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Personal Injury Lawyer, Queens, NY

Personal Injury Lawyer, Queens, NY

Personal injury accidents can result in devastating injuries and often leave you wondering how you will recover financially. The person responsible for your injuries should also be responsible for the monetary and emotional damage those injuries cause.

Personal injury law aims to provide you with an avenue for justice and a chance to recover your losses. Queens personal injury lawyers can guide you through the legal process and help you get the compensation you need to get back on your feet.

Common Types of Personal Injury Accidents and Lawsuits

Common Types of Personal Injury Accidents and Lawsuits

Personal injury, or tort, law covers many varying types of accidents in which someone suffers an injury and subsequent losses because another party acted without adequately considering the safety of others. In New York, the most common examples of personal injury accidents are construction site accidents and motor vehicle accidents.

Other common injury cases include:

  • Medical malpractice claims. When health care professionals, individually or as a collective facility, breach the duty of reasonable care owed to their patients and cause avoidable harm, personal injury law allows those patients to seek compensation for the damages directly associated with their injuries.
  • Product liability. Companies have a responsibility to ensure their products go through rigorous testing along the chain of assembly. When manufacturers distribute defective products to consumers and those products cause harm, the injured have the right to sue for their losses.
  • Wrongful death. Any personal injury resulting in the death could be a wrongful death case. The state allows family members, particularly personal representatives, to recover compensation for the economic and non-economic damages of a loved one lost to injuries sustained in a personal injury accident. 

While Queens personal injury attorneys deal with these personal injury claims often, they more commonly handle auto accidents and cases of construction site injuries. 

Auto Accident Cases

Auto Accident Cases

Serious personal injuries often occur in auto accidents – including traumatic brain injury (TBI), spinal injuries, and broken bones – that can run up high medical bills. An experienced personal injury attorney may represent victims of any of the following types of motor vehicle accidents:

  • Passenger vehicle collisions, meaning car on car
  • Commercial truck collisions, often referring to semis colliding with passenger vehicles
  • Motorcycle accidents, are often the most dangerous and deadly
  • Bicycle accidents involving vehicles and cyclists
  • Pedestrian accidents involving cars and pedestrians
  • Ridesharing accidents involving large companies, such as Uber and Lyft

The question of liability is significantly different for each of these types of auto accidents, and having legal representation is often necessary.

Construction Site Accident Cases

Construction Site Accident Cases

A construction accident lawyer in Queens handles cases involving severe injuries. Construction work is one of the most dangerous professions in the country. While workers’ compensation insurance is a great source to help injured workers get fast assistance, it does nothing to hold negligent companies accountable.

However, if you suffered an injury in a construction site accident, whether on the job or not, a construction accident lawyer could help ensure you get the appropriate amount of compensation. 

Damages From a Personal Injury Claim

Damages From a Personal Injury Claim

Damages refer to the monetary value of losses that the law requires the at-fault party to pay to the injured in a personal injury case. To accurately assign value to all your losses, a personal injury lawyer in Queens will collect evidence to support the following compensatory damages:

  • All costs related to your medical treatment
  • The sum of lost wages from missed work and loss of earning ability
  • The total cost of property damage, such as vehicle repair in a car accident case
  • Any expenses for necessary help at home with household chores or childcare
  • The mental suffering associated with the physical pain caused by your injuries
  • The toll the injuries took on your ability to enjoy life again
  • The loss of a companion or consort when injuries result in wrongful death
  • The emotional distress leading to depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress
  • The loss of a fetus 
  • Any expenses related to the funeral of a person who died as a result of their injuries
  • The costs of burial or cremation

The compensatory damages specifically refer to the economic and non-economic losses. A Queens car accident lawyer often deals with cases with extensive compensatory damages and can usually locate damages in your car accident case that you may overlook.

Economic damages, such as the cost of medical treatments and lost wages, come with tangible evidence in the form of hospital and doctor bills, pay stubs, and income tax information. The non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering and mental anguish, require a subjective approach to finding value for these claims.

A personal injury lawyer will use similar cases as precedent and collect statements from anyone that knows you well. While these compensatory damages are commonplace in a personal injury case, the other form of damages, known as punitive damages, are rarer.

Punitive Damages in Personal Injury Lawsuits

Suppose you suffer an injury in a construction site accident. In that case, a construction accident lawyer in Queens could potentially help you receive punitive damages as long as your accident resulted from gross negligence by the construction company.

Punitive damages do not compensate for something lost. Instead, the court may decide that the defendant’s actions were so despicable that they deserve monetary punishment beyond the cost of compensatory damages. The likelihood of receiving a substantial amount in punitive damages is much higher when the defendant is a company, as is often the case with construction site accidents or cases of product liability.

How No-Fault Insurance Affects Your Right to File a Car Accident Lawsuit

How No-Fault Insurance Affects Your Right to File a Car Accident Lawsuit

In New York, car accidents do not typically lead directly to litigation because the state requires all drivers to carry no-fault insurance, known as personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. PIP insurance covers expenses related to bodily injury, which includes most of the economic damages except property damage.

You would rely on the other driver’s liability coverage or your own uninsured motorist policy for property damage.

