Staten Island Personal Injury Lawyers
Sustaining a personal injury is often one of the most traumatic experiences in a person’s life. Many people do not know how to recover damages after being injured.
Fortunately, recovery is possible. Personal injury claims can come in numerous forms, such as car accidents, drowning incidents, slip and fall accidents, and many more. Each case presents its own challenges and requires different pieces of evidence to prove each elements of a personal injury lawsuit. While personal injury cases can be complex, there are many steps you can take that can significantly increase your chances of recovering compensation later. Recovery in a lawsuit requires evidence, the specifics of which will depend on your case.
Contact The Carrion Law Firm today at (718) 841-0083 to have our Staten Island personal injury lawyers review your case for free.
Types of Personal Injury Cases Our Staten Island, NY Lawyers Handle
While car crashes, slip and falls, and premises liability incidents make up much of the personal injury cases in Staten Island, there are several other types of cases that our lawyers are equipped to handle. Whether your injuries were caused by negligence or you were intentionally harmed, we can craft the right legal strategies suited to your case’s needs.
Car accidents are some of the top causes of personal injury in Staten Island. Common auto accident injuries include broken bones, concussions, and spinal cord injuries, among others. These types of accidents often require assistance from our personal injury lawyers, as victims are only able to sue for recovery in Staten Island if their injuries meet the state’s serious injury threshold. According to I.S.C. Law § 5102(d), injuries that meet the serious injury threshold include miscarriage, death, dismemberment, and disfigurement, among others. If your injuries greatly impact your quality of life for at least 90 of the first 180 days following an auto accident, that will allow you to meet the serious injury threshold.
This threshold is in place because New York is a no-fault state for motor vehicle accidents. If your injuries are minor, you can file a claim with your personal injury protection (PIP) insurance to recover compensation for medical expenses. PIP insurance typically applies to all covered persons injured in auto accidents, including drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and bicyclists.
Construction Site Accidents
Construction site accidents can affect construction workers and passersby. Top causes of construction site accidents include negligence and defective machinery. Pedestrians might be struck by a falling object when passing a construction site. Workers might be injured because of poorly maintained equipment or negligently produced machines. Construction accidents might also be caused by negligent drivers who drive into work zones.
If you were hurt as a construction worker, you might have to file a claim with your employer’s workplace liability insurance. However, if your employer does not have the proper insurance, you can likely sue them for compensation. Furthermore, if someone other than your employer is liable for your injuries, you can file a third-party lawsuit. Third-party lawsuits often involve negligent manufacturers.
If you were hurt as a passerby in a construction site lawsuit, you can sue the construction company responsible.
Pedestrian accidents refer to any incident involving pedestrians, typically related to auto accidents. When pedestrians are struck by cars in Staten Island, they are more likely to sustain life-altering injuries that require compensation. New York’s no-fault insurance laws also impact pedestrians who are hit by cars, meaning the severity of a victim’s injuries will impact their ability to sue. Because of this, our attorneys will carefully review your medical records to confirm whether or not you meet the serious injury threshold. Because pedestrian accidents are often so severe, victims can often file lawsuits against negligent drivers.
Slip and Falls
Slip and fall accidents typically occur when a property owner fails to maintain their property. If you are unsure whether or not your recent accident qualifies you to sue in Staten Island, contact our attorneys for clarification. Common causes of slip and fall accidents include store staff failing to set out the necessary signage indicating a wet floor, landlords failing to salt icy steps in the winter, and homeowners failing to address possible hazards on their properties.
Uber and Lyft Accidents
Because Uber and Lyft hire their drivers as independent contractors, victims are typically unable to sue these companies directly for injuries sustained in a collision. Uber and Lyft do provide liability insurance to their drivers, which could help to cover the cost of your injuries following an accident in Staten Island. Compensation for victims differ, depending on whether or not the Uber or Lyft driver was in the process of picking up or dropping off a passenger at the time of the incident. Whether or not you were an Uber or Lyft passenger when you were injured might also impact your compensation. Victims can also sue Uber or Lyft drivers directly for an accident.
Bicycling is a popular mode of transportation. Unfortunately, bikers might be injured in accidents when negligent drivers are involved. Opening car doors into bicyclists, drifting into bike lanes and hitting bicyclists, or drunk driving and striking bikers are all ways bicyclists might be injured in accidents in Staten Island. Like pedestrians hurt by cars, bicyclists injured in car accidents will be able to sue based on the status of their personal injury protection insurance coverage and the severity of their injuries.
