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.
Pedestrian accidents have the potential to cause catastrophic—and often fatal—injuries. Because people on foot have no protection from forceful impacts, even low-speed collisions can result in permanent disability or death.
When you consider the statistics—on average, a pedestrian dies from crash-related injuries every 90 minutes—it becomes alarmingly apparent just how common these devastating accidents are. For those who lose their loved ones, though, the victims aren’t just another statistic; they’re an irreplaceable part of the family.
While suing the drunk, distracted, or otherwise reckless motorist won’t undo the tragedy that unfolded, it may help the deceased’s surviving relatives achieve some sense of closure. It could also protect the family’s financial security in the wake of the loss.
Read on to learn the answers to some frequently asked questions about pedestrian accident wrongful death claims:
1. When Should I Call a Wrongful Death Lawyer?
In the state of New York, the standard statute of limitations for wrongful death lawsuits is two years; however, that doesn’t mean you should postpone calling a lawyer. Critical evidence may be time-sensitive, and the insurance company will likely reach out within just a few days of the crash, so it’s wise to call an attorney and start building your case as soon as possible.
What’s more, there are exceptions to the two-year filing deadline. If you intend to bring a suit against a government agency, for example, you must submit notice of your claim within just 90 days, and you must file the lawsuit within 15 months.
2. Will My Family Still Have Grounds for a Claim If the Deceased Had Been Jaywalking?
If the victim was jaywalking at the time of the accident, the insurer may refuse to cover 100 percent of the resulting damages or try to deny the claim outright; however, a skilled attorney may still be able to get your family fairly compensated depending on the circumstances. For example, if the pedestrian was exercising reasonable caution and there were no crosswalks available, the motorist who struck him or her may shoulder at least some liability. After all, drivers have a duty to travel at safe speeds and to exercise reasonable care so they can make evasive maneuvers when hazards—or pedestrians—appear.
3. How Can I Prove Liability for My Loved One’s Death?
In order to obtain a recovery from the at-fault party’s insurer, you will have to prove liability. The strongest evidence of liability in these cases typically includes some combination of the following:
- Photographs of the accident scene;
- The official police report;
- Dash cam footage or surveillance recordings of the incident;
- Cell phone records;
- Eyewitness deposition; and
- Toxicology reports.
Call 716-855-3761 to Discuss Your Case with a New York Wrongful Death Attorney
At LoTempio P.C. Law Group, we are committed to helping accident victims and their loved ones seek the compensation they need to put their lives back together. Our compassionate attorneys have more than 200 years of combined experience in the legal field.
We have helped thousands of clients in personal injury and wrongful death cases. Call 716-855-3761 or use our Online Contact Form to set up a free consultation with a wrongful death lawyer in New York.
If you were hurt in a car accident, you may want to turn to your friends and followers on social media for support. You might have hundreds or even thousands of digital connections who can offer advice and encouragement during such a stressful time; however, if you intend to file a claim, it’s advisable to stay off social media for as long as the case is pending.
The insurance adjuster may try to monitor your online activity over the course of the proceedings to find posts that can be used to deny or at least devalue your claim. If temporarily disabling your accounts isn’t an option, be sure to avoid the following mistakes:
1. Describing Your Injuries
It’s reasonable to assume that posting about your injuries and the challenges they pose will only serve to strengthen your claim. Depending on the circumstances, though, sharing photos, videos, and updates could end up backfiring. Should there be any discrepancies between what you post and what you end up telling the insurer, it will open the door to a dispute.
2. Posting About Your Progress
Your friends and loved ones are undoubtedly worried about you, but if they reach out on a public platform, don’t respond. Instead, give them a call or meet up in person to inform them of any improvements in your condition.
While a photograph captures but a single moment in time, its subject matter could be enough to dispute the severity of your injuries. And if you post a picture of you participating in strenuous activities or attending social gatherings, the insurer might argue that you have failed to mitigate the damages, which could reduce your financial recovery.
3. Accepting New Friends or Followers
As long as your claim is pending, don’t accept requests from people whom you don’t recognize. They could be acting on behalf of the insurance company. Assuming you’ve enabled the most secure privacy settings on each profile, friending or following you would be the easiest way for the opposing party to monitor your activity.
