wading pools, ponds, rivers, and streams.
Every manufacturer has a legal and ethical obligation to ensure all of their products are safe to launch onto the market. When customers pick a product from a store shelf, they trust it will provide a solution to a specific need and not put their safety at risk. Unfortunately, many unsuspecting customers face life-altering injuries or lose their lives in accidents related to defective products. Under these circumstances, you may be able to file a personal injury claim against those who caused you – or your loved one – any harm.
Construction Site Accidents
Many workers suffer injuries because of accidents that occur on construction sites. After such accidents, some workers will have to pursue benefits through Workers’ Compensation. However, under certain conditions, victims of construction accidents can file lawsuits against at-fault parties. Plaintiffs in construction accident lawsuits may seek multiple categories of damages that are unavailable through Workers’ Compensation claims.
Your ability to file a construction accident case will depend on the source of your injury. For example, if you were injured because of a fall from a scaffold or ladder on a construction site, then you may have grounds for a valid lawsuit. Further, if you were hurt because you were struck by a falling item, you may be able to file a case. After suffering a construction site accident, you should reach out to our attorneys as soon as possible.
Nursing Home Abuse
A significant number of personal injury claims stem from nursing home abuse. Nursing home abuse can take several forms and is not always obvious. For instance, residents at nursing homes may suffer various forms of physical, emotional, and financial abuse. The injuries associated with these abuses are often very serious. Fortunately, victims of nursing home abuse may recover compensation through personal injury lawsuits.
There are multiple potential signs of nursing home abuse. You should always be on the lookout for physical marks, wounds, or injuries. If you or your loved one suffered nursing home abuse, then you may contact our attorneys for help evaluating the strength of your potential case.
Lastly, dog bites are another common type of personal injury claim filed in Long Island. Owners can be held responsible for harmful attacks committed by their dogs. If you were bitten, you should attempt to record the pet owner’s contact information, the breed of their dog, and the age of their dog.
Elements of Negligence for a Personal Injury Claim on Long Island
The most common theory used in personal injury lawsuits is negligence. If another party was negligent in causing your personal injury, this provides the grounds for legal action. To prove negligence in a Long Island personal injury lawsuit, plaintiffs must establish the four key elements of negligence: duty of care, breach of duty, causation, and damages.
Duty of Care
The first step in making a successful negligence claim is establishing the duty of care that the defendant owed the plaintiff. A duty of care is a legal obligation that is created and defined by the relationship between the two parties. For instance, a doctor owes a duty of care to their patient, and a bus driver owes a duty of care to their passengers, but these duties involve different standards. Long Island personal injury lawyers often introduce expert testimony to help demonstrate the standards in a particular case.
Breach of Duty
Once you have established the existence and standard of the duty of care in your case, you must then show how the defendant fell short of meeting it. Breach of duty can occur through both action and failure to act. Typically, violations of various laws or regulations will be enough to show a breach of duty, but a defendant’s behavior does not have to be illegal in order to be valid for the purposes of a personal injury lawsuit.
It is not enough to prove that the defendant violated a duty that they owed. This violation must have been the cause of the injury. You must prove that the breach of care was a direct and proximate cause of your injury. In other words, you must show you would not have been injured had it not been for the defendant’s conduct. Superseding causes or the plaintiff’s own comparative negligence may play a role in this element. With complex issues like these, it is always best to have the help of an experienced Long Island personal injury attorney.
You must have sustained damages to recover money for a personal injury claim. Damages may include economic damages, such as lost wages, personal care costs, medical bills, and travel expenses. They may also include non-economic damages, or pain and suffering. To help establish the direct connection between the incident and your injuries, it is important that you visit your nearest emergency room as soon as possible. Keeping detailed records of financial losses and expenses paid through the course of your recovery can help document damages for your injury claim.
Identifying Who is Liable for a Personal Injury on Long Island
If you suffered a personal injury through no fault of your own, you may already suspect that you have legal options to seek monetary recovery from those responsible. What you might not know is who that responsible party is.
