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How Long Will It Take a Personal Injury Attorney to Resolve My Case?

How Long Does It Take to Resolve a Personal Injury Case?If you were injured through no fault of your own, you may be facing steep costs that were entirely unanticipated. Copays for doctor’s visits, prescription medication, and the loss of income can add up to a substantial loss within a matter of weeks.

Unfortunately, there’s no way to determine with 100 percent certainty how long it might take to resolve your personal injury claim. Depending on the circumstances, you could end up facing a dispute and having to file a lawsuit and enter litigation, which of course would draw out the proceedings.

A resourceful personal injury attorney can take the necessary steps to avoid unnecessary complications and disputes. This involves gathering all available evidence of liability, causation, and damages and using proven settlement negotiation tactics.

No matter how strong your claim seems, however, there’s no way to guarantee that the opposing party will cooperate. Below are just a few factors that could influence the amount of time it takes to resolve your case:

  • The Severity of Your Injuries: Until you’ve reached maximum medical improvement (MMI), it can be difficult to arrive at an accurate estimate for the total cost of healthcare. As such, cases that involve catastrophic injuries may take longer to resolve than those that involve minor, temporary wounds. If you sustained a traumatic brain injury, for example, doctors may want to wait at least six months before diagnosing any permanent damage. Your lawyer may advise putting off the settlement negotiations until you’ve reached MMI.
  • Whether Multiple Defendants Share Fault: If two or more parties were liable for the accident that caused your injuries, a dispute might arise over how fault is apportioned. If just one party disagrees on the percentage of fault assigned or any other aspect of the claim, the case might proceed to litigation.
  • Whether You Played a Role in the Incident: If you were partially responsible for the accident, the insurance adjuster may try to deny your claim or reduce its value. If the adjuster is unreasonable, your personal injury attorney might suggest filing a lawsuit and proceeding to litigation.
  • The Total Compensation You Are Seeking: High-value cases sometimes take longer to resolve because the insurer has more incentive to investigate and dispute the claim.
  • Other Aggravating Factors: There are many other reasons why a dispute might arise that leads to litigation. This may happen, for example, if you fail to mitigate your damages, provide a recorded statement to the insurer, or discuss your case on social media. 

Call 716-855-3761 to Speak with a New York Personal Injury Attorney 

If you want to file a personal injury claim in New York, contact LoTempio P.C. Law Group. Our attorneys have more than 200 years of combined experience in the legal field.

By letting us handle the logistics of your case, you can focus on more important matters such as rehabilitating your injuries and taking care of your family. Call 716-855-3761 or fill out our Contact Form to schedule a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer in New York.

What Can I Do to Strengthen My Personal Injury Case?

What Can I Do to Strengthen My Personal Injury Case?

If you were injured through the fault of another party, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills and other losses. To win your case, you will need strong evidence to prove liability, causation, and damages. While a personal injury attorney can help you gather this evidence, negotiate with the insurance company, and handle other logistics, there are steps you can take—and mistakes you can avoid—to give your case the best possible chance of yielding a fair settlement or verdict.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

1. Stay off Social Media 

The insurance adjuster might be monitoring your online presence to find posts that can be used to dispute your claim. Even if you update your privacy settings, it may still be possible for the adjuster to view your online content through third-party connections. As such, it’s best to stay off social media while your case is pending and to disable your accounts.

Even if you are cautious about what you post, the insurer might misrepresent your social media content to challenge your case. For example, a photo of you taken with friends might be used to argue that your injuries are not as severe as you are claiming, or that you have failed to mitigate your damages by participating in social activities when you should be resting. 

2. Avoid Giving a Statement 

The insurance adjuster will likely ask you to provide a recorded statement early in the proceedings. It’s wise to decline because what you say might be used to dispute your claim. Your attorney should handle all such dialogue on your behalf so you aren’t coerced into providing a statement that weakens your case. 

3. Take Steps to Mitigate Damages 

Accident victims have a duty to mitigate the damages they incur over the course of their recovery. In other words, you have to take reasonable steps to minimize your healthcare costs and other losses. This may require you to attend multiple doctor’s appointments, perform physical therapy, and stay out of work for an extended period of time. If you fail to mitigate the damages, the insurance adjuster may contend that you should not be compensated for 100 percent of your losses. 

