If you suffered an injury or property damage following an accident that was someone else’s fault, an accident attorney could help you understand the value of your claim and the evidence needed to support it. The right attorney has experience and proven success in helping clients in similar situations. You do not need to face the legal challenges ahead without help. You can schedule a free consultation with an accident attorney today and learn more about what they do and how they can help.
What Type of Law Does an Accident Attorney Practice?
Accident attorneys practice personal injury law, also known as tort law. Personal injury law allows victims of bodily or psychological harm an avenue to recover financial compensation for their losses and hold the party responsible for their accident accountable in civil court. The foundation of most tort cases is negligence, but you can also sue someone who intentionally caused you physical or psychological harm.
Common Types of Personal Injury Cases
Personal injury attorneys handle many cases, but most involve auto accidents. For example, suppose you suffered injuries in a crash caused by a negligent driver. In that case, the circumstances could vary significantly, but an accident attorney understands the state-mandated laws that apply to these cases. The types of auto accidents can include truck, motorcycle, multiple or single vehicle, pedestrian, bicycle, rideshare vehicle, or bus collisions. Other common forms of personal injury claims include:
- Premises liability cases. Property owners could be liable for injuries sustained on their private or public property if they failed to maintain safe conditions for visitors.
- Dog attack cases. Dog owners are typically liable if their dog attacks someone. An attack can be biting, jumping on, chasing, or any other action resulting in an injury.
- Medical malpractice cases. Doctors, nurses, healthcare workers, and medical facilities can be liable for negligent conduct resulting in the injury or death of a patient.
- Wrongful death cases. Any personal injury resulting in the death of someone, either by negligence or malicious intention, could result in a lawsuit filed by the deceased person’s estate representative.
- Product liability cases. Manufacturers are responsible when defects in their products cause injuries to consumers. The source of the malfunction could be an issue with the design or a mistake during the manufacturing process, which typically makes these cases challenging.
- Workplace accident cases. Employers in New York must provide worker’s compensation insurance, but sometimes injured employees hit obstacles to adequate compensation and need legal help.
- Assault. Victims of assault can hold the assailant civilly liable for damages resulting from the attack. This litigation is in addition to the criminal charges the at-fault party will face.
- Defamation. Personal injury law does not only apply to cases involving bodily harm. A person can claim damages if someone intentionally defames their good reputation, causing psychological distress and financial loss.
As the plaintiff, you are responsible for collecting the evidence needed to support your claim and prove negligence. An accident attorney can access resources you may not be able to access alone.
What New York Laws Affect Personal Injury Cases in New York?
Every state mandates the statutes and legal concepts that govern personal injury cases. Some are more general and can apply to multiple cases, while others are specific. For example, the laws to consider in New York include the statute of limitations, no-fault auto insurance, comparative negligence, and the one-bite rule.
Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations refers to the time limit set on your ability to file a lawsuit. In New York, you can file a personal injury claim with your local civil court within three years from the date of the accident for most types of personal injury. For a medical malpractice claim, you must file within two years and six months from the date the act of medical negligence occurred. If it happened during a cycle of treatments that occurred over several days, weeks, or months, the clock does not start ticking until the treatment ends. Any attempt to file after the statute of limitations runs out would likely result in the court’s dismissal of your claim.
No-Fault Auto Insurance
If you suffered an injury in an auto accident, you could access compensation through your own no-fault auto insurance. New York is a no-fault state, which means drivers with a registered vehicle must purchase personal injury protection insurance. PIP coverage allows you to bypass the fault system and file a claim for damages with your own insurance policy. The coverage limits can vary, but you can receive compensation for medical expenses and lost income.
The law allows you to step outside the no-fault requirement and file a claim or lawsuit against the at-fault driver if you experienced severe injuries and losses. The serious injury threshold in New York includes the following:
- Total disability for at least 90 days
- Life-altering disfigurement
- A significant limitation to the use of a body system or function
- Broken or fractured bones
- Permanent limited use of an organ or member of the body
To better understand your right to file a personal injury lawsuit, talk to an accident attorney about the details of your case.
Comparative Negligence Rule
Comparative negligence is a legal concept used to govern cases where the plaintiff and the defendant share fault for the accident. For example, if both drivers in an auto accident case bear some responsibility for the collision, they would both be liable for a portion of the damages. The states that apply the comparative negligence rule either follow the modified or pure type.
New York abides by the pure comparative negligence rule. Therefore, if you are partially responsible for the accident, the court will assign a percentage of fault to both parties and deduct your portion from the total damages. This means you can be as much as 99% at fault and still receive 1% of the award. To understand how shared responsibility can affect your claim, an accident attorney can help you value your losses and understand your percentage of fault.
The One-Bite Rule
New York does not have a specific statute that governs dog attack cases. However, in most cases, the dog owner will be liable for any damages incurred if their dog attacks another person. Typically, the only exceptions are if the victim provoked the dog, trespassed at the time of the attack, or committed another tort when the attack occurred.
When Should You Schedule a Consultation With an Accident Attorney Near You?
The legal process can quickly become challenging for anyone with no experience in personal injury law. If you have questions about your case and your right to compensation, it is never too soon to contact an accident attorney. They typically offer free consultations where you can go over your accident’s details and discuss the next steps to take. At Cellino Law, we help victims of all kinds of personal injury, including auto collisions, slip and fall injuries, workplace injuries, medical malpractice, dangerous drug cases, and more. We know the financial and emotional toll physical injuries can take on a person. Whether your accident was minor or severe, we offer a risk-free initial consultation. We will help you understand the legal options available so you can recover compensation and get your life back on track. Contact Cellino Law at (800) 555-555 today. Our line is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week for clients.
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