Some personal injury situations may point blame fairly clearly. For instance, if you were injured in a violent assault, the aggressor would be the liable party. However, there are a number of circumstances where liability might not be clear.
One common example where liability may be complicated is in the area of premises liability. Property owners owe a duty of care to their guests, which is a critical element of any personal injury claim. However, property owners may offload this responsibility to other entities through contractual agreement.
For instance, if the property owner leases the property to a tenant (say, for instance, a retail store), the lease agreement may contain terms that dictate who is responsible for what. In these cases, if poor maintenance of the space causes a slip and fall, the tenant may be the party liable for the harms. These situations may also arise if a property owner were to contract with third parties to provide services, such as maintenance companies or snow removal services.
Other situations that may involve issues with identifying liability include multi-vehicle collisions, product defects, and construction accidents. If you are not sure who to sue for your damages, speak to a Long Island personal injury attorney first about your options.
How to File a Personal Injury Claim on Long Island
Filing a personal injury claim may seem like a daunting task, especially if you have never been through this type of process before. Personal injury law can be confusing and challenging to understand on your own. That is why it is always in your best interests to hire an experienced Long Island personal injury attorney.
To begin, you must draft a complaint. The complaint is a formal legal document that explains who you are, who the defendant is, how you were injured, and the damages you want to be covered. The complaint must follow specific formatting rules and contain specific information about your case. If the rules are not followed, or certain information is missing, the complaint might be rejected, and we will have to start all over.
The complaint must be filed with the correct court. Not all courts are the same, and only specific courts may hear your case. Finding the right court requires us to figure out which court has jurisdiction. Jurisdiction may be determined by the type of case you are filing, where the personal injury occurred, where you live, and where the defendant lives. Jurisdictional issues can be tricky to sort out, and our Long Island personal injury attorneys can help you.
Once your complaint is filed with the proper court, we must notify the defendant and any other parties involved in the lawsuit. They must be given a chance to review the complaint and respond. If they respond by denying your claims, we move another step closer to a trial. If they do not respond, we can ask the court to issue a default judgment in your favor.
Time Limits on Filing a Long Island Personal Injury Claim
One of the critical aspects of filing your personal injury claim is the statute of limitations. This law was created to promote timely filing. The most impactful aspect of the statute of limitations is that you cannot ask the court to see your case once the filing time expires. All the filing preparation and submission must be completed within the time provided by the statute.
Generally, under New York law, you must submit your personal injury lawsuit within three years of your injury. Once you meet this requirement, you may go through your claim process in court. Unfortunately, not all plaintiffs are able to file their cases on time. Various hurdles and roadblocks might prevent someone from filing their case within the statute of limitations. Still, our Long Island personal injury attorneys might be able to buy you more time.
The statute of limitations can be tolled if specific conditions are met. Tolling the statute is like hitting the pause button on the clock counting down to the deadline. How much extra time you can get depends on why you need to toll the statute. For example, minors who experience personal injuries can toll the statute of limitations until they turn 18 because they might be unable to file a lawsuit on their own until then.
Alternatively, if a disability prevents you from filing a lawsuit, you can toll the statute until the disability resolves. In this context, a disability does not necessarily refer to a physical or medical disability but may instead refer to any condition that prevents you from filing.
Compensation in a Personal Injury Claim on Long Island
As an injured victim, you can recover compensation to cover your losses. The court can grant compensation for your economic losses in a personal injury claim, including your medical bills, lost wages, and property damage.
Additionally, you can obtain compensation for non-economic losses. The best examples of these damages are your pain, suffering, and mental anguish. Due to the unique circumstances in every personal injury case, it is almost impossible to determine precisely how much your case may be worth. Our Long Island personal injury lawyers can help you understand what you may recover in your lawsuit.
