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With extensive knowledge and experience, the Bronx and New York City Personal Injury Lawyers at Stephen Bilkis & Associates and its Of Counsel Accident Attorneys provide legal representation to individuals and their families who have suffered an injury due to the negligence of another.
New York Personal Injury
If you are injured in an accident due to the negligence of another person, under New York Personal Injury law you may be able to recover compensation from the person responsible for the accident. While car accidents are one of the most common types of accidents in New York, there are many types of accidents that can result in serious injuries. Such accidents that can lead to serious injuries include slip and fall accidents, workplace accidents, construction site accidents, airplane crashes, truck accidents and bicycle accidents. Even dog bites can lead to legal liability to the owner of the dog. In order to hold another person liable for the accident that caused your injury, that person must have been negligent. Negligence exists if the person whose actions caused the accident owed you a legal duty, the person breached that legal duty by acting or failing to act in a certain way and you were harmed as a result of that person's actions. The amount of compensation to which you may be entitled is based on a number of factors including the extent of your injury and whether or not you contributed to the accident.New York Personal Injury or Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Through a personal injury lawsuit there are a variety of types of damages that may be available to you based on the losses you suffered due to another person's negligence. If a family member died due to someone's negligent actions, you may be able to pursue damages through a wrongful death lawsuit.
Medical expenses. Victims who suffer serious injuries in any type of serious accident in New York will undoubtedly face substantial medical expenses. These expenses includes the fees your doctors charge, ambulance fees, emergency room fees, hospital fees, surgical fees, costs of prescriptions, costs of medical equipment, and fees associated with rehabilitation.
Lost wages. Whether you miss a few weeks or a few months of work, the negligent party is responsible for paying you the wages and other compensation that you lost. Wages include the money that you would have received in your paycheck. Other compensation includes the value of benefits that you lost due to your absence. In New York, for example, if you had accrued 12 sick days and 21 vacation days, but you had to use all of them while recovering from your injuries, then you are entitled to be compensated for the value of those sick and vacation days.
Pain and suffering. Pain and suffering is a legal term that encompasses not just physical pain, but also emotional and mental suffering such as fear, grief, worry, inconvenience and the loss of the enjoyment of life. Physical pain undoubtedly accompanies most serious injuries. For example, a severe blow to the head or a broken bone would cause substantial pain. Your medical records would document your pain with details of pain medication prescribed as well as observations from medical professionals. Emotional suffering can also be shown by medical records that detail treatment from mental health professionals. In addition, observations from family and friends related to changes in your attitude, demeanor and outlook would provide evidence of your mental and emotional suffering. If your injury left you permanently disfigured with a scar, amputation or a limp, for example, that would be strong evidence of pain and suffering.
Hermenegildo Reyes was struck by a truck owned and operated by Marketing Werks, Inc. As a result of the accident, Reyes suffered a traumatic brain injury. Reyes sued Marketing Werks. At the trial evidence was presented showing the type of injury suffered by Reyes, that Reyes was no longer able to perform his job duties, and that he suffered depression after the accident. The jury awarded Reyes over $6 million, including compensation for past and future pain and suffering, and compensation for future medical expenses. Reyes v. Mktg. Werks, Inc., 2013 NY Slip Op 30336 (N.Y. Sup. Ct., 2013)
In a slip and fall case, Alice Delacruz, who was a flight attendant, filed a personal injury case against the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Delacruz was walking in a parking lot when she slipped and fell as a result of an uneven area of the pavement in the parking garage. Delacruz suffered a knee injury and two herniated disks. She required surgery for her injuries. The injuries limited Delacruz's ability to perform daily activities. The defendant argued that Delacruz's injuries were due to other factors such as her obesity and the performance of her daily work activities that required her to regularly lift heavy baggage. The jury found in favor of Delacruz awarding her over $500,000 in damages, including amounts for both pain and suffering and lost wages. Delacruz v. Port Auth. of N.Y. & N.J., 2008 NY Slip Op 33664 (N.Y. Sup. Ct., 2008)
In a subway accident, Norma Wharton was injured when her leg was caught between a subway car and a subway platform when the subway car door closed on her. Wharton suffered severe injuries including a fracture. As a result Wharton required surgery, had permanent hardware installed in her leg, and has an 8" scar. She also had to undergo extensive rehabilitation. Wharton was unable to return to work. In her lawsuit against the New York Transit Authority a jury found that the Transit Authority was partially at fault and awarded Wharton over $200,000 in damages. Wharton v. N.Y.C. Transit Auth., 2013 NY Slip Op 31125 (N.Y. Sup. Ct., 2013)Additional Considerations
Personal injury cases can be quite complicated. Additional factors to consider when contemplating filing a personal injury lawsuit that may affect the outcome of your case include whether or not the negligent party was a government entity such as the New York City Transit Authority, whether or not your injury occurred in the workplace, and the statute of limitations.
Workers' Compensation. Under New York Workers Compensation Law virtually all New York employers must carry workers' compensation insurance. This means that when a worker is injured while at work that worker is entitled to workers' compensation benefits. If the worker dies as a result of the accident, then his or her family is entitled to death benefits.
Under the exclusivity provisions of New York Workers Compensation Law section 29, in general injured workers are entitled to workers' compensation benefits and are not entitled to sue their employers for damages in a personal injury lawsuit. However, there are circumstances were a person who is injured in the workplace may indeed be permitted to pursue damages in court. For example, if the accident was not caused by the negligence of the employer, but by the negligence of someone else such as an equipment manufacturer or some other third party, then the injured worker may be able to receive damages beyond a workers' compensation award.
Statute of Limitations. If you are injured in an accident the law limits the time you have to file a lawsuit against the person whose actions caused your injuries. If you fail to timely file your lawsuit you may be forever barred from recovering damages. For a personal injury action, under New York Civil Procedure Law and Rules section 214, you must file your lawsuit within 3 years of the accident. If the claim is for medical malpractice, you must file your lawsuit within 2 years and six months of when the injury occurred.
Government Defendant. If your claim is against a government entity such as the City of New York, State of New York, or New York City Transit Authority, there are special rules that you must follow. Before filing a lawsuit you must first file a claim with that entity. The timeframe for filing a claim is much shorter than the general statute of limitations for filing personal injury claims in court. When suing some government entities you must file a Notice of Claim within 1 year and 90 days after the incident.New York City Personal Injury Lawyer
If you or a loved one was injured in an accident that left you with a serious injury, you should contact an experienced New York City personal injury attorney who understands both the legal issues associated with personal injury and wrongful death cases as well as the medical issues related to back injuries, spinal cord injuries, bone fractures, traumatic brain injuries as well as other injuries commonly suffered in accidents. Stephen Bilkis and Associates is experienced in handling personal injury cases stemming from auto, truck, motorcycle, boat, workplace, slip and fall, and construction accidents. Contact us at 1-800-NY-NY-LAW (1-800-696-9529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case.