4. Discussing the Accident
Do not talk about the accident in any capacity online. Ask your friends to avoid doing so, as well. Otherwise, they might be inclined to share newspaper articles about the incident or offer legal strategies for holding the liable party accountable. Should the insurer see any such posts—or your responses to them—they may be able to determine the direction in which you plan to take the case. The insurer might also try to shift at least part of the blame to you or to another party.
Speak with a Car Accident Attorney in New York Today
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 were struck by a drunk, distracted, or otherwise reckless driver, let us help you pursue the full compensation you deserve. Call 716-855-3761 or use our Online Contact Form to set up a free case evaluation with a car accident lawyer in New York.
New York prohibits the use of hand-held mobile devices while behind the wheel. Unfortunately, the potential penalties for violating this law—traffic tickets, fines, surcharges, and DMV points—aren’t enough to deter all motorists from texting and driving. They are, however, enough to keep some individuals from admitting their transgression and accepting fault in the event of a collision.
That means if you were struck by a distracted driver, your attorney will likely need to perform a thorough investigation to compile evidence of negligence and liability. Examples of this evidence include:
1. The Official Police Report
Even if the at-fault driver didn’t admit to texting and driving, responding officers may have assumed as much and included their suspicions in their report. This document might contain other details that help prove liability, as well, such as statements from eyewitnesses.
2. Eyewitness Deposition
If you were struck in a fairly congested area, nearby motorists, passengers, and/or pedestrians may have witnessed the at-fault driver using a mobile device in the seconds leading up to the crash. The liable party’s passengers—if there were any—may also be able to provide deposition that corroborates your claim.
3. Cell Phone Records
The at-fault motorist’s cell phone records will probably be the strongest evidence of negligence. It’s unlikely, however, that the driver or his or her carrier will relinquish them voluntarily. Your attorney can apply legal pressure to obtain these records. This may involve filing a subpoena for their release.
4. Social Media Posts
Nearly 4 out of 5 Americans have at least one social media profile. As such, there’s a good chance the distracted driver wasn’t actually texting behind the wheel but was instead interacting with friends or followers online. Should this be the case, there may be timestamped posts or messages proving as much.
5. Video Footage
Because of advancements in technology that have made dash cams incredibly affordable, these devices are fairly ubiquitous. That means even if your vehicle doesn’t have one, the crash may have been captured by another dash cam in the vicinity. After identifying other motorists who were near the scene, your legal team can contact them to see if they happen to have footage of the accident.
Surveillance cameras in the area may have also captured the collision—or the driver using a mobile device leading up to it. Because many business establishments, housing complexes, and schools are equipped with surveillance systems, your lawyer will follow up with all relevant parties to obtain any footage that could prove valuable.
Call 716-855-3761 to Speak with a Car Accident Attorney in New York
If you or someone you love was struck by a distracted driver, contact LoTempio P.C. Law Group to discuss your case. Our team has more than 200 years of combined experience practicing law.
Let us use all the resources at our disposal to help you obtain critical evidence that will strengthen your 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 injured or lost a family member in a car accident and you intend to file a claim, you may be wondering whether to enlist help from an attorney. While you have the right to navigate the proceedings on your own, hiring an attorney comes with a number of benefits and is especially advisable if you’ve incurred significant medical bills, lost income, and other damages.
Let’s take a look at some of the biggest reasons to hire a car accident lawyer:
1. You and the Claims Adjuster Have Competing Goals
Regardless of how sympathetic or accommodating the insurance adjuster seems, their end goal is in direct opposition to your own. Your aim will be to secure a settlement that will cover all the damages you’ve incurred, but the insurance company will want to protect their bottom line—and that means denying or at least devaluing claims whenever possible.
A personal injury attorney will advocate for you at every stage of the proceedings. Your lawyer will not let the claims adjuster take advantage of your vulnerable position by coercing you into accepting an unfair settlement.
2. Proving Liability Could Pose a Challenge
Your attorney not only can perform a thorough investigation but also will have access to valuable resources such as accident reconstruction experts. They can also apply legal pressure where needed to access surveillance recordings, dash cam footage, black box data, cell phone records, and other evidence that might be withheld.