Compensation is based on your calculation of damages. You can calculate your damages by keeping thorough records of all your expenses stemming from your personal injury. Non-economic damages may be added in also, but they must be assessed differently. Non-economic damages are more subjective and are usually based on how they impact your daily life.
Accurate damages calculation is crucial. If you lose track of certain expenses and forget to add them to your damages, they might not be able to be claimed later. You should speak to an attorney about your damages so you can comb through all your expenses since the accident and maximize your compensation.
Settlement Agreements in Long Island Personal Injury Claims
Many personal injury claims are resolved early through settlement agreements. A settlement agreement is a bargain struck between plaintiffs and defendants. The defendant agrees to pay a certain sum of money to cover the plaintiff’s damages, and the plaintiff agrees to drop the personal injury lawsuit.
How much money the defendant pays is one of the biggest issues of a settlement negotiation. Ideally, a defendant will pay close to all the damages initially claimed by the plaintiff. However, the defendant might agree to only pay a portion of these damages, depending on how strong your case is. If you have a strong case with a lot of supporting evidence, the defendant may be more willing to pay more to make the case go away.
How much a settlement is worth depends on the extent of your damages. A personal injury case with severe injuries and high medical bills may be worth a large sum of money. Our Long Island personal injury lawyers can help you figure out this number in negotiations.
Settlement negotiations may take a long time or be completed rather quickly. It all depends on the strength of your case and the willingness of the parties to compromise. A good settlement agreement should cover most, if not all, of your damages. Even if you cannot get all your damages covered, the settlement should still significantly reduce your financial burden.
Where Do I File a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Suffolk and Nassau Counties?
Filing a personal injury lawsuit is not a simple task. Lawsuits can be filed at the courthouse where the case will be heard, but you cannot simply walk into any courthouse and file a lawsuit. Where you file your case depends on the jurisdiction your case falls under.
A number of factors about your case can help you determine what court has jurisdiction over your lawsuit. A personal injury lawsuit is a civil matter, so a civil court will hear your case. There are multiple civil courts in New York with multiple locations across Long Island and Nassau and Suffolk counties. Our Long Island personal injury lawyers can help you determine which court should hear your case.
A personal injury case will likely be filed in either a County Court or the Supreme Court. County Courts are unique to the county in which they sit. This means that if your personal injury case arose in Nassau County, you would file your case in Nassau County Court. Similarly, a Suffolk County case would be filed in Suffolk County Court. These courts typically hear cases that are valued at less than $25,000.
If your case is valued at more than $25,000, it may need to be filed in the Supreme Court. This court has locations throughout New York, and our Long Island personal injury attorneys can help you figure out which location should hear your case.
What Evidence Do I Need for a Long Island Personal Injury Lawsuit?
The evidence needed for a personal injury lawsuit depends on the kind of injuries involved in the case. Anything that helps you prove that the defendant is liable for your injuries may be introduced as evidence as long as it meets legal evidentiary standards. Our Long Island personal injury attorneys can help you collect evidence and use it to your advantage.
Photos and videos are common forms of evidence, especially since almost everyone has a phone with a camera nowadays. Photo and videos can be used to show a court what the accident looked like shortly after the accident occurred. In cases where the accident scene has been cleared away, this may be crucial.
Witness testimony is also important to consider. If other people saw your accident happen, they can tell the court what they saw. Even if they did not witness the accident, they might still be able to discuss issues surrounding the case that are within their knowledge.
If your accident left behind any traces of physical evidence, these pieces must be collected and examined. For example, photographs of the damage to a car after a crash can be used to demonstrate the extent of your damages. If your case involves a faulty product, the faulty product itself can be sued as physical evidence.
There could be a wide variety of evidence in your case. You should consult with our legal team about what kind of evidence you need as soon as possible.
Recoverable Damages After a Long Island Personal Injury
There are various damages a plaintiff can claim in a personal injury lawsuit. Generally, there are a few specific categories of damages that you should review with our Long Island personal injury attorneys. Your specific damages will depend on the nature of your injuries.