4. Call a Personal Injury Attorney 

Hiring a seasoned personal injury lawyer comes with a multitude of advantages that cannot be overstated. Your attorney can help you avoid costly mistakes, gather evidence, consult with various experts if needed, litigate your case if a settlement is not reached, and make sure the opposing party doesn’t take advantage of your vulnerable position. 

Call 716-855-3761 to Discuss Your Case with a New York Personal Injury Attorney 

At LoTempio P.C. Law Group, we are passionate about helping accident victims and their families fight for the compensation they need to move on with life. We can come to you if you are unable to come to us. Call 716-855-3761 or fill out our Contact Form to schedule a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer in New York.

How to Make Divorce Easier on Your Children

How to Make Divorce Easier on Your Children Ending a marriage is never easy, but it can be especially challenging when there are children involved. In fact, it’s not uncommon for parents to postpone filing for divorce until their kids have grown up and moved out of the house.

While it’s certainly understandable why some couples opt to stay married even if they’re unhappy together, research has proven it’s entirely possible to raise happy, healthy kids following divorce. It’s important to remember, though, that even the most well-adjusted children can struggle with the transition. After all, this is a permanent shift in the only family dynamic they’ve ever known.

Thankfully, there are ways parents can make divorce easier on their kids. If you’ve decided to end your marriage, here are a few tips for helping your children cope with the news:

1. Remind Them of Your Love 

Regardless of their age, your children are going to need reassurance that you’ll always be a family. They will need to be reminded that even though you and your spouse will no longer be together, you’ll always love them. They could also benefit from seeing you two cooperate when it comes to drop-offs, pick-ups, sports games, school events, and other aspects of the new custody arrangement. 

2. Be Honest with Them 

It may be tempting to sugarcoat things when answering your kids’ questions about the situation, but doing so could do more harm than good in the long run. Try to answer all their questions in an honest—but still age-appropriate—way.

For example, if they ask whether you’ll ever get back together, let them know the new arrangement is permanent; however, you can soften the blow by talking about the benefits of living in two different homes (like twice as many clothes and toys). 

3. Arrange for Counseling 

Even if your children appear to be taking the news well, schedule at least one private session for each of them with a therapist who works with adolescents. Their school counselor may be able to recommend a few local providers.

During the appointment, they will get the opportunity to talk about issues that they don’t necessarily feel comfortable discussing with you or their other parent. Having an outlet where they can address concerns without worrying about upsetting Mom or Dad will be invaluable over the course of the transition. And if the therapist thinks they could benefit from additional sessions, he or she will let you know at the end of the appointment. 

Speak with a New York Family Law Attorney Today 

If you’re facing a stressful divorce or contentious custody battle—or both—turn to LoTempio P.C. Law Group. Our compassionate attorneys understand the emotional and financial challenges that come with ending a long-term relationship.

By letting us handle the logistics of your case, you can focus on more important matters, like spending quality time with your children. Call 716-855-3761 or fill out our Contact Form to schedule a free consultation with a family lawyer in New York.

How Preexisting Conditions Can Complicate a Nursing Home Abuse Case

How Preexisting Conditions Can Complicate a Nursing Home Abuse CaseMaking the decision to move an elderly loved one into a nursing home was undoubtedly difficult. In many circumstances, however, this is the best option to provide family members with the care they need. Sadly, nursing home abuse and neglect are on the rise.

If you suspect a caregiver has been abusive, you may be able to pursue monetary damages from the facility. Once you decide to take action, you can expect the opposing party to do everything in their power to challenge your claim. One common defense asserted in these cases is that the plaintiff is seeking compensation for a preexisting condition.

Read on to learn how a preexisting condition might complicate a nursing home abuse lawsuit:

A Dispute over Causation Might Arise 

To win a settlement, you must be able to prove that the damages being claimed would not have accrued but for the abuse or negligence. This is called proving “causation.” The defense might contend that you are trying to recover compensation for medical bills and other damages caused by your family member’s preexisting condition. While it is true that damages arising from a preexisting condition are not recoverable, it may be possible to collect damages for the aggravation of a preexisting injury or illness. 

