Were you or someone you care about injured in an accident in the Rochester area that was caused by someone else’s negligent actions or behavior? If so, you may be able to seek compensation for your injuries or other accident-related damages. That is where Cellino Law can help. Our experienced Rochester personal injury lawyers fight hard for our clients to ensure that their rights are protected in cases involving personal injury claims. Let us put our experience and resources to work for you so that you can get the money and resources you need to recover from your injuries and to get your life back on track again.
Insurance companies can’t always be trusted to do the right thing. With our help, you can be sure that they don’t try to take advantage of you. If another party’s negligent actions or behavior caused you to sustain injuries, contact our Rochester injury firm right away at (800) 555-5555 to set up a time to discuss the most effective legal strategy for your personal injury case with our lawyers. With their help, you can get as much money as possible for your damages.
Table of Contents
How Can an Attorney Help a Personal Injury Claim in NY?
Seeking legal help after an accident is always a prudent move. At Cellino Law, we provide free consultations to all our clients. You can come in and talk to us at no cost. You have nothing to lose by sharing your situation with us. There are numerous benefits of consulting professional personal injury lawyers in Rochester, NY. Some of these benefits are:
Reliable Legal Counsel
You should never make assumptions or speculate anything when it comes to your well-being and future. Sometimes, things may get complicated and this is when you should talk to a lawyer. Your attorney will have your back. You’ll get 100% sound legal counsel from the very beginning up until the end of your case.
Accidents often leave victims in turmoil. Fortunately, you don’t have to this turmoil all on your own, call a reliable personal injury lawyer if you have suffered any pain or injury due to the carelessness, negligence or recklessness of another party.
Handling Claim Filing
The state of New York has strict filing rules and deadlines. Even the tiniest of errors could derail your claim resulting in no compensation. Our attorneys will file your claim correctly and on-time.
Do All the Dirty Work for You
If you have no prior experience in handling such cases, it’s highly likely that you will have no idea on how to carry out comprehensive investigations, properly gather evidence, record statements from witnesses and other complex tasks. Hiring a high-trained and experienced team of lawyers to handle your case is the best move you can make.
Deal With Insurance Companies
The main objective of an insurance claims adjuster is to reduce the compensation amount to as little money as possible and settle the case as soon as possible. Hiring a professional lawyer to deal with insurance companies on your behalf means that you’ll stand a higher chance to get better compensation for the losses you incurred.
Although most personal injury claims in New York are settled out of court, some defendants may still choose to fight claims against them in court. Our team of lawyers has the necessary knowledge and experience to fight for you in trial and get you a win.
Network of Expert Witnesses
A reputable New York law firm will definitely have plenty of connections with expert witnesses who can strengthen the validity of your claim. Expert witnesses can go a long way in proving negligence to a judge or jury. When you work with a professional law firm, you get access to these witnesses as well as other valuable resources that are not easy to find without a professional lawyer by your side.
These are just some of the reasons why you should hire a Rochester personal injury lawyer after suffering injury or harm. Most cases involve aspects that go far beyond the knowledge and scope of an attorney, and going solo can expose you to the wrath of insurance claims adjusters.
An experienced personal injury attorney can tackle all issues pertaining to your case from the initial stage of filing up to the final stage of giving closing arguments during trial. At Cellino Law, we don’t charge you anything if we don’t win in court. We make working with us seem like a walk in the park.
What Is a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
Personal injury suits are simply legal conflicts that arise when one party suffers harm or sustains injury due to an accident that is allegedly caused by another party. Ordinarily, the insurance company of the party that causes the harm or injury takes responsibility and compensates the afflicted party for any medical bills, emotional suffering, pain, and any other costs deemed relevant. In the case of a medical malpractice lawsuit, your personal injury attorney will work with lawyers from both the hospital and the insurance company.
A personal injury lawsuit can be made formal when a lawyer represents you in a court of law. The court proceedings seek to establish which party is legally responsible for the harm or injury. However, personal injury suits can also be settled out of court through informal agreements done before filing a suit.
The most common outcomes for personal injury lawsuits such as an injury or property damage from a car accident include:
As a matter of fact, informal settlements are the most common way of resolving conflicts relating to personal injury. It usually involves all parties mentioned in the suit engaging in negotiations until a resolution is found. If the parties involved come to a resolution, a written agreement is drafted. The agreement waives the rights of all parties to seek any further legal action, like suing. Typically, the disputes are resolved through the payment of an agreed sum of money.