Compensatory damages are designed to make the plaintiff “whole” again. Obviously, a court of law cannot undo the injuries a plaintiff has suffered. The only way a court can make up for a plaintiff’s damages and losses is to compensate them financially.
Economic damages are a form of compensatory damages that are connected to real costs and monetary values related to your injuries. Medical bills are some of the most significant sources of economic damages. Surgery, doctor visits, medications, physical therapy, and other treatments all cost money. These damages should be covered by the defendant who caused your injuries in the first place.
Non-economic damages are a bit tougher to assess because they do not come with a price tag. They are not connected to a certain sum of money and do not actually cost the plaintiff any money. Since money is usually the only way a court can compensate plaintiffs, we must determine the value of these damages.
Common non-economic damages include emotional and physical pain and suffering. Even though these experiences do not come at a monetary cost, they deserve compensation. We can deduce their value by evaluating how they affect your daily life. Physical pain, loss of enjoyment of life, depression, anxiety, stress, and other psychological trauma should all be considered.
Punitive damages are not meant to make a plaintiff whole again, although the plaintiff is ultimately the recipient of these damages. Instead, punitive damages are meant to punish defendants for their abhorrent behavior. In New York, there is no cap on punitive damages, and they may be very high in particularly outrageous cases.
Punitive damages are only available in certain kinds of cases. You can claim punitive damages if the defendant acted with gross negligence in your case. Gross negligence is far above and beyond the ordinary definitions of negligence and includes behavior that demonstrates maliciousness or a wanton or reckless disregard for human life and safety.
Our Long Island personal injury attorneys can assess your case and determine if punitive damages may be possible. If they are, we can help you argue that the defendant acted with gross negligence.
Comparative Negligence Rules for Personal Injury Lawsuits in Long Island
Even if you are somewhat at fault for the incident that caused your injuries, you are not necessarily blocked from filing a personal injury claim in a personal injury case in Long Island. However, the amount you recover will be lowered in proportion to the amount you were at fault for the accident.
Under New York’s comparative negligence system, plaintiffs can still bring their case even if they also shared some blame in causing the accident that injured them or the injuries themselves. A common example where this might come into play might be where a negligent driver crashed into another vehicle, but the victim in the impacted vehicle was not wearing their seat belt at the time of the collision.
If the court determines that the plaintiff was partially at fault, the amount of damages that they could recover will be reduced proportionally to their level of blame. For instance, if a court found that your negligence accounted for 25% of the accident, and you claimed a total of $40,000 in damage, the court might award you $30,000 in damage, representing the remaining 75% of the blame left to the defendant. To learn how much you could still recover in your suit involving comparative negligence, discuss your case with a dedicated Long Island personal injury attorney.
How an Attorney Can Help Your Long Island Personal Injury Claim
Personal injury claims often take a long time to resolve and are rife with legal and procedural complexities. A skilled lawyer can help you begin your lawsuit, overcome any legal hurdles you might encounter, and get you the compensation you need to cover your damages.
Our Long Island personal injury lawyers can help you begin your case by filing with the right court. There are multiple civil courts across Long Island in both Nassau and Suffolk Counties. Filing with the right court is crucial to your case. Filing with the wrong court may cost you precious time.
A lawyer can also help you with evidence gathering. Evidence comes in many forms, and plaintiffs might not know what kind of evidence they should be looking for in their cases. An attorney can help you find the right evidence to support your claims and use it in the most advantageous way possible.
Preparing for trial is a long and grueling endeavor, and a lawyer can help make the process easier. There are numerous pre-trial hearings to get through and rules that must be followed. A lawyer can help you navigate the process. If a trial is not the best option for your case, an attorney can instead assist you in settlement negotiations.
Our Long Island Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help
Our attorneys are fully dedicated to fighting on your behalf with the utmost care and commitment. We have successfully represented many clients in Long Island. To schedule your free, confidential consultation, call our Long Island personal injury attorneys today at (718) 841-0083.