Impact injuries—like those sustained in motor-vehicle collisions—aren’t always immediately apparent. Internal bleeding might not manifest any symptoms for days, for example, whereas brain damage may not be apparent for weeks.
As such, it’s not uncommon for car accident victims to put off seeking medical care. If you were recently involved in a wreck and you felt relatively fine in the aftermath, it was probably easy to justify not visiting a doctor. If you’ve since developed troublesome symptoms, though, you may be wondering how to proceed. While you might have grounds for a personal injury claim, recovering the compensation you deserve could prove to be an uphill battle.
Personal injury claimants have an obligation to mitigate damages. This includes seeking prompt medical care. That means your decision to forego an immediate evaluation could impact the outcome of your case; however, it doesn’t automatically bar you from holding the liable party financially accountable for at least some of the damages you have incurred. And often, a skilled attorney can help a client recover 100 percent of their damages even if medical care was delayed.
To give your claim the best chance of success, visit a doctor as soon as possible, and then take the following steps:
1. Follow All Medical Advice
Ignoring your doctor’s orders will only give the opposing party more reason to challenge your claim. If you’re instructed to stay home and rest, for example, do not go to work. Otherwise, you could be deemed liable for a portion of your losses. This, in turn, could reduce the total compensation to which you are entitled.
New York has a pure comparative fault rule, which reduces a plaintiff’s total damages by his or her own percentage of liability. Missing follow-up appointments, failing to fill prescriptions, and skipping physical therapy sessions are just a few ways plaintiffs can be found partially to blame for the severity of their injuries.
2. Track All Associated Damages
In New York, personal injury claimants are entitled to seek compensation for both economic and non-economic losses including:
- Property repairs,
- Alternative transportation,
- Medical bills,
- Lost wages,
- Loss of earning capacity,
- Replacement services,
- Home and vehicle modifications,
- Mental anguish,
- Loss of enjoyment in life,
- Physical impairment and disfigurement, and
- Pain and suffering.
You can track your economic damages by saving all relevant bills, invoices, receipts, statements, and paystubs. As for tracking non-economic damages, start a personal injury journal, and write detailed entries about the ways in which your condition is affecting your everyday life.
3. Call a Personal Injury Attorney
A seasoned lawyer will conduct a thorough investigation and help you gather the evidence needed to prove liability and damages. Your legal team will also handle all correspondence with the insurance adjuster. This will prevent the opposing party from manipulating you into providing a recorded statement that harms your case.
Schedule a Free Consultation with a New York Car Accident Lawyer
If you were hurt in a motor-vehicle collision through no fault of your own, our attorneys can handle the logistics of your case so you can focus on your health. Call 716-855-3761 or fill out our Contact Form to schedule a free consultation with a car accident attorney in New York.
The best way to determine whether you’ve found the right personal injury attorney is by meeting face to face. To ensure this meeting is as productive as possible, you should bring along any evidence you have obtained such as photos of the scene, medical and financial records, and the police report. You should also bring a list of questions that will help you determine if the attorney would be a smart hire. Those questions should include:
Have you handled cases like mine?
Every personal injury claim may be unique, but those involving the same kinds of scenarios tend to call for the same kinds of strategies. As such, it’s important to find a lawyer who’s handled cases like yours. If the firm focuses primarily on car accident claims, for example, they may not be equipped to investigate medical malpractice.
What is your fee structure?
Most reputable personal injury firms work on a contingency fee basis, which essentially means payment for their services comes out of the final settlement or verdict. This ensures attorneys have a stake in the outcome, so they’re incentivized to seek the maximum payout possible for the client. It also makes quality legal counsel readily accessible, even for those who don’t have a lot of disposable income. Be wary of firms that promise to take your case for a low flat rate. If issues arise over the course of the proceedings, they are unlikely to proceed to litigation since this would come with added costs.
Do I have a strong claim?
Lawyers who practice with integrity talk openly and honestly with their clients. Since legal proceedings are unpredictable, they don’t promise to recover sizable settlements or verdicts just to secure business. Steer clear of attorneys who guarantee a payout.
How should we proceed?
Your attorney will have to conduct a thorough investigation in order to determine the most strategic way to proceed. During the initial consultation, though, the lawyer should go over a few potential approaches. If the lawyer can discuss various tactics with confidence, consider it a good sign.
