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.
Taking legal action against a major medical facility can be intimidating. But if your family member has been abused or neglected in a nursing home, bringing a claim against the liable facility may yield the compensation needed to pay for the associated medical bills as well as non-economic damages like pain and suffering.
It’s natural to be concerned about the cost of hiring an attorney. If your family is already facing steep medical bills, the last thing you want to do is take on an extra expense. Fortunately, most nursing home abuse lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. That means they don’t require any money upfront, nor will they charge an attorney’s fee unless they win your case.
How Much Is the Contingency Fee?
Contingency fees can vary considerably from firm to firm. Factors that might affect an attorney’s rates include the practice’s resources as well as the lawyer’s:
- Track record of securing sizable settlements; and
- History of achieving fast and fair resolutions to complicated claims.
While you may be tempted to choose the firm that charges the lowest contingency fee, this could end up being a costly mistake. It’s important that you find out how many nursing home abuse cases the lawyer has handled and the results of those cases. You should also confirm that the attorney has extensive experience handling