Personal Injury Attorneys
Serious injuries and accidents often strike when we least expect them. Many times, what happened is not our fault. A personal injury attorney is a lawyer who represents someone who has been hurt — physically or mentally — by the negligence or wrongdoing of another person, company, government agency or entity. Common types of personal injury cases include automobile accidents, spinal cord injuries, slip and fall accidents and other categories of injuries listed on the right side of this page. A personal injury attorney is there to get you the compensation you deserve when you’ve been injured through no fault of your own.
Personal Injury vs. Property Damage
It’s important to note that there is a big difference between personal injury and property damage. For example, say you’ve been in a car accident. The damage to your car is property damage. The bruises and cuts you suffered in the car accident are personal injury. While property damage and personal injury in this case may be related, in the eyes of the law, the cases are two separate entities.
When Do You Need a Lawyer?
When you’ve been involved in an accident, it may be one of the most difficult times of your life. You’re stressed. You’re running out of money. You just want to deal with your injuries the best you can and move on.
At Oshman & Mirisola, LLC, we have some of the most recognized and accomplished personal injury lawyers in New York State and New York City. An attorney is the best-equipped person to secure your compensation for damages and give you what you need to get your life back on track. Your attorney will take on insurance companies that are looking to short-change you to make more money. Look at some of the results we’ve achieved for our clients.
If you’ve been injured, contact us today for a free consultation. We can help you through what is likely one of the most difficult times in your life.
What Is Negligence, and How Do You Prove It?
Personal injury cases revolve around someone else’s negligence. So what is negligence, exactly?
In law, negligence is when someone fails to exercise a standard level of care that a reasonable person or professional would exercise in the same situation. It simply means another person failed to act with reasonable care — and you or someone you love was hurt because of that failure.
Need an example?
Say you’re walking down the street. You go to cross in a crosswalk. You clearly have the “walk” signal, but a car takes a turn at a red light and hits you. You are taken to the hospital to treat your injuries. None of this was your fault, yet you are suffering the consequences. A lawyer could likely prove that the driver of the car that struck you was negligent under the law.
How do you prove negligence?
The short answer is you need proof. More accurately, however, you need a personal injury lawyer who can prove the four following aspects of a case:
- Duty of Care: The person who injured you – the negligent party – had a duty to avoid injuring you.
- Breach of Duty: The person who injured you exposed you to a substantial risk, even if they did not know there was a substantial risk. That lack of knowledge in itself can be negligence.
- Direct Cause: You must prove that your injury was directly caused by the negligent person’s actions (or lack of actions).
- Harm: The injury you suffered caused physical, emotional and/or financial harm. For example, you needed to pay for an ambulance to the hospital. You have a stack of medical bills. You were unable to work and lost wages. You and your family suffered emotional harm due to physical pain and financial stress this situation has caused.
- A personal injury attorney can seek compensation for all of these things, and more.
Statute of Limitations
Never wait to get the help you need and deserve. Once you’re hurt in an accident, the statute of limitations clock starts ticking. Once the statute of limitations runs out, a lawyer will not be able to file a lawsuit. You forfeit your right to seek compensation.
Statutes of limitations vary from state to state. They also vary based on the type of case you have. In New York State, here are some of the general guidelines for the statute of limitations for different cases, according to the New York City Bar Association:
- Slip-and-fall accidents: 3 years from accident
- Car accidents: 3 years from accident
- Product liability: 3 years from accident
- Other negligence resulting in personal injury: 3 years from accident
- Emotional distress (negligent): 3 years from accident
- Medical malpractice: 2 ½ years from malpractice or end of treatment that caused personal injury
- Wrongful death: 2 years from death
- Libel/slander: 1 year from act
- Assault/battery: 1 year from act
- Emotional distress: 1 year from act
What Are the Steps in a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
Here is a general overview of how personal injury cases unfold. Keep in mind that part of our job as your attorney is to make the process as easy as possible for you. You’re already dealing with enough.
- A client reaches out to Oshman & Mirisola for a free consultation and speaks with an attorney. If both sides are willing to pursue the case, you become our client.
- We contact the defendants and any insurance companies involved in the case.
- We begin an investigation into what happened. We collect evidence like medical records, witness statements, physical evidence, surveillance video, police reports and more. If necessary, we call in experts to assist in our investigation.
- About a month after the accident occurred, we will put together a demand list. This will outline the injuries you suffered and, in an itemized summary, detail how much money we believe you deserve.
- The opposing attorneys will typically offer a lower sum, or none at all. We negotiate vigorously, and always with your best interest in mind. We will never agree to a settlement unless it has your approval.
- If the two sides still cannot come to an agreement, the case will go to trial. We prepare every case as if it will go to trial.
Personal injury cases have a very wide spectrum of time until completion. Some cases are settled quickly. Others drag on for years and years. As a client, you must be patient. Your attorney is doing whatever he or she can to resolve the case in your favor.
Reach Out to Our New York Personal Injury Lawyers for Legal Help
Now you know all the basics about personal injury law, when to hire a lawyer and what to expect. At Oshman & Mirisola, we know how difficult of time this can be if you or your loved one has been hurt by someone else’s negligence. We’ll evaluate your case free of charge. Give us a call at 1-800-400-8182 or email us here. Then we’ll see what we can do to best help you.
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