How can I reach you?
You shouldn’t have to leave multiple voicemails at the firm before someone gets back to you. Likewise, you shouldn’t have to go through a secretary every time you have a simple question or minor concern. During the initial consultation, ask how you can reach the attorney moving forward. If you receive a direct line of contact such as the lawyer’s personal cellphone number, he or she will likely provide attentive counsel over the course of the proceedings.
What can I do to contribute to the strength of my claim?
If you hire a resourceful lawyer, you will be able to focus on making a full recovery while your case proceeds in good hands. But that doesn’t mean you should forget about the pending claim entirely. There are steps you can take to support your attorney’s efforts. For example, your legal team may advise you to stay off social media, start a personal injury journal, save all correspondence with the opposing party, and track your damages.
Are you willing to go to trial if necessary?
While most personal injury claims are resolved without going to trial, there’s always the chance that yours will end up in court. Should the opposing party refuse to offer a fair payout, you don’t want to be stuck with an attorney who’s determined to avoid a trial at all costs.
Discuss Your Case with a Personal Injury Lawyer in New York
At LoTempio P.C. Law Group, we understand the physical, emotional, and financial toll that unanticipated injuries can take on the whole family. If you intend to file a claim against those liable for your injuries, let us handle the logistics of your case so you can focus on more important matters. Call 716-855-3761 or use our Online Contact Form to set up a free consultation with a personal injury attorney in New York.
Most personal injury claims are brought against the insurance company of the liable party. This is called a third-party insurance claim. If you were hurt in a car accident, for example, and your case meets the serious injury threshold, you would likely file the claim with the at-fault motorist’s auto insurer.
During the subsequent proceedings, you would have to prove liability and damages in order to recover a settlement. As such, your legal team would start by conducting an investigation and gathering evidence, which would eventually be followed by settlement negotiations.
If the opposing party refuses to pay a fair settlement, it may be advisable to file a lawsuit.
What Is a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
A personal injury lawsuit is a kind of civil suit. Plaintiffs bring the lawsuit against the party who is liable for their damages.
Even if you bring a personal injury suit against the liable party directly, you could still end up taking on their insurance carrier. Depending on the circumstances of the accident and the terms of the defendant’s insurance policy, their insurance company may have a duty to defend.
Below is a brief overview of the steps involved in personal injury litigation:
1. Submitting the Claim or Demand Letter
After your legal team has determined the extent of the damages and gathered evidence, they will help you draft a demand letter or file the insurance claim. A demand letter would state the total compensation you are seeking and the reasons why you are seeking it. If the demand letter or claim does not lead to a settlement, the next step would be to file a lawsuit.
2. Filing a Formal Lawsuit
Filing a civil suit will let the opposing party know you are serious about obtaining fair compensation. If they denied your initial demand because they assumed you wouldn’t proceed to court, they might be willing to negotiate upon being served. If they still refuse to settle, the case would proceed to discovery. It’s important to note, however, that at any stage of litigation, the case may be settled if both parties can come to an agreement.
During discovery, both parties will exchange information relevant to the case. Interrogatories might be submitted, and depositions may be taken from various expert and percipient witnesses, as well as the people involved in the accident.
4. Alternative Dispute Resolution
Alternative dispute resolution, such as mediation and early settlement conferences, are more efficient and less time-consuming than formal trial. Depending on the circumstances, it may be possible to resolve your lawsuit through ADR.
If ADR proves unsuccessful, the case will go before a judge or jury. After either side presents their claims, defenses, and evidence, the court will issue a verdict.
Speak with a New York Personal Injury Attorney Today
If you intend to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit, contact LoTempio P.C. Law Group. Our resourceful attorneys have more than 200 years of combined experience practicing law. Call 716-855-3761 or fill out our Contact Form to schedule a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer in New York.
If your medical care has resulted in serious complications, that doesn’t necessarily mean your providers were negligent. But of course, you cannot expect a doctor, nurse, or medical facility to voluntarily admit they deviated from the most widely accepted standards of care.
