If you suffer injuries from an accident, you may find your life turned upside down. You may see medical bills pile up at the same time that you lose wages. Severe injuries may have a lengthy recovery period and can have long-term impacts. Emotional trauma can also be hard to recover from. When another party’s negligence causes the accident, you deserve and should expect fair compensation. However, what you may receive is likely not at all acceptable.
Insurance companies are notorious for trying to get out of paying for damages. They may offer a quick settlement for a low-ball amount in hopes you’ll take the bait, or they may outright deny your claim. An accident attorney in Manhattan can help you pursue a legal claim to obtain just compensation.
The Role of an Accident Attorney in Manhattan
An accident attorney plays a critical role in pursuing a personal injury claim. When insurance doesn’t compensate you for the full extent of your losses, a lawyer provides the support, advice and legal counsel you need to recover damages through the legal system.
We understand that the idea of a lawsuit can be intimidating, but when you have someone on your side who does the heavy lifting for you, you can concentrate on the hard work of recovery. Here are the ways an experienced personal injury lawyer in Manhattan helps.
Assesses the Merits of Your Case
It can be devastating to have an accident that results in serious injury. Wanting compensation for damages is understandable. However, there is no point in pursuing a legal claim if the facts of your case do not justify legal action. An accident attorney should always provide a case review to determine the merits of your case. Several factors contribute to whether your case qualifies and has the potential for satisfactory results.
Serious Injury Threshold
You can’t file a claim unless you meet the state’s serious injury threshold. A serious injury leads to:
- Limited use of a body part, organ, function or system
- Permanent loss of a body part, organ, function or system
Death and loss of a fetus also qualify.
You need to demonstrate that you incurred losses that exceed what the insurance company can or is willing to pay or that you suffer damages not covered under insurance. For instance, New York’s auto insurance law stipulates that your injuries must result in combined wage loss and medical expenses of more than $50,000.
Insurance policies never compensate for non-economic damages. If you experience emotional trauma or physical pain and suffering, no insurance company pays for those genuine harms. The only way to obtain financial compensation is to pursue a legal claim.
You have a limited amount of time to file a personal injury lawsuit. States establish time limits — known as a statute of limitations — for filing legal claims. New York’s statute of limitations for personal injury cases is three years from the accident. The law is strict, so if you don’t file before the deadline, you lose the opportunity to use legal avenues to obtain a fair settlement.
You can only recover damages if the other party holds some liability for the accident. New York follows a pure comparative fault law, which means you are not barred from compensation even if you share some blame for the accident. However, your degree of fault determines how much of the settlement award you are entitled to. If you are 99% liable, you will only receive 1% of the awarded damages.
A Cellino Law accident attorney in Manhattan evaluates your case for evidence of liability. We offer advice on how to proceed, identifying your available options. Even if your case meets all thresholds, it is up to you to determine whether pursuing a lawsuit is a step you want to take.
Gathers Supporting Evidence
When you file a personal injury lawsuit, you need evidence to support your claim. You must be able to establish the extent of the damages you sustained and the costs associated with them. You also need proof that demonstrates the other party bears responsibility for your injuries.
An accident attorney knows what type of proof is required and how to get ahold of it. Examples of the types of evidence often needed include:
- Doctors’ reports
- Medical bills
- Police reports
- Professional opinions
- Photos and videos
- Accident investigation reports
Some evidence is relatively easy to obtain, while others are much more challenging. Lawyers have the resources to persist when evidence is difficult to get ahold of. Additionally, attorneys often have access to information victims are unable to attain.
Handles the Communications and Negotiations
When you file a lawsuit, your legal team and the defendant’s counsel enter negotiations before your case goes before a judge and jury. Defense attorneys often make it a point to create an antagonistic atmosphere. Additionally, they may attempt to get the claimant to make statements they can use against them.
A Cellino Law accident attorney in Manhattan has the experience to stand up to the other side. With a lawyer on your side handling the communications with the defendant’s representatives, you won’t have to worry about inadvertently saying the wrong thing. Your lawyer will also look out for your best interest in negotiations and protect your rights.
Represents You in Court
Generally, insurance companies and defendants are eager to settle out of court. As such, nearly all personal injury lawsuits reach a pre-trial agreement. However, you don’t have to settle for less than you deserve. When a satisfactory agreement can’t be reached, your accident attorney represents you in court.
The Types of Cases a Manhattan Accident Attorney Works With
If you have an accident that results in serious injuries, you may benefit from an attorney’s assistance. A personal injury accident attorney works with people who suffered injuries in an accident due to another party’s negligence. While several accidents would qualify, the most common cases involve the following:
- Traffic accident: Car accidents make up the majority of personal injury cases. Between January and June 2022, 718 people suffered injuries, and one person died in a Manhattan traffic accident. Truck accidents also often result in a personal injury claim.
- Workplace accidents: New York law requires employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance for their employees, and workers are not allowed to sue their employers when they get hurt on the job. However, in some industries, such as the construction field, workplace accidents are often due to third-party negligence. In these cases, the state allows the pursuit of a personal injury claim.
- Slip and fall accidents: Property owners are responsible for maintaining a safe environment for visitors. If someone slips and falls on their property because they neglected their duty of care, the victim may file a lawsuit to recover damages for serious injuries. An accident attorney would handle this type of case.
If you’ve sustained injuries in one of these types of accidents, a personal injury lawyer may be able to help you obtain a fair settlement.
The Law Firm You Can Count On
Cellino Law accident attorneys in Manhattan have the experience and knowledge you want on your side when pursuing a personal injury lawsuit. Our team provides the personal attention and dedication you deserve, giving you the support you need during this difficult time. If you or a loved one sustained injuries in an accident due to someone else’s negligence, we’re here to help. Get in touch to schedule a free case review.