Additional Evidence May Be Needed to Recover a Fair Settlement 

If the defense disputes causation, you may need evidence to prove the aggravation of the preexisting condition. Such evidence may include:

  • Deposition from the Victim’s Treating Physician: The doctor who has been treating your loved one might be deposed regarding how his or her condition has changed since the abuse or neglect. 
  • Deposition from Other Medical Experts: Your attorney might depose healthcare providers who specialize in your family member’s particular medical condition. 
  • The Victim’s Medical Records: If the medical records show a clear deterioration in your loved one’s condition after the incident, they will serve as valuable evidence of causation. 

Much of the evidence needed to strengthen your case will likely be in the nursing home’s possession. That means there’s a chance that key evidence will be withheld or even altered to cover up negligence. It is important that you contact an attorney right away so evidence can be gathered while it is still available. Your attorney can perform an immediate investigation and file subpoenas to obtain evidence that is being withheld.

Discuss Your Case with a New York Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer 

At LoTempio P.C. Law Group, we are passionate about holding nursing home administrators and staff accountable for their misconduct. Our attorneys have won several multimillion-dollar settlements and verdicts in personal injury cases, and they are well-versed in the case law and statutes pertaining to nursing home abuse and neglect.

Fill out our Online Contact Form or call 716-855-3761 to arrange a free, no-obligation consultation with a nursing home abuse lawyer in New York. We accept personal injury and wrongful death cases on a contingency fee basis, so you won’t owe any attorney’s fees unless we win.

Why Every Couple Should Draft a Prenuptial Agreement 

Why Every Couple Should Draft a Prenuptial Agreement It’s a common misconception that only the incredibly wealthy need to worry about prenuptial agreements. The truth is that a carefully drafted prenup can protect your financial security, ensure that you and your spouse are on the same page regarding financial matters, and much more.

At the end of the day, signing a prenup provides a host of benefits regardless of your circumstances. It’s so advantageous, in fact, that family lawyers urge everyone to enter into such an agreement before tying the knot. Here are some of the biggest reasons why:

1. Life Is Unpredictable 

If you asked any divorce attorney how many clients knew their marriage was going to end, the answer would probably be close to zero. This is precisely why every couple should draft a prenup regardless of how strong their relationship seems.

Most people don’t enter into a marriage with the intention of ending it, and very few think divorce is a realistic possibility. But family dynamics are complicated, and there are no guarantees in life.

Even if you feel certain that your marriage will last forever, think of the prenup as a kind of insurance policy. You don’t buy auto insurance with the intention of crashing your car; in the event of a wreck, though, you’ll be glad you have it. 

2. You and Your Future Spouse Should Be on the Same Page 

When drafting the prenuptial agreement, both you and your partner will have to disclose various assets and debts. As such, you’ll get the opportunity to address any financial concerns head-on—and ensure you’re in agreement about your long-term goals.

Starting your marriage with such transparency will only serve to make your relationship stronger. Perhaps ironically, it could also reduce the risk of divorce since money-related issues are one of the leading causes of divorce. 

3. You Can Protect the Inheritance Rights of Children from a Prior Relationship 

If you have children from a prior relationship, you can include terms in the contract to protect their inheritance rights. In the event of divorce or death, such conditions will ensure they receive what is rightfully theirs without interference. 

4. You Can Address More Than Existing Assets 

Even if you don’t have many assets yet, a strategic prenup can protect your future assets. If you’re climbing the ladder in a fairly lucrative field, for example, or if there’s an inheritance headed your way, you can implement provisions regarding anticipated assets and finances.

Couples may also use prenups to shield themselves from each other’s debts. Even if you don’t actually get divorced, the document could prove useful should creditors ever come after you—or your property—to pay your spouse’s debts. Its terms may help prove premarital ownership of otherwise vulnerable assets. 

Call 716-855-3761 to Speak with a Family Law Attorney in New York

If you need help drafting a prenuptial agreement, contact LoTempio P.C. Law Group. Our approach to the law is built on providing clients with straightforward answers, personal attention, and the customized legal solutions they deserve. Call 716-855-3761 or fill out our Contact Form to schedule a free consultation with a family lawyer in New York.