The unfortunate truth is that medical errors are a leading cause of death in the United States. If you suspect medical malpractice has occurred, you should take the following steps to protect your health and your legal rights:
1. Consider Seeking Medical Care Elsewhere
In the wake of a medical mistake, your first priority should be your health. You’re under no obligation to continue seeing the physician who failed to provide adequate care, regardless of what the facility—or your insurance carrier—says.
In addition to protecting your health, seeking prompt care elsewhere will demonstrate a commitment to mitigating damages. In other words, taking your healthcare seriously will prevent your medical costs and other damages from increasing unnecessarily. This can reduce the likelihood of facing a dispute if you bring a medical malpractice claim.
2. Save All Relevant Records
Request a copy of your medical records from the facility where the incident occurred as soon as possible. This could prevent certain records from being altered or destroyed to cover up negligence.
You should also save all correspondence with the defendant—or their insurer—and all bills, receipts, and invoices for costs incurred as a result of the medical negligence. In New York, the following economic damages might be recoverable in a medical malpractice case:
- Healthcare expenses;
- Home care;
- Replacement services;
- Lost wages; and
- Lost earning capacity.
3. Start a Personal Injury Journal
Human memory becomes less reliable with time, so write down everything you remember about the care you received as soon as possible. Remember: No detail is too small to include.
Then, write daily entries about the treatments you’re undergoing as a result of the complications you suffered. Also, make note of any symptoms you experience and their severity. Because New York allows for the recovery of non-economic damages—e.g. pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment in life—you should also write about the ways in which the malpractice is affecting your everyday life.
4. Consult a Personal Injury Lawyer
Seeking counsel right away will give your legal team the opportunity to gather time-sensitive evidence before it’s altered or destroyed. Consulting an attorney immediately will also prevent you from making critical mistakes that might otherwise jeopardize your medical malpractice claim.
Discuss Your Claim with a Medical Malpractice Attorney in New York
If you received substandard care, turn to LoTempio P.C. Law Group to find out if you may have grounds for a claim against the provider or facility that treated you. Our strategic attorneys have more than 200 years of combined experience in the legal field. Call 716-855-3761 or use our Online Contact Form to set up a free consultation with a medical malpractice lawyer in New York.
If you sustained serious injuries on the job, suing your employer might yield a much larger payout than filing a workers’ compensation claim. Whether you are able to bring a suit, however, depends on the circumstances.
Generally speaking, injured employees are barred from suing their employers following a workplace accident. Instead, they must file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits.
In the state of New York, nearly all employers are required to purchase workers’ compensation coverage. Should an employee get hurt on the job, this coverage may compensate him or her—or his or her family—for:
- A portion of lost wages;
- Medical expenses associated with treating the injury;
- Supplemental disability or death benefits;
- Funeral and burial expenses if the injury proves fatal; and
- Death benefits for surviving dependents.
This system is in place to limit costly, complicated, and lengthy litigation proceedings between employers and employees. There is at least one major drawback, though; workers’ comp doesn’t compensate claimants for their non-economic damages.
Personal injury or wrongful death plaintiffs, on the other hand, may seek funds for all of the aforementioned damages in addition to non-economic damages. Examples include pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment in life, physical impairment, and disfigurement. It may also be possible to obtain compensation for lost earning capacity and other objectively verifiable costs such as home care, child care, and housekeeping.
Because personal injury suits can yield considerably larger payouts than workers’ compensation claims, it is worth consulting an attorney before applying for benefits. By submitting a claim for workers’ compensation, you are essentially waiving your right to sue.
If any of the following applies to your situation, proceeding with a lawsuit may be worth considering:
- Your Employer Intentionally Hurt You: If your employer set out to cause you harm, you may be entitled not only to compensatory damages but also to a punitive award. In order to win punitive damages, however, you will have to prove your employer’s malicious intentions.
- Your Employer Does Not Have an Adequate Insurance Policy: If your employer does not have enough workers’ compensation coverage—or any at all—to reimburse you for the resulting damages, you may be entitled to file a personal injury claim instead.
- Your Injuries Were Caused by a Third Party: If neither your employer nor one of your colleagues was responsible for your injuries, you are not bound by the workers’ compensation system. For example, if you were struck by a drunk driver while running a work-related errand in a company vehicle, you could sue the impaired motorist, even if you were on the clock when the accident occurred.
