Help for Victims of Negligence & Wrongdoing
When a person is injured or loses a loved one because of another's negligence or wrongdoing, a question may linger: "What rights do I have?" Understanding your rights under personal injury laws can help you make informed choices about filing a lawsuit against the person or company that caused you or a loved one harm.
First and foremost, you have the right to seek legal counsel. You have the right to choose whichever lawyer or firm you feel is most qualified to handle your case, based on experience, past results, qualifications or any other qualities you consider to be important. Taking initiative and talking to an attorney about your options may actually help you gain a clear understanding of your other rights in this legal matter. You can even find out whether you have a case to pursue in the first place. Most personal injury attorneys offer free initial consultations or case reviews to talk about the situation and offer preliminary guidance as to one's legal options and how the attorney or firm can help.
You have the right to take legal action in civil court against any party you believe has caused you harm through intentional misconduct or negligence (a failure to exercise proper caution or care in the circumstances). A time limit, called a statute of limitations, will apply. In New York, the statute of limitations for general personal injury cases is three years. This means that the victim has the right to take legal action within three years of the incident. There are certain situations where a shorter or longer time limit will apply, so it is important to discuss this matter with a lawyer before it's too late.
You have the right to seek financial compensation from the at-fault party for the injuries you have experienced. This may include medical expenses associated with physical injuries as well as lost earnings, future medical care and future loss of earnings, pain, suffering and emotional trauma. The type and amount of compensation you can seek will vary depending on applicable state and federal legislation and case law.
If another person's insurance company is involved, you have the right to decline questioning or to refuse to make a statement regarding the issue at hand. Attempts made by the other party's insurer to contact you may only be in an attempt to trick you into admitting liability or otherwise limiting their policyholder's accountability.
If you are in an accident and the police show up at the scene, you have the right to refuse to answer questions that you feel may place the blame of the incident on your shoulders. Cooperate by providing your name and insurance information as needed, but you may refuse to answer questions related to the cause of the incident.
Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit
Choosing to exercise your right to seek financial compensation in civil court is a decision that should not be made lightly. We highly recommend talking to an experienced legal professional before you make any major decisions, such as accepting a settlement offer from the insurance company. You may be entitled to more money than the insurance provider's initial offer (as is often the case in serious accidents and injuries) and an attorney can help you determine whether the offer is fair.
With the right help, you can feel confident that your rights will be protected through every step of your case. Get the information and guidance you need by scheduling a consultation with a New York personal injury lawyer at Napoli Shkolnik PLLC. Not only is your initial case review free, but we handle cases of this kind on a contingent fee basis: we only get paid if you do.