Personal Injury Lawyer FAQ’s
1. I have been injured in an accident, what should I do?
If you think you may be injured, get medical attention immediately
. Make sure your accident is reported while you are still at the scene. For example if you fall in a supermarket or building lobby, have an employee make an accident report. Try to determine what caused you to fall, and take photos or have someone accompanying you take them if possible. Get the name and contact information of any witnesses.
If you have fallen on a sidewalk or in the street, it is important to have a police officer come to the scene and prepare a report. This police “aided” report may be critical proof of your accident and where it happened. If you are contacted by investigators, lawyers or insurance company employees, we strongly recommend that you take their contact information, but do not discuss your accident with them. Contact a New York City accident attorney immediately for advice on how to deal with the insurance company, and to see if you have a case.
2. I have been injured in a car accident, what should I do?
Call the police, or have someone call the police for you. Get the driver’s information- the name of the driver and the owner of the other vehicle, the license plate number and the name of the insurance company. Try to get photos of the scene, showing the location of the vehicles and any damage. If you are a driver involved in an accident, you must report it to your insurance company as soon as possible. If you fail to do so, the insurance company may try to deny coverage to you.
We strongly recommend that you consult with a law firm as soon as possible so they can do a timely investigation, advise you of your rights and start your lawsuit.
If you were in a motor vehicle and injured in an accident, or you were a pedestrian or bicyclist struck by a vehicle, you are eligible for no fault insurance benefits. Read more about no fault insurance below.
3. What is no-fault insurance?
No-fault insurance will pay your hospital and medical expenses that arise from a motor vehicle accident, as well as a portion of your lost earnings if you are unable to work. If you were a driver, passenger, pedestrian or bicyclist involved in a motor vehicle accident, a New York personal injury lawyer can bring a lawsuit on your behalf, and you are also eligible for no-fault insurance benefits.
You should speak to an attorney as soon as possible, and be sure the firm is willing to assist you with your no-fault claim. The claim must be filed within 30 days of your accident. After your claim is filed, the insurance company will often look for reasons not to pay medical bills or lost earnings. A law firm that is experienced in handling no-fault claims will answer your question, make the process much easier, and get you all the benefits you are entitled to.
4. I was injured at work. Do I have a lawsuit or a workers compensation claim?
You may have the right to both a lawsuit and a worker’s compensation claim. People in some occupations are eligible for worker’s compensation benefits. If you are covered by worker’s compensation and you are injured in the course of your work, you are eligible to have your medical expenses and a portion of your lost earnings paid by your employer’s worker’s compensation insurance company.
However, if your employer provides worker’s compensation insurance, you cannot also sue them. You may have the right to sue someone else who is responsible for your injury. For example, if you are a worker injured at a construction site, you can collect worker’s compensation benefits through your employer, and also sue other parties such as the general contractor or site owner.
Some uniform services, such as New York City police officers and firefighters, are not eligible for worker’s compensation benefits. Instead, if they suffer a line-of-duty injury, the City of New York will pay their medical expenses and continue their pay while they cannot work. In addition to receiving these benefits, these uniformed employees may also sue any party responsible for their injuries, including the City of New York.
5. I am unhappy with my lawyer. Can I change?
You have the right to be satisfied with the legal services provided. If you have an injury or medical malpractice case and have retained a lawyer but are unhappy with their services, you can change lawyers at any time. At Carro, Carro & Mitchell, we are frequently contacted by people who are unhappy with their current lawyer. They don’t know what is happening with their case, or their telephone calls are not returned. You have the right to be confident that your case is in good hands. Our expert New York City accident attorneys are committed to devoting their full attention and talent to each client.
If we accept your case, you will not have to pay any costs or fees to your former attorney at that time, and you will not pay any additional percentage or costs when your case is resolved. We will handle these issues with your old firm, we will handle the transfer of your file, and you don’t have to have any additional discussion or contact with your old law firm once you have retained us to represent you.
6. How much time do I have to sue?
It depends. Generally the time limit, otherwise known as the statute of limitations, is 3 years in New York if you are injured due to the negligence of another person or private company. However, in many cases the time is much shorter. For example, if you were injured by the intentional act of another, such as an assault, the time limit is one year. If someone is killed in an accident the time to sue is two years. The statue of limitations for medical malpractice is generally two and one-half years.
Beware! Any case against the City of New York or a City agency is subject to a 90-day period to file a notice of claim and a one year plus 90 day statute of limitations
There may be some circumstances in which these periods are extended, but generally, the failure to start your case or claim within the applicable time will result in your case being dismissed.
WE STRONGLY RECOMMEND THAT YOU CALL AN ACCIDENT ATTORNEY AS SOON AS POSSIBLE AFTER YOU ARE INJURED TO FIND OUT HOW MUCH TIME YOU HAVE TO START YOUR CLAIM OR LAWSUIT.
7. What is the cost to me if Carro, Carro & Mitchell takes my injury case?
Carro, Carro & Mitchell takes accident and medical malpractice cases on a contingency fee basis. That means you do not pay us any money “up front”. The legal fee is paid when we settle your case, or you receive payment from a trial judgment.
8. How do I choose a Lawyer?
First, let us tell you how not to choose a lawyer. If you have been injured in an accident and a stranger approaches you at the scene, or in the hospital, and hands you a lawyer’s card, or recommends you to a particular doctor or lawyer, we strongly urge you NOT to call them. There are ethical rules in New York against direct solicitation and many of these ‘runners’ are paid by lawyers to deliver you to their office. Reputable lawyers do not do this. Don’t trust your case to an unethical lawyer.
If you are reading this, then you have access to the Internet. Research law firms that handle cases similar to yours. We recommend that you select a firm that focuses on accident and medical malpractice cases, is dedicated to their clients and has a clear record of successful results. Call the firm and schedule an appointment; you should feel comfortable with the firm and confident that you are in good hands. Our experienced New York personal injury lawyers at Carro, Carro & Mitchell understand the importance of effectively handling each individual case to make sure the maximum settlement is obtained.
9. What if I am an undocumented immigrant and I am injured? Can I still sue?
Yes. Immigrant New Yorkers have the exact same right to sue and recover for your pain and suffering, medical expenses and lost earnings.
Unfortunately, undocumented immigrants often have to work at dangerous jobs – in construction, in factories, driving vehicles, and they get hurt at work. New York State and Federal courts have ruled that undocumented New Yorkers have the same rights in a lawsuit as a citizen and cannot be discriminated against.
Some of our undocumented clients were afraid they might be deported if they brought a lawsuit. We have not found that to be true. In the 100 years of our combined legal experience, we have never had enforcement action taken against a client who brought a lawsuit.
If you would like more information please follow this link to a related blog article on our Spanish speaking lawyers fighting for undocumented workers.
10. If I have a case, will I have to testify at trial?
It is most likely that you will not have to testify at trial. Most personal injury cases, statistically more than 95%, are settled before trial. However, sometimes a defendant’s insurance company refuses to make a fair settlement offer. Therefore it is important to hire a law firm that is willing to take your case to trial and has a successful trial record.
11. If I have a lawsuit, will it take a lot of my time?
No. At Carro, Carro & Mitchell, our New York City accident attorneys do require your cooperation and participation in your case, but we will minimize the disruption to your life. Generally, there will be very few days when you have to come to the office. If your case settles before trial, as most often happens, you may never have to go to the courthouse. Of course, you are always welcome to schedule an appointment to meet with your lawyer at Carro, Carro & Mitchell to discuss your case.
If you have any questions that haven’t been answered here, call us at (212) 213-5005. We will answer your questions on the telephone, or schedule a free consultation at our office.