The most basic no-fault insurance includes:

  • The total cost of medical expenses
  • Only 80% of lost wages
  • A $25 per day reimbursement for other related expenses
  • A death benefit of $2,000 if the accident results in wrongful death

PIP insurance is generally sufficient for minor car accidents, but accidents that result in serious injuries often result in non-economic damages not covered by personal injury protection.

For that reason, New York allows victims with severe injuries to skip the no-fault insurance process and file a lawsuit against the responsible driver. The standard for severe injury in New York includes:

  • Broken bones or dislocated joints
  • Disfigurement or dismemberment
  • Temporary limited use of a function, system, or member of the body lasting for a minimum of 90 days
  • Permanent limited use of a function, system, or member of the body
  • Loss of a fetus
  • Death

If you suffered any of those injuries, a Queens car accident lawyer could help you build a claim for compensation, and while no-fault insurance does not apply to construction site accidents, a construction accident lawyer in Queens may recommend that you bypass the process of making a workers’ compensation claim and file a civil lawsuit against the party responsible for your accident and injuries.

Determining Liability for Litigation

In a personal injury case, liability is the foundation. To seek maximum compensation from another party, you must prove that they acted negligently on the road and caused an accident that resulted in your injuries. The steps necessary to prove liability can be complex and cumbersome, which is why you often need the help of a personal injury lawyer in Queens.

Once you file a lawsuit and the at-fault driver’s insurance company receives your claim, you can expect them to send a response. More often than not, their response includes arguing that you are either entirely responsible for the accident, which would alleviate the defendant and the insurer of any financial responsibility or that you are partially responsible, which would lessen the amount in damages they owe you.

When You Need the Help of a Personal Injury Lawyer, Queens, NY

When You Need the Help of a Personal Injury Lawyer, Queens, NY

If you file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company and receive a response with accusations of shared fault, you should contact a Queens car accident lawyer right away. In New York, you are not exempt from recovering compensation if you share fault.

Instead, the court follows the comparative fault rule to determine what percentage of the blame falls on the defendant and what portion belongs to the plaintiff. Then, the comparative fault rule states that your award for damages equals the total value minus your percentage of fault.

Additionally, the comparative fault rule comes in two forms:

  • Modified comparative fault rule only allows the plaintiff to share damages if they are less responsible than the defendant.
  • Pure comparative fault rule does not limit the plaintiff’s share of fault, meaning the plaintiff can be as much as 99% at fault and still receive a portion of the overall value of damages. 

The majority of states mandate the modified version of comparative fault, but New York is one of only a handful that uses the pure comparative fault rule. As an example, suppose the court evaluates the roles of both parties in your case and determines the plaintiff and defendant are 75% and 25% responsible, respectively. Additionally, the court values your damages at $30,000, making the maximum amount you can receive in damages $7,500 to reflect the subtraction of your 75% share of fault.

When Workers' Compensation Insurance Is Not Enough

When Workers' Compensation Insurance Is Not Enough

New York requires all for-profit business owners to carry workers’ compensation insurance for all workers.

The policy should cover:

  • Medical care for any injuries incurred on the job
  • Disability payments for lost wages while the employee recovers
  • Death benefits for the family members of an employee that sustains fatal injuries
  • Disability benefits should the employee’s injuries result in a permanent inability to do their job

Additionally, workers’ compensation protects the employer against lawsuits regarding the employee’s injuries. Contact a personal injury lawyer in Queens if you receive pushback or denial of workers’ compensation benefits. Employers cannot retaliate against you for filing a claim.

How a Construction Accident Lawyer in Queens Can Help

While workers’ compensation protects the employer against lawsuits for the accident, you should still speak with Queens injury attorneys about the details of your case. Employers and government entities are subject to complex federal and state labor laws, and you may have a potential case without knowing. For example, you can file a lawsuit if you suffered a severe fall due to safety violations committed by the employer or another entity.

Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer Today

Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer in Queens NY

As in any civil lawsuit, accident victims have the right to represent themselves in a Queens personal injury lawsuit, but their chances of receiving fair compensation decline significantly without legal presentation. For example, a Queens car accident lawyer can access experts, such as an auto accident reconstruction specialist, and investigate your collision and injuries to find damages you would likely not see.

Likewise, a construction accident lawyer in Queens understands the nuances and loopholes of labor laws and workers’ compensation benefits. Unfortunately, employers and their insurers sometimes take advantage of injured employees that lack an understanding of their rights after sustaining an injury. Still, you can protect yourself and your loved ones with proper representation.

By nature, personal injury cases can be highly emotional and complex. In addition to the pain of physical injuries or the loss of a loved one, they typically face significant financial consequences resulting from another person’s careless behavior. The benefit of having legal representation is knowing that you have a professional with a proven track record on your side to protect your rights and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve. 

Conveniently located in Manhattan, our law office serves Queens, NY and all of the boroughs of NYC and surrounding areas for all personal injury matters. Our team at the personal injury law firm of William Schwitzer & Associates has years of experience helping people injured in construction site accidents, car accidents, catastrophic injuries, and other common forms of personal injury litigation. We offer the same level of dedication and compassion to all of our injured clients and will ensure that you receive superior legal representation during this difficult time.

You should not suffer financially from damages caused by someone else. Contact us today for a free consultation with an experienced attorney for your Queens personal injury case, and we will begin fighting for your rights immediately.