Call 716-855-3761 to Discuss Your Case with a New York Workers’ Compensation Attorney
If you were hurt in a workplace accident, contact LoTempio P.C. Law Group to determine the most strategic way to proceed. We’ve been representing injured employees and their families for more than 40 years. Call 716-855-3761 or use our Online Contact Form to set up a free case evaluation with a workers’ compensation lawyer in New York.
If you were hurt in a car accident through no fault of your own, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills and other economic and non-economic damages. To avoid disputes and give your claim the best chance of success, you must take reasonable steps to facilitate your medical recovery. This is called “mitigating damages.”
If you fail to mitigate the damages, you may be deemed partially liable for your losses. Depending on the circumstances, this could lead to a significant reduction in your financial award.
Let’s take a look at some of the most effective ways to mitigate damages after a car accident:
1. Seek Prompt Medical Care
Some of the most common impact injuries—examples include whiplash, organ damage, and head trauma—might not manifest symptoms for hours or even days after they occur. Without medical intervention, though, serious complications can develop.
As such, your top priority in the wake of the collision should be to undergo a medical evaluation, even if you feel relatively fine. By visiting a doctor right away, the insurance company won’t be able to say that your decision to forego a medical assessment has exacerbated your condition.
2. Follow Your Doctor’s Orders
If you sustained serious injuries, you will probably have to rest for a period of time. You may be instructed to stay home from work, for example, and to avoid strenuous activities. If you ignore any such orders, the opposing party might assert that your own negligence has caused your condition to worsen or prolonged your recovery.
As an added precaution, stay off social media until your claim has been resolved. Even if you are, indeed, following your doctor’s orders, your online posts might indicate that you are not taking your medical care seriously. The insurance company may use such posts to dispute your claim.
3. Arrange for Necessary Services
Most people don’t have the savings to miss an extended period of time from work. If your finances are tight, it’s only natural to search for ways to cut costs; however, if you do not arrange for services that are necessary to facilitate your medical recovery and this exacerbates your condition, the insurance company might say that you have failed to mitigate the damages.
Fortunately, personal injury claimants may be entitled to compensation for a variety of objectively verifiable losses (economic damages) including child care, domestic help, alternative transportation, and home and vehicle modifications. If you’re not sure whether to invest in these services, a personal injury attorney can help you make informed decisions.
Call 716-855-3761 to Speak with a Car Accident Attorney in New York
At LoTempio P.C. Law Group, we understand the physical, emotional, and financial toll that unanticipated injuries can have on your life. We will fight tirelessly on your behalf to pursue the compensation you deserve.
Our attorneys have more than 200 years of combined experience in the legal field. Call 716-855-3761 or fill out our Contact Form to schedule a free consultation with a car accident lawyer in New York.
There are nearly 2 million rear-end collisions on U.S. roads every year, the vast majority of which are entirely preventable. If every motorist chose to follow the rules of the road, drive in a predictable manner, and remain alert at all times, there would be at least 500,000 fewer injuries and 1,700 fewer traffic fatalities annually.
If you were hurt in a rear-end collision, you may be entitled to compensation for the associated damages. Read on to learn some of the most frequently asked questions about these claims:
1. How Do You Prove Liability for a Rear-End Collision?
The strongest evidence of fault will depend on the underlying cause of the accident. Some of the most common causes of rear-end collisions include tailgating, texting while behind the wheel, speeding, drunk driving, and foul weather. Maintenance issues, such as faulty brakes and tire blowouts, can also cause these wrecks.
Depending on the circumstances, evidence of liability may include:
- Dash cam footage from passing vehicles or surveillance recordings from cameras near the scene;
- Deposition from eyewitnesses;
- Photographs of the wreckage;
- Toxicology reports;
- The official police report;
- Cell phone records;
- Maintenance records; and
- Deposition from an accident reconstruction expert.
2. What Kinds of Damages Might Be Available Following a Rear-End Collision?
In the state of New York, personal injury claimants can seek compensation for both the economic and non-economic damages that they incur. Such damages might include:
- Hospital bills;
- Anticipated future medical expenses;
- Lost wages;
- Loss of earning capacity;
- Property damage;
- Alternative transportation;
- Reasonably necessary home and vehicle modifications to accommodate any resulting disabilities;
- Home care;
- Child care;
- Domestic help;
- Physical impairment and disfigurement;
- Loss of enjoyment in life; and
- Pain and suffering.