3. The Initial Settlement Offer May Not Be Fair
Personal injury claimants can pursue compensation for both the economic and non-economic damages they incur; however, that doesn’t mean the insurance adjuster will automatically include all recoverable losses in the settlement calculations. It’s up to claimants to ensure the settlement accounts for all the damages they deserve. Unfortunately, many accident victims agree to a settlement only to find out later that they left thousands of dollars on the table.
4. It’s Possible to Jeopardize Even the Strongest Claim Inadvertently
Your attorney will handle all correspondence with the insurance company so the claims adjuster cannot exert undue influence over you. Your lawyer will also prevent you from making critical missteps over the course of the proceedings.
Some of the most common mistakes that car accident victims make include:
- Posting about the accident, their injuries, or the pending claim on social media;
- Giving a recorded statement to the insurer;
- Overlooking future losses such as anticipated medical bills or loss of future earnings; and
- Failing to mitigate the damages—for example, by ignoring their doctor’s orders.
Call 716-855-3761 to Discuss Your Case with a New York Car Accident Attorney
At LoTempio P.C. Law Group, we understand the devastating toll that unanticipated injuries can take on the whole family. Our team is available 24/7 to take your call. Dial 716-855-3761 or use our Online Contact Form to set up a free case evaluation with a car accident lawyer in New York.
When you move an elderly loved one into a nursing home, it’s with the assumption that he or she will eventually pass away peacefully while living there. Senior citizens don’t typically relocate to a long-term care facility with the intention of moving out someday.
If your relative died a lot sooner than anticipated due to abuse or negligence, you may have grounds for a claim against the nursing home facility. Questioning the death of an 80- or 90-year-old loved one may seem absurd, but it’s something that wrongful death attorneys encourage all families to do. Depending on the circumstances, the facility may be liable for funeral expenses, medical costs related to the fatal injury or illness, and other damages.
To help your case get off to a strong start, take these five steps:
1. Call a Personal Injury Lawyer
A resourceful law firm can conduct a thorough investigation to determine whether your loved one’s death was caused by negligence or abuse. Important evidence may eventually be altered or destroyed, so it’s important that your attorney can initiate the investigation right away.
2. Gather Relevant Records
Compile documents that will help facilitate your legal team’s investigation. Examples include:
- Nursing home records;
- Hospital intake forms and discharge paperwork;
- Photographs of any visible bruises or lacerations;
- Statements from other residents or their visitors; and
- The autopsy report and/or death certificate.
3. Write Down Everything You Remember About the Potentially Questionable Care Your Loved One Received
Were there a series of unexplained hospitalizations toward the end of the victim’s life? Did you notice any bedsores or extreme weight loss on your last few visits to the nursing home?
Write down everything you can remember about your loved one’s declining health as soon as possible. No detail is too small to include.
4. Track Damages
In the state of New York, eligible beneficiaries may seek compensation for reasonable funeral and burial expenses, loss of support and services, and medical expenses accrued over the course of the final injury or illness. The personal representative of the deceased’s estate may also bring a survival action. Such claims aim to compensate the estate for any damages the deceased experienced prior to passing such as pain and suffering.
5. Avoid Posting About the Situation Online
It’s only natural to turn to your online friends and followers for support following such a traumatic loss. Because the insurance adjuster could be monitoring your social media presence, though, it’s best to avoid posting about the situation at all until the case has been resolved.
Discuss Your Claim with a Nursing Home Neglect Lawyer in New York
If your loved one died from complications caused by nursing home neglect or abuse, turn to the compassionate team at LoTempio P.C. for guidance. Our resourceful personal injury attorneys will help your family navigate every stage of the proceedings. Call 716-855-3761 or use our Online Contact Form to set up a free case review with a wrongful death attorney in New York.
If you and your ex cannot agree on a custody arrangement, your case may end up in front of a judge. During the ensuing proceedings, the judge will attempt to determine the best interests of the children by asking both parties a series of questions.
While there’s no way to guarantee a particular outcome for your case, you can strengthen your position by preparing your answers to the following questions and gathering any relevant supporting documents:
1. What Is Your Employment Situation?
Parents who aren’t gainfully employed aren’t necessarily barred from winning custody; however, if you don’t have a job, you can be sure the judge is going to ask why.