How Attorneys Investigate Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

How Attorneys Investigate Nursing Home Abuse and NeglectIf you think nursing home staff has neglected or abused your loved one but you’re not sure how to prove it, a personal injury attorney may be able to help. Your lawyer and his or her legal team can conduct a thorough investigation, file subpoenas for any evidence that is being withheld, interview eyewitnesses, and perhaps consult with medical and technical experts to determine if nursing home abuse or neglect occurred and how best to proceed with the claim.

Read on to learn a few steps your attorney might take during the investigation:

1. Gathering Relevant Records 

Your attorney will want to review your family member’s medical records from before and after the incident to determine when his or her health began to deteriorate. Such records may also show evidence of medical malpractice.

Relevant documentation may include:

  • Nursing home logs;
  • Hospital records;
  • Prescriptions; and
  • Diagnostic images.

2. Consulting with Medical Experts

Medical experts who specialize in geriatric care can review your family member’s records and other evidence to determine if they are indicative of neglect or abuse. Examples of anomalies include significant weight loss over a short period of time, treatment for unexplained injuries, or diagnosis of an STI. 

3. Questioning Eyewitnesses 

The deposition of eyewitnesses such as other nursing home residents, caregivers, or people who visited the facility may corroborate your loved one’s claims. Your lawyer will want to interview eyewitnesses to find out what they saw and to uncover additional sources of evidence. For example, if other residents have also been neglected, their medical records might help your lawyer establish a pattern of mistreatment at the facility.

4. Reviewing Surveillance Footage 

New York does not have any laws governing the use of surveillance cameras in long-term care facilities. In other words, the state neither authorizes nor prohibits the installation of cameras in a resident’s room.

After evaluating the situation, your attorney can help you determine if monitoring your loved one’s environment is a strategy worth considering. If so, your lawyer can devise a practical plan for installing cameras in such a way that you do not violate anyone’s privacy including that of other residents.

Alternatively, your attorney might try to obtain surveillance footage that was already captured at the facility. Even if the actual instances of abuse were not caught on camera, the footage might help your lawyer identify the liable party and gain insight into how the facility operates. 

Call 716-855-3761 to Speak with a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer in New York 

At LoTempio P.C. Law Group, we have the resources and experience to take on even the largest medical facilities. If you suspect your elderly loved one has been abused or neglected by nursing home staff, we can review your case for free and help you plot the way forward.

There’s no cost for the consultation, and we accept personal injury and wrongful death cases on a contingency fee basis. Call 716-855-3761 or fill out our Contact Form to schedule a free case evaluation with a nursing home abuse attorney in New York.

Can Children of Divorce Choose Which Parent They Live With?

Can Children of Divorce Choose Which Parent They Live With?It’s not uncommon for children to develop a closer relationship with one parent over the other. As such, they may have a preference regarding custody should their parents ever separate or divorce.

In some states, a child’s wishes will hold a lot of weight, especially when he or she reaches a certain age. In Tennessee, Oklahoma, and Mississippi, for example, family law judges seriously consider the preferences of children who are at least 12. And in Georgia and West Virginia, teens who are over 14 may actually choose the custodial parent, unless their preference threatens their wellbeing in some way.

When it comes to custody proceedings in New York, though, there is no age at which a child automatically assumes the right to choose the custodial parent. Once children of divorce turn 18, the court system can no longer dictate where they live (even if child support payments continue until their 21st birthday); however, until that time, custody will ultimately be up to a judge.

Should a child have a preference, though, the judge might take it into account. While the court does not have to abide by the child’s request, any such wishes will at least be considered. Naturally, the older the child is, the more weight his or her preferences will hold.

As for actually stating their wishes, children are not typically expected to testify in court. Not only is doing so stressful and potentially traumatic, but it can also fracture the relationship the child has with the parent whom he or she does not end up choosing.

Instead, the child might accompany both parties’ lawyers into the judge’s chambers to discuss the matter privately. Depending on the circumstances, a third lawyer who is serving as the child’s advocate may also be involved. If each parent’s lawyer provided a different answer when asked whether the child exhibited any preferences regarding custody, for example, the judge might deem it appropriate to appoint a third lawyer to represent the child and speak on his or her behalf.