Victims in Staten Island can file a personal injury claim against a product manufacturer for producing and distributing a defective or dangerous product. Product liability claims typically arise from injuries due to products that are poorly made or do not have the necessary safety precautions. For example, suppose you were using a product and if malfunctioned, causing you injury. Because of that, you may sue the product manufacturer for negligence. When filing these types of personal injury claims, victims have a greater chance of recovering punitive damages. That said, evidence in these claims can be sparse and might require statements from experts, which is why acting quickly and filing a product liability claim as soon as possible is important.
Suppose you are hurt on another person’s property, whatever the circumstances, and their negligence or failure to maintain the property caused your injuries. In that instance, you can likely file a premises liability claim in Staten Island. Depending on the defendant and the circumstances of the case, victims may be able to claim punitive damages in this kind of personal injury lawsuit as well. Slip and fall accident cases typically fall under the umbrella of premises liability. However, premises liability can include various other types of cases, including negligent security cases.
Motorcycle accidents can be particularly debilitating to victims as these types of vehicles offer very little protection to riders. Personal injury protection insurance does not extend to motorcycle accidents meaning you do not have to meet the serious injury threshold to sue for personal injury in Staten Island.
Accidents involving large trucks are more common on highways, such as the Staten Island Expressway. Generally speaking, victims of truck accidents can sue the truck driver that caused their injuries and the trucking company that employs the driver, provided their injuries qualify them to file an injury claim. If the trucking company employs the driver as an independent contractor, you will only be able to sue the truck driver for compensation.
If you were involved in a bus accident, your timeline for suing will depend on whether the party that owns the bus is a private company or a government agency. If it is a government agency, you will have 90 days to file your notice of a claim in Staten Island. If it is a private company, you will have to abide by the standard three-year filing deadline for personal injury lawsuits in New York. Victims might be hurt in bus accidents as bus passengers, car drivers, or pedestrians. Such incidents can result in very severe injuries for victims, entitling them to compensation.
Drunk Driving Accidents
Being hurt in a drunk driving accident can be especially traumatic to victims. Because injuries in these accidents are often serious, victims are more likely to be able to sue for personal injury in Staten Island. And, because driving under the influence can constitute gross negligence, victims might also be able to recover punitive damages. Proving that another driver was drunk at the time of the accident, and that their intoxication caused your injuries, will be challenging. Because of this, it is important to call the police immediately after a drunk driving accident in Staten Island.
Drowning accidents might happen at private pools, recreational pools, or when boating near Staten Island. Proving negligence in drowning accidents can be challenging, which is why our personal injury lawyers will begin investigating your claim immediately.
In New York, eligible plaintiffs have just two years to sue for wrongful death. Bringing a claim for wrongful death is only possible if a decedent would have had reason to bring a personal injury lawsuit had they lived in Staten Island. Not all those close to a victim can sue for wrongful death. Our lawyers will review your case to determine who among your loved ones is able to bring a claim and help them do so within the statute of limitations.
There are many other types of accidents that fall under the umbrella of personal injury and enable a victim to sue for compensatory damages in Staten Island. These include injuries caused by intentional harm. If you are unsure whether or not you can file a lawsuit against another party based on your cause of injury, ask our lawyers to review your case.
Proving Fault in a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Staten Island, NY
Personal injury law is separated into a few different categories based on the type of harm a victim suffered. Some personal injury cases result from careless accidents, while others are filed because the injuries were caused on purpose.
Personal injury cases caused by the carelessness or recklessness of another person are considered negligence lawsuits. If the negligent party owed you a duty of care and breached that duty, injuring you, they can potentially be held liable for their negligence. For example, car drivers must care for themselves and others using the road. If they negligently cause a car accident, they should be held accountable for the damages a victim incurs. Slip and fall accidents and product liability cases are other common examples of personal injury cases based on negligence. In these cases, you must prove that the other party owed you a duty of care, breached that duty of care, the accident occurred because of the breach, and you incurred damages. This will require proof of negligence, which can be accomplished with evidence like witness statements.
The other most common type of personal injury claim is for damages caused by intentional harm, known in the law as intentional torts. Unlike negligence, which is essentially a careless accident, the injuries caused in an intentional harm case were done on purpose. Intentional harm includes acts like assault and battery. Because of this, sometimes a civil case will be accompanied by criminal charges. If the act and injuries are egregious enough, you can be awarded additional punitive damages intended to punish the defendant in a lawsuit.
Rarer types of personal injury cases are based on what is known as strict liability. In typical strict liability cases, a business or property owner is held responsible for injuries, regardless of whether they were negligent in causing a victim’s injuries. Essentially, the plaintiff in a strict liability lawsuit is not required to prove negligence on the part of a defendant but must show that they did not assume the danger. Our lawyers are ready to help you with your personal injury case, no matter how your injuries came about.
Evidence Used to Prove Fault in a Staten Island, NY Personal Injury Lawsuit
Proving fault in a personal injury case requires evidence. Otherwise, victims will be unable to meet the burden of proof and recover the compensatory damages they need in Staten Island.