3. What If the Opposing Party Is Uncooperative?
If the opposing party disputes your claim or refuses to offer a fair settlement, you may have no choice but to file a lawsuit and proceed to litigation. In the state of New York, the standard statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits is three years when the cause of action is negligence. For cases involving intentional torts, however, the statute of limitations is just one year.
If you were rear-ended by someone in a fit of road rage, for example, the shorter filing deadline might apply. Because there are other factors that could affect the lawsuit filing deadline, it’s wise to consult an attorney as soon as possible following the wreck.
Call 716-855-3761 to Speak with a New York Car Accident Attorney
If you or someone you love was struck by a drunk, distracted, or otherwise reckless driver, contact LoTempio P.C. Law Group. Our attorneys have extensive experience in rear-end collision claims, and we have won substantial settlements and verdicts against some of the largest insurance companies in the state.
We will answer your questions, conduct a thorough investigation into the collision, and help you determine the most strategic way to proceed with your personal injury claim. Call 716-855-3761 or fill out our Contact Form to schedule a free consultation with a car accident lawyer in New York.
If you were hurt on the job, you’re not automatically entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Eligibility will depend on a number of factors including the steps you take—or fail to take—in the wake of the accident.
Let’s examine some of the most important steps to take following a workplace accident:
1. Seek Medical Care
Unless the circumstances constitute a medical emergency, seek prompt care from a provider who’s been authorized by the Workers’ Compensation Board. If your employer is part of a Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) or an Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) program, your selection will be limited to physicians who participate in the arrangement. Additionally, your employer—or their insurance carrier—may have a say in the labs and pharmacies that you can use over the course of treatment.
2. Notify Your Supervisor
As soon as your condition stabilizes, submit written notice of your injuries and the way in which they occurred to your supervisor. Even if he or she witnessed the accident, you must notify him or her of the situation within 30 days or you could lose the right to receive benefits.
3. Call a Personal Injury Lawyer
It’s wise to consult an attorney before proceeding with your workers’ compensation claim. Depending on the circumstances, you might be able to file a personal injury claim instead. Since workers’ compensation doesn’t include funds for non-economic damages like pain and suffering, you may want to file a personal injury claim in lieu of filing an insurance claim if you have the grounds to do so.
4. File Your Claim
Regardless of whether you end up proceeding with a workers’ comp claim or a personal injury suit, time is of the essence because both have filing deadlines. For example, injured employees typically have two years from the date on which they were hurt in an accident or disabled by an occupational disease to seek workers’ compensation. As for filing a personal injury suit, the standard statute of limitations is three years, but only if the cause of action was negligence.
If the case involves an intentional tort, the filing deadline is just one year. And if you intend to bring a suit against a government agency, you must submit written notice within 90 days. You then have one year and 90 days from the date on which you were hurt to file suit.
5. Follow Your Doctor’s Orders
Both workers’ comp claimants and personal injury plaintiffs are obligated to mitigate damages, which means following their doctor’s orders. Should you participate in activities that your physician prohibited or return to work before being instructed to do so, it could jeopardize the strength of your case.
Call 716-855-3761 to Discuss Your Case with a New York Workers’ Compensation Attorney
If you were hurt in a workplace accident, contact LoTempio P.C. Law Group to determine the most strategic way to proceed. After evaluating the situation, we will let you know whether the circumstances warrant a workers’ compensation claim or a personal injury lawsuit. Call 716-855-3761 or use our Online Contact Form to set up a free consultation with a workers’ compensation lawyer in New York.
The outcome of any personal injury claim ultimately hinges on the strength of the evidence. If you bring a claim against the at-fault party or their insurance carrier, you will have to prove liability. You must also prove causation and damages.
One type of evidence that might help your lawyer prove all three of these elements is a personal injury journal. This journal should provide a firsthand account of everything you remember about the accident; your statements and actions over the following hours, days, and weeks; and the symptoms and challenges you face during recovery.
What Should I Write About in My Personal Injury Journal?