At the end of the day, though, a child’s preference remains just one factor that influences the custody proceedings. Other factors that may impact the outcome of the case include:

  • Which parent has served as the primary caregiver up to that point;
  • The physical and mental health of each parent;
  • The work obligations of each parent;
  • Each parent’s history, if any, of neglect or abuse;
  • The quality of the relationship between the child and each parent;
  • Each parent’s living accommodations and ongoing ability to provide a stable home environment; and
  • Each parent’s willingness to cooperate when it comes to resolving common co-parenting issues.

Call 716-855-3761 to Speak with a Family Law Attorney in New York

If you need help finalizing or modifying a custody order, contact LoTempio P.C. Law Group. Our knowledgeable 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 case evaluation with a family lawyer in New York.

How to Prepare for Your Consultation with a Nursing Home Abuse Attorney

How to Prepare for Your Consultation with a Nursing Home Abuse AttorneyIf your elderly loved one was neglected or abused at a long-term care facility, your family may be able to sue for damages. While filing a lawsuit won’t undo the trauma your relative suffered, it may yield enough compensation to provide him or her with the highest quality of care moving forward.

The first step to building a strong nursing home abuse claim is to consult a seasoned attorney. After evaluating the evidence you’ve compiled and the facts of your case, an experienced lawyer can help you determine the most strategic way to proceed.

To ensure your case gets off to a strong start, you can prepare for your first meeting with the legal team by doing the following:

1. Gather All the Evidence You’ve Obtained

Do you have any evidence of the abuse or the resulting damages? If so, compile it all before the initial consultation so your attorney can review it. Evidence worth bringing to this meeting includes:

  • Photographs of any bedsores, bruises, lacerations, or other visible injuries;
  • Medical records;
  • Statements from other nursing home residents or visitors about what they have witnessed;
  • Any video footage you’ve managed to obtain; and
  • Any correspondence you’ve already had with the nursing home administrators or insurance company.

2. Prepare Your Answers to Specific Questions

You will spend a significant portion of the consultation answering the lawyer’s questions. If you prepare your answers in advance, you can avoid leaving out any pertinent details.

Naturally, the specific questions will depend on the situation, but generally speaking, you should be prepared to answer the following:

  • When did you first suspect nursing home abuse, and why?
  • Who do you think is responsible for the abuse?
  • How has your loved one suffered as a result of the abuse?
  • Do you have reason to believe other residents have suffered similar abuse?
  • What is the victim’s condition now, and where is he or she living?
  • What kinds of expenses were incurred as a result of the abuse?

3. Compile a List of Your Own Questions

At the end of the consultation, you will have the opportunity to ask your own questions. To ensure you don’t forget any, write them down in advance. Questions that may be worth asking include:

  • What should I do (and not do) moving forward to contribute to the strength of the claim?
  • What is your fee structure?
  • How can I reach you if I have any questions or concerns?

Discuss Your Case with a Nursing Home Abuse Attorney in New York

If you want to sue a long-term care facility in New York because your loved one was neglected or abused, contact LoTempio P.C. Law Group. Our team is available 24/7 to take your call.

Backed by more than 200 years of experience, our attorneys know what it takes to go up against even the largest corporations and insurance companies. Call 716-855-3761 or fill out our Contact Form to schedule a free case evaluation with a nursing home abuse lawyer in New York.

Can You Modify a Child Custody Order in New York?

Can You Modify a Child Custody Order in New York?If you have joint custody of your children but the current arrangement is no longer working, you may be able to get the custody order modified. As long as you can demonstrate a “change in circumstances,” you can file a Custody/Visitation Modification Petition in Family Court.

The same factors that influenced the original court order will affect the judge’s ruling on your petition. In other words, the requested changes must be in your children’s best interests.

As an added hurdle, you will have to show how your situation is considerably different than it was the last time you went to court over custody. Some of the most common scenarios that warrant a new arrangement include:

  • One parent has developed substance use disorder;
  • One parent has committed domestic violence;
  • One parent’s living situation has become unstable;
  • One parent has developed a debilitating medical condition;
  • One parent wants to relocate out of state or far enough away that it will disrupt the existing arrangement;
  • One parent has neglected or abandoned the children; and
  • The children are at least 12 years old and have requested a change.