Some personal injury cases can be fairly straightforward, taking little time to resolve in a victim’s favor. For instance, a small fender bender that causes minor injuries might only require a select few pieces of evidence for our attorneys to successfully negotiate an insurance settlement on your behalf.
Other personal injury cases are incredibly complex, requiring a great deal of evidence gathering, investigation, and expert testimony. There may be many different sources from which evidence will need to be collected depending on the type of personal injury case. Some common pieces of evidence used to prove fault in a personal injury lawsuit in Staten Island include police accident reports, other accident reports, physical evidence from the scene, photographic evidence of the scene, photographic evidence of a victim’s injuries, surveillance camera footage, medical records, business and employment records, property records, witness testimony, and expert testimony.
This list is by no means exhaustive. Many other sources might harbor important evidence that our we can help you obtain.
With all evidence, fast collection is of the utmost importance. When investigations are delayed, things like surveillance footage and eyewitness statements might become increasingly difficult to obtain. Some evidence might get lost or destroyed if not collected immediately after an accident in Staten Island.
What to Do After Suffering a Personal Injury in Staten Island, NY
An incident that causes a personal injury can often be chaotic, and a victim might not know what to do at that moment. While that is understandable there are certain steps that, if taken, can significantly improve your chances of recovering compensation later. These include getting medical care, reporting your injuries, taking photos, and reviewing your legal options.
Get Medical Care
Of course, the first thing you should be sure to do after sustaining a personal injury is to receive medical attention. Even if you do not believe your immediate injuries are severe, you should still seek medical care. Going to the hospital could uncover underlying injuries that you did not notice. This starts the important process of documenting your injuries and the accident.
In the days, weeks, and months following your accident, continue attending visits with doctors and medical specialists. Carefully follow all guidelines of your treatment plan, including surgeries, physical therapy, prescription medication, and any other treatments necessary to help you heal from your injuries. If you do not appear committed to your physical recovery, your case might be hindered. Furthermore, having gaps in your medical treatment or medical records might make it more challenging to draw the connection between your injuries and the negligence of another party.
Report Your Injuries
Victims should also take the time to report their injuries to the necessary parties. Depending on the case, you might have to call the police. Alerting law enforcement is often necessary when auto accidents occur in Staten Island. If you were hurt at work or on another person’s property, inform the necessary people of your injuries. You can do this in writing so that there is evidence of your correspondence.
Calling the police can result in an official incident report, parts of which can be used as evidence in your case. Failing to report your injuries at all, whether to the police or directly to the negligent party, might result in insufficient documentation that an accident ever took place.
If you can, take photos of your injuries and the accident location. For example, suppose you were hurt in the stairwell of your apartment building because of a leak that caused you to slip. In this type of situation, taking pictures of the area can allow you to gather evidence of a landlord’s negligence. If you were harmed in an auto accident, photograph debris and property damage to your vehicle. Take pictures of your injuries too.
Review Your Legal Options
Once you have received medical treatment, you should reach out to our attorneys to determine your legal options. Our personal injury lawyers will start gathering evidence for your case immediately so that there are no unnecessary delays in recovering compensation. If you were hurt because of another person’s negligence, you can likely sue for injury in Staten Island.
Recoverable Damages in Personal Injury Claims in Staten Island
Various damages are recoverable, regardless of the type of personal injury claim you file in Staten Island. These include damages for economic losses and non-economic losses.
The first set of damages victims are entitled to receive is for economic damages. These are all of the financial losses you have sustained because of an accident. When you provide proof of your financial damages in the form of medical bills, past paystubs, employment records, and evidence of other out-of-pocket expenses, you can more easily recover compensation for these losses. All costs related to an injury should be reported to our lawyers. If there is no proof that certain damages have been incurred, victims cannot recover compensation for them.
Then, there is possible compensation for non-economic losses. These losses include emotional and mental challenges victims might experience in the aftermath of an accident that causes them injury. In Staten Island, victims are typically not limited regarding recovery of non-economic damages. That said, in certain cases, like wrongful death claims, compensation for pain and suffering is not available. However, victims’ families can recover non-economic damages by filing a concurrent survival action.
Finally, there are punitive damages. Punitive damages are not compensatory damages and are used to punish or make an example out of defendants. Punitive damages are only recoverable if a defendant exhibited gross negligence when causing an injury. Because of this, not all injury victims are able to recover punitive damages in Staten Island. We can review the circumstances of your case to determine whether or not punitive damages are a possibility for you.
Call Our Staten Island, NY Personal Injury Lawyers for Help
For a free case assessment from our personal injury lawyers, call The Carrion Law Firm at (718) 841-0083.