Being injured due to someone else’s negligence can leave you devastated with medical bills, lost income, and long-term pain and suffering. Our experienced personal injury lawyers at LaMarche Safranko Law will guide you through every step of the legal process in determining fault, calculating the economic value of your losses, and making sure you are compensated to the full extent of your harm and damage. If you or a family member has suffered from a vehicle or pedestrian accident, a construction site accident, a slip-and-fall injury, nursing home negligence, or any other wrongful injury or death, we will take your side and fight for you.
Commonly asked personal injury questions and answers
- How long do I have to file a claim?
- How long will my case take?
- What can I do to help my personal injury case?
- What if I was partially at fault?
- Should I accept a settlement offer from the insurance company?
- If I was injured in a slip-and-fall on ice or other hazardous conditions, do I need photo documentation?
- If I’m injured on the job and file for Workers’ Compensation, can I still bring a lawsuit?
- What is a contingency fee agreement?
- Who can I sue if I fall from a roof or other height while on a job site?
How long do I have to file a claim?
For most personal injury claims, the statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit in New York state is three years from the date of injury. For medical malpractice claims, a lawsuit must be commenced within two years and six months from the date of the alleged malpractice, with exceptions for injuries resulting from an ongoing course of treatment, foreign objects left in the patient’s body during surgery, or the failure to diagnose cancer. If the claim is against a municipality or the state of New York, a notice of claim or a notice of intention to file a claim must be filed within 90 days from the date of the incident. Thereafter, if the claim is against a municipality, the action must be filed within 1 year and 90 days, while a claim against the state of New York must be filed within 2 years. Also, a wrongful death claim must be filed within 2 years from the date of the death. There are other statute periods that may be applicable to your claim, so it is important to contact a lawyer who can review your case to determine which statute of limitations period applies.
How long will my case take?
People are often surprised at how long it can take—sometimes years—for a personal injury case to wind its way through the legal system. Delayed medical reactions, the discovery process, depositions, and even stall tactics can make this drag on for months or more. However, at LaMarche Safranko Law, we work to make sure your case moves as quickly through the legal process as possible.
What can I do to help my personal injury case?
Collect all the evidence you can (photos of injuries, eyewitness info, medical and rehab bills, proof of lost wages, etc.) and keep records of your injury-related losses in as much detail as possible. It is very important to make all your medical appointments and follow the advice of your doctor; failure to do so, especially if you resume physical activity without medical clearance, can be used against you if you worsen your medical condition. Stay in regular contact with your lawyer(s), and notify them of any change in your condition, or if you see any new medical providers.
What if I was partially at fault?
Under New York State’s “comparative negligence” rule, a judge or a jury may determine that you shared a percentage of the fault for your injury with the defendant, and will reduce any award by that percentage. The defendant’s insurance company might also raise the issue of comparative negligence in offering a pretrial settlement; an experienced lawyer can help you weigh the likely outcomes of a trial and negotiate a settlement on your behalf.
Should I accept a settlement offer from the insurance company?
You should be wary of early settlement offers from the defendant’s insurance company. For one thing, they may be trying to lure you with quick cash into settling your case for less than it’s worth; also, it can take time to assess the full extent of the injuries you suffered and their cost.
If I was injured in a slip-and-fall on ice or other hazardous conditions, do I need photo documentation?
Always get photo documentation if you can. If you slipped and fell on ice, for example, the evidence can vanish in one sunny afternoon. If you are badly hurt, ask a companion to take pictures, making sure to include enough visual context to prove your location.
If I’m injured on the job and file for Workers’ Compensation, can I still bring a lawsuit?
Yes. If you are injured at the job site, you are entitled to Workers’ Compensation. However, you may also be able to bring a claim against an owner, contractor or subcontractor whose negligence caused or contributed to your injuries.
What is a contingency fee agreement?
In a personal injury case, the client and attorneys sign an agreement that the client will not have to pay any legal fee to the lawyer unless the lawyer obtains a settlement or winning verdict (if the case goes to trial) for the client. New York state limits the contingency fee lawyers can charge to one-third of the total settlement or verdict. For example, if the lawyer negotiates a settlement or obtains a verdict of $100,000.00, the legal fee would be $33,333.33 and the client’s award would be $66,666.67.
Who can I sue if I fall from a roof or other height while on a job site?
New York State Labor Law holds “all contractors and owners and their agents” strictly liable for unsafe working conditions or faulty equipment that leads to a fall from a roof, scaffolding, or other high place while on the job. (There is an exception for owners of one- and two-family homes who contract for but do not direct and control the work.) Section 200 of the New York State Labor Law requires proper protection and safety for persons working on job sites. Section 240 requires owners and contractors to furnish or erect proper scaffolding, hoists, stays, ladders, slings, hangers, blocks, pulleys, braces, irons, ropes, and other devices to provide proper protection to workers. Section 241 requires owners and contractors to construct, shore, equip, and operate worksites to ensure reasonable and adequate protection for the safety of workers.
Experienced personal injury lawyers at LaMarche Safranko Law can offer legal advice on worksite injury claims and advocate for your rights under Sections 200, 240, and 241 of the New York State Labor Law to obtain just compensation for your injuries.