Do You Have to Go to Court to Modify a Child Custody Order?

If both parents can agree on the terms of their new arrangement, they don’t necessarily have to obtain a court order to implement it; however, while there may be advantages to bypassing the proceedings in the short term, doing so could pose a problem down the road.

Unless you have a formal arrangement in place, there’s nothing stopping your ex from violating the terms you agreed upon and reverting back to the original schedule. Should this happen, you would have no legal recourse.

As such, it’s wise to go through the court for all modifications, no matter how minor. Once a judge signs off on the new arrangement, it will be legally binding.

Does a Child Custody Order Have to Be in Place for a Certain Amount of Time Before It Can Be Modified?

Unlike some states, New York does not require parents to wait a certain amount of time after an arrangement has been ordered to file a petition for modification; however, that doesn’t necessarily mean you can change a custody order right away if you’re not happy with its terms.

Although there are no minimum time limits for existing orders to run out, the other requirements for modifying arrangements stand. For example, you must prove there’s been a significant shift in circumstances since the last time you went to court, regardless of whether that was one month or 10 years ago. You must also demonstrate how the requested changes are in your children’s best interests.

Call 716-855-3761 to Discuss Your Case with a New York Family Law Attorney

If you want to modify a child custody order, turn to LoTempio P.C. Law Group for guidance. When it comes to family law disputes, we understand what’s at stake, and we will tirelessly fight for the arrangement that you think is in your children’s best interests. Call 716-855-3761 or fill out our Contact Form to schedule a consultation with a family lawyer in New York.

Nursing Home Fall Lawsuits: Who May Be Liable?

Nursing Home Fall Lawsuits: Who May Be Liable?Falls are the leading cause of serious injury among senior citizens. While it’s natural for balance, strength, and coordination to decline with age, there are many circumstances when a fall accident is caused by the negligence of a caregiver or another party.

Nursing homes have a duty to take reasonable measures to prevent residents from falling and suffering injuries. This may involve providing mobility aids, stability bars, non-slip shower mats, and other essential equipment.

If your elderly loved one is recovering from a serious injury after falling at his or her long-term care facility, your family may be entitled to compensation for the resulting damages. To give your claim the best possible chance of success, you will need strong evidence of liability.

Determining liability in these cases often requires a thorough investigation. Because much of the evidence needed to prove fault might be time sensitive, it is imperative that you consult an attorney right away so the investigation can begin immediately.

Below are a few examples of parties who might be liable for damages after a fall in a nursing home:

1. The Facility’s Administrators

Nursing home administrators must take reasonable measures to prevent residents from slipping, tripping, and falling. When appropriate, they must equip tubs and showers with non-slip mats and sturdy handrails. They must also provide mobility devices to those with physical limitations and schedule enough staff during each shift to assist residents as needed. If they fail to take such measures, they may be held liable for any injuries that result.

2. Various Healthcare Providers

Sometimes providers who work independently for private practices will visit nursing homes to treat the residents. Since these professionals usually are not employed by the facility, patients may be able to sue them directly if they receive substandard care.

If a doctor who’s not affiliated with the nursing home prescribes medication that causes dizziness, for example, but fails to remind staff to take additional precautions regarding that particular patient, he or she could be at least partially liable for any fall accidents that occur as a result.

3. Maintenance Contractors and Equipment Manufacturers

If a nursing home hires a third-party contractor to install safety railings and other fall prevention devices but they perform substandard work, they may be responsible for any injuries that happen when the devices fail. If it turns out they did perform quality work, though, and the devices were simply defective from the start, the engineer, designer, manufacturer, or distributor of the equipment may be liable.

Call 716-855-3761 to Speak with a Nursing Home Negligence Attorney in New York

At LoTempio P.C. Law Group, we are committed to helping the victims of nursing home abuse and neglect fight for the compensation they need to move on with life. Our personal injury 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 case evaluation with a nursing home negligence lawyer in New York.

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