For the first entry, record everything you remember about the accident in question. No detail is too small to include.
Below are a few factors to consider when writing the initial entry:
- The location of the accident;
- The time of day and, if relevant, the weather conditions;
- The names and phone numbers of any eyewitnesses;
- The factors that contributed to the accident;
- Your actions just before the incident;
- A description of statements you provided to the other parties involved and law enforcement;
- Whether you noticed any surveillance cameras in the vicinity; and
- Whether any arrests were made.
Writing down everything you remember right away can help you recall important details during your free consultation with an attorney. This will ensure your legal team has a strong starting point for the investigation.
After recounting what happened, use the journal to write daily entries about your recovery. For example, you should write about:
- Your Medical Appointments: Your medical records might state your diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment modalities, but it’s your journal entries that will paint a clear picture of all that your recovery entails. After every appointment, write a brief description of what happened. Include the provider you saw, the symptoms you discussed, and the tests or procedures that were performed.
- Your Daily Struggles: How are the injuries impacting your everyday life? Write about the ways in which any associated limitations are preventing you from taking care of your family or participating in activities you once loved. You should also track the amount of work you’ve missed.
- Your Symptoms: Describe any medication side effects, the symptoms you experience, the severity of those symptoms, and their frequency.
These entries may help your lawyer build a more compelling claim for non-economic damages such as pain and suffering. They could also demonstrate your commitment to mitigating the damages.
Speak with a New York Personal Injury Attorney Today
At LoTempio P.C. Law Group, we understand the physical, emotional, and financial toll that unanticipated injuries can have on your life. If you were seriously hurt through no fault of your own, we can help you seek compensation from all liable parties.
We accept personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis. Call us today at 716-855-3761 or use our Online Contact Form to set up a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer in New York.
When you experience health issues, it’s reasonable to assume your condition will improve upon seeking medical care. But if your condition deteriorates or fails to recover despite undergoing treatment, the reason could be that your medical provider failed to use the most widely accepted standards of care.
Here are some of the most common signs that you were a victim of medical malpractice:
1. Your Treatment Was Unsuccessful
Just because your treatment was unsuccessful does not mean your provider was negligent. Your attorney can review the facts of your case and conduct a thorough investigation to determine whether medical malpractice may have occurred.
Many failed medical interventions can be traced back to diagnostic errors, which happen far more often than many patients realize. According to one researcher who studied clinical decision making, up to 15 percent of diagnoses are incorrect.
Naturally, your condition is unlikely to improve if you were misdiagnosed. Because certain conditions manifest the same symptoms or no symptoms at all, and some conditions are incredibly rare, physicians are not expected to diagnose 100 percent of their patients correctly; however, they have a duty to take reasonable steps to deliver the most accurate diagnoses possible.
If a particular treatment isn’t working, doctors must take reasonable steps to determine why. This might include performing additional tests. When a provider is negligent during diagnosis and this results in damages, the patient may have grounds for medical malpractice claim.
2. You Developed a Severe Infection
A foreign object is left inside a patient during about 1,500 surgical procedures each year. Most often left behind are sponges and surgical instruments. This can result in severe infection. There are many other ways that medical negligence can lead to infection, such as when a healthcare provider overlooks the symptoms of infection for fails to properly sanitize surgical instruments. In a hospital setting, serious infections such as sepsis can be fatal.
3. You Suffered Medication-Related Complications
Every drug on the market has the potential to cause side effects. If you experienced major complications after taking your medication as prescribed, though, it could be because you received the wrong drug or dosage, or due to some other medication error.
Pharmaceutical errors are fairly common. Physicians may prescribe the wrong drug or pharmacists may dispense the wrong drug or dosage. Your lawyer can investigate your case to find out if a medication mistake might have contributed to your condition.
Call 716-855-3761 to Discuss Your Case with a New York Medical Malpractice Attorney
If you think you were the victim of medical malpractice, contact LoTempio P.C. Law Group to determine the most strategic way to proceed. Our attorneys have more than 200 years of combined experience in the legal field.
We have the resources to take on even the largest healthcare institutions and their insurance providers. Call 716-855-3761 or use our Online Contact Form to set up a free case review with a medical malpractice lawyer in New York.