A Formal Suit
This is an outcome where the plaintiff (usually a private individual) files a civil suit against the defendant (usually a state agency, corporation, another individual or business), claiming that the defendant behaved recklessly or irresponsibly in relation to an accident that caused injury or harm.
Common Causes of Personal Injuries
While most people don’t have a clear idea of the kind of circumstances that result in personal injury suits, this segment of the law covers a wide spectrum of injury and negligence capable of transforming the lives of the victim and their families forever. Events that commonly result in the filing of personal injury lawsuits include:
- Physical assaults
- Dangerous/Defective medical devices and pharmaceuticals
- Faulty consumer products
- Workplace accidents like construction site accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Passenger vehicle collisions
- Bus and train crashes
Although not all the above-mentioned accidents and events result in significant or permanent harm to the victim, most victims are left picking up the pieces without any assistance with medical bills, pain management, permanent disability, and psychological or physical impairment.
Under such conditions, a professional Rochester personal injury lawyer at Cellino Law can come in handy to review the facts, collect crucial evidence, and gather a team of experienced professionals who can build a solid case for you with the aim of getting you some much needed financial compensation.
Personal Injury Law Basics
Personal injury is a wide and complex section of the law that is characterized by many nuances, regulations, and rules. Tort law allows a victim to claim monetary compensation for damages or losses sustained as a result of the negligence (tortious acts) of another individual. Personal injury law, therefore, seeks to “make the victim whole again” after suffering financial losses, pain, emotional distress, or any other kind of harm caused by an accident. Each lawsuit is usually unique and requires a personalized approach in order to arrive at a favorable outcome. Personal injury law basics do not change. They are:
Elements of an Accident Claim
Most claims have 4 elements: damages, causation, breach, and duty. The individual or party being sued must have owed the plaintiff a duty of care, which they in one way or the other fail to uphold leading to the occurrence of an accident that causes injury or harm to the plaintiff. It’s worth noting that absolute liability and strict liability laws do not need to have these 4 elements in order to be deemed valid lawsuits.
Absolute Liability Laws and Strict Liability Laws
Strict liability means that an individual or entity is liable for damages whether or not there is proof of recklessness or carelessness. In the state of New York, these laws are mostly applied in product liability claims, specifically where there is a manufacturing error or the goods are flawed in one way or the other.
Absolute liability is closely related to strict liability. It means that an individual or entity is liable for damages without relying on any actual proof of negligence. These laws are commonly used in construction accidents and dog bite cases.
Product Liability Laws
Consumers can decide to sue a manufacturer or distributor for negligence if goods have a flaw that causes injury. These cases can be categorized under breach of warranty, negligence, or strict liability.
Dog Bite Laws
In the state of New York, the owner of a dog is not automatically held responsible for injuries from a dog bite. Evidence must be brought forward to prove that the dog has a prior history of vicious behavior or attacking people recklessly in order for the owner to be held responsible. There are numerous ways to prove that a dog has vicious behavior. Dogs are given a ‘one free bite’ ticket. Any extra tickets are a clear indicator of vicious behavior and the dog owner is deemed 100% liable for the injuries caused by the dog.
If a person deliberately causes harm or injury to another, the victim can file a civil suit for financial compensation and pursue a criminal case as well. A civil suit can result in financial compensation while a criminal case can result in conviction or penalties.
There is a wide range of federal, state, and local laws that come into play in personal injury cases. An experienced personal injury attorney near Rochester can assist you to file a suit and employ these laws and their resources to help you get the compensation you deserve.
What Are the Three General New York Negligence Laws?
Here are 3 essentials of New York negligence law:
Definition of Negligence
Negligence, in the state of New York, is an instance where a person or entity fails to act sensibly or logically under given circumstances, leading to injury or harm to another person. An individual or entity (business or organization) is considered negligent if they failed to provide proper care to another person, leading to harm or injury.
Pure Comparative Negligence
Pure comparative negligence laws apply in the state of New York. This means that a victim’s behavior during an accident shall not hinder compensation. Instead, a court can decide to lower the compensation in consideration of the plaintiff’s role in the accident. Simply put, as long as the plaintiff/claimant is less than 100% responsible for the accident, then they are still eligible for compensation.