Should you be a stay-at-home parent, it won’t hurt your chances of getting custody. If, on the other hand, you’ve simply been unable to either secure or hold a position for some time, the underlying reason why might impact the outcome of the proceedings.
2. How Strong Is Your Emotional Bond with the Children?
It’s not uncommon for children to feel closer to one parent than the other. Be honest with yourself when considering the answer to this question; do they have a stronger bond with you or your ex? If the answer is your ex, start taking steps now to strengthen your own relationship with them.
3. What Kind of Role Do You Play in the Children’s Everyday Lives?
Rarely do two parents split the childrearing evenly. Depending on their other obligations—examples include working, going to school, and caring for an elderly relative—they might establish a routine where one parent addresses most of the children’s day-to-day needs.
For this reason, the judge might ask questions like who gets the kids ready for school in the morning and who helps them with their homework every night. Your answers will help the court determine what kind of arrangement will have the least impact on the kids’ current routine.
4. What Is Your Communication Like with the Other Parent?
Family law judges believe it’s almost always in a child’s best interests to maintain a relationship with both parents. As such, they usually want to ensure the custodial parent will facilitate visits with the noncustodial parent. If one of the parties refuses to cooperate with the other, it could hurt his or her chances of securing custody.
5. What Kind of Custody Arrangement Are You Seeking?
Whether you’re requesting to have the kids Monday through Thursday or Friday through Sunday, the judge will want to make sure it’s a feasible arrangement for all parties involved. Therefore, the court will ask about the logistics of drop-offs, pick-ups, and after-school care.
Speak with a New York Family Law Attorney Today
If you’re facing a contentious custody battle, turn to LoTempio P.C. Law Group for guidance. With more than 200 years of combined experience, we know what it takes to provide exceptional representation. Call 716-855-3761 or use our Online Contact Form to set up a free consultation with a family lawyer in New York.
Being a single parent isn’t easy. Even with regular child support payments, raising kids in a one-income household can be stressful. And if those payments stop, it may be downright impossible to cover the necessities.
If your ex has fallen behind on child support, you may be tempted to bar him or her from seeing the kids. Because custody and child support are two separate issues, though, the court addresses them independently. That means parents who are owed child support must continue following the court’s visitation schedule. Likewise, noncustodial parents must continue making payments even if the custodial parent interferes with their parenting time.
In other words, parents shouldn’t take matters into their own hands when their ex violates a court order. Instead, they should go through the proper channels to restore the arrangement.
If you’re the custodial parent and your ex has fallen behind on child support, here are the steps you should take:
1. Consult the Child Support Enforcement Program
The child support enforcement program is responsible for collecting and distributing child support payments. Should a party fall behind, they’re also responsible for enforcing the child support order through administrative means.
The child support enforcement program has a number of ways to collect back payments including:
- Temporarily increasing the payment obligation by 50 percent;
- Diverting federal and/or state income tax refunds;
- Diverting New York State lottery winnings that exceed $600; and
- Seizing financial assets like savings or checking account balances.
If your ex falls behind on payments, one of their agents can inform you of the steps they’re taking to recover what you’re owed.
2. File a Violation Petition
If the administrative enforcement methods listed above do not yield the back payments you’re owed, you may take a judicial approach. To get started, you must file a violation petition with Family Court. A knowledgeable attorney can help you complete this petition accurately and thoroughly to prevent any unnecessary delays.
3. Attend the Scheduled Hearing
Upon receiving your petition, Family Court will schedule a violation hearing. Depending on the circumstances, this proceeding may result in:
- A money judgement that accumulates 9 percent interest annually until it’s paid off;
- A lien against the defendant’s property;
- A cash deposit toward future payment obligations;
- Incarceration (typically only if the noncustodial parent has fallen seriously behind or fails to appear in court); and/or
- The suspension of any state-issued occupational, business, or professional licenses.
Discuss Your Case with a Family Law Attorney in New York
If your ex has stopped paying child support, contact LoTempio P.C. Law Group to determine the best way to proceed. Our attorneys have more than 200 years of combined experience in the legal field.
We will help you navigate every stage of the court proceedings so you can focus on more important matters. Call us today at 716-855-3761 or use our Online Contact Form to set up a consultation with one of the top family lawyers in New York.