Assumption of Risk
New York law does not withhold the right of compensation to a person if they took up the risk prior to the accident. For instance, if an individual suffers an injury during surgery, or while skydiving, or in any other situation where they were knowledgeable of the risks involved, they do not lose their right to seek compensation.
How Is Negligence Determined in Injury Claims in New York?
Negligence can cause accidents that lead to injury. To file a negligence lawsuit, you must offer proof that:
- Another party was tasked with the responsibility of keeping the plaintiff safe and out of harm’s way
- This party breached their duty of care
- The breach of duty of care was the main cause of the accident and victim’s injuries, and
- The extent of the suffering, pain, and/or damage that the victim has sustained.
What’s the Best Time to File a Personal Injury Claim?
The best time to file a personal injury claim is immediately after an accident. This enables your attorney to begin working on your case right away. He or she will promptly begin a comprehensive investigation that includes interrogating witnesses while their memories are still fresh as well as collecting evidence before it is tampered with. However, if some time has elapsed since the accident occurred, you can still seek legal assistance from our professional personal injury lawyers.
The state of New York requires that most personal injury claims be filed within 3 years of the occurrence of harm. This law is referred to as the statute of limitations. However, if your case involves a state or federal entity, you may have to file your case a little bit sooner because the time limit for such cases is usually 90 days from the date of the accident. All in all, it’s advisable to file a personal injury claim as soon as possible.
What Types of Compensation Can I Get in a Personal Injury Suit?
Each personal injury suit is unique. The compensation amount you could get will vary based on the unique nature and circumstances surrounding your case. However, there are common types of compensation for victims who suffer from severe injuries or harm. They include:
You may be eligible to get money to pay for any medical bills you incur for physical therapy, hospital admission, surgery, medical devices, rehabilitation, prescriptions, emergency treatment, and other costs. Compensation for medical bills should cover both past and future expenses related to the injuries.
This encompasses the victim’s lost income as a result of not being able to go to work. You may be entitled to lost wages even if you were on sick leave or time off. If the injuries result in lasting impairment or permanent disability that has an impact on the type of job you can do in the future, you can get compensation to cater to this.
Pain and Suffering
Severe injuries often cause a lot of physical pain and emotional suffering. You may need money to take care of the pain and suffering that you were forced to endure due to the injuries you sustained from the accident.
This includes compensation to replace or repair any damage to your property. For instance your personal belongings (car, motorcycle, etc.).
In certain situations, you may be eligible for punitive damages. These are a sought of punishment to the defendant for their reckless or careless behavior.
If I Was Partially Responsible for the Accident, Can I Still File a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
Yes, you can still file a personal injury claim even though you were 99 % at fault for the accident. The state of New York has a pure comparative fault rule that allows individuals to seek compensation from other responsible parties even when your conduct contributed to the accident. However, the damages you recover will be limited to your extent of responsibility. For example, if you suffered $300,000 in damages, but were found to be 70% responsible for the accident, you will only get $90,000.
What Kind Of Cases Do Rochester Personal Injury Lawyers Handle?
If another individual carelessness or negligence caused you harm and you live in New York, we can be of help to you. We’ve tackled all types of personal injury suits in the region such as:
- Construction accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Nursing home abuse and neglect
- Slip and fall accidents
- Truck collisions
- Uber and Lyft accidents
- Dog bites
- Bicycle accidents
- Motorcycle collision
- Birth injuries
- Vehicle accidents
- Boat accidents
- Wrongful Death
- Train accidents
- Workers’ Compensation
Our highly-trained attorneys can also represent you in a wrongful death suit in the event your loved one died due to another party’s carelessness or negligence. Any personal injury lawsuit that involves the death of a loved one can be converted into a wrongful death case.
For more information, contact us at (800) 555-5555.
Do I Have a Personal Injury Case?
Did you sustain any physical or psychological harm due to the carelessness of another party? If yes, then you have the right to file a personal injury case and seek compensation for your losses. These losses may include the cost of pain and suffering, medical bills, lost wages, employment benefits and many others.
When you come in for a free consultation with us, we listen to you keenly and give you all legal options at your disposal.
Our lawyers will look into all aspects of the accident and your injuries, and identify the party at fault for the accident. They will seek to identify any tortuous acts related to your case. They will also accurately calculate your losses and approach the relevant insurance companies to attempt to get compensation. If this is not successful, our attorneys will proceed to file a personal injury claim in a court of law so that you can get the compensation you deserve.
What Are the Exceptions to the Personal Injury Statute of Limitations In New York?
New York has a strict statute of limitations laws. However, there are a number of circumstances under which your case may not be affected by these statutes. Below are some scenarios where it is possible to pause or alter the deadline of the statute of limitations relating to your personal injury case:
New York Civil Practice Law & Rules Section 208 states that if the victim has a legal disability at the time of the event/accident i.e – they are either mentally handicapped (not of sound mind) or are underage (have not attained 18 years of age) – then the statute of limitations deadline will be calculated from the date the legal disability is deemed over. This means either a person is declared sane or of sound mind, or they attain the legal age of 18 years.
Defendant Not in New York
New York Civil Practice Law & Rules Section 207 states that if the individual who is allegedly at fault for the accident (defendant) is not within the state of New York after the accident happens, and prior to the suit being filed, and they reside outside the state for 4 months or more, then the duration they are not within state boundaries will not be included in the 3 year statute period. Also, the statute deadline can also be extended if the defendant is within state boundaries but living under an alias or false identity.
Do you have any queries regarding any of the above scenarios pertaining to statutes of limitations in the state of New York? Are you uncertain about whether your deadline has passed? Call us today to talk to a professional personal injury attorney who will guide you on all of the above issues.
Do I Have to Go to Court for an Injury Claim?
Most claims are settled out of court. In most cases, it’s the defendant that reaches out to the plaintiff to settle the case before it proceeds to court. However, if the defendant’s insurance company or defense lawyer is not willing to settle, we can proceed and take the case to trial. If we end up in trial, you can rest easy knowing that our team of experienced lawyers will handle all aspects of the litigation diligently. They will properly and passionately argue your case in court so that you get the compensation you deserve.
Personal Injury Claims vs. Workers’ Comp
When you suffer harm or injury due to the negligence or conduct of another party, you have the right to file a personal injury claim. However, if the accident occurs in your place of work, you should claim for workers’ compensation instead of, or in conjunction with a personal injury suit based on your unique circumstances. It’s important to understand the difference between workers’ comp claims and personal injury claims in order to know which parties to sue and which kind of compensation you are eligible for.
Workers’ Compensation Claims
In the state of New York, workers are not allowed to file personal injury claims against their co-workers for injuries they sustain while on the job. However, you can still get compensation for losses like lost wages and medical bills if you file a workers’ compensation claim regardless of negligence, as long as you were on the job.
Workers’ comp law stipulates that all your medical bills as well as pharmaceutical needs are covered if and only if the New York State Worker’s Comp Board deems you eligible. To be deemed eligible, you may be required to submit radiological examinations, MRIs, multiple diagnostic tests, and x-ray examinations that prove your inability to work.
On top of this, you may be required to undergo regular medical evaluations done by healthcare providers associated with your employer’s workers’ compensation plan. Since these healthcare providers are paid by the insurance company who underwrites workers’ comp for your employer, there may be some coercion for them to downplay the extent of your injuries on their reports.
By altering your medical report in their favor, they’ll probably get more business from these insurance providers since they reduce the amount of money that will be ultimately paid out to you. This is why hiring a Rochester workers’ compensation lawyer is extremely important. If you’re not given the treatment you deserve, or worse, your claim is tossed out, then getting a professional workers’ comp lawyer is the only option you have to get justice.
All medical tests highlighted above affect your percentage of disability. This figure is used to calculate how much you get in lost wages. The final amount that is paid out to you is calculated using an equation that considers your percentage of disability (2/3 of your average weekly salary) and your average earnings before the accident and i.e;
So, if you earn $1200 per week, and your percentage of disability is 100%, you should get $800 from workers’ comp. If your percentage of disability was 50%, you would get $200 from workers comp.
Contact The Award-Winning Rochester Personal Injury Lawyers at Cellino Law!
At Cellino Law, we take great pride in our professional personal injury lawyers in Rochester. We have extensive knowledge and experience in New York’s negligence, personal injury, and liability laws. You can rely on us to answer all your queries and address all your concerns regarding your case at no cost. Indeed, the more you know about the personal injury and negligence laws that protect your rights, the better prepared you’ll be to present your case in court. Call us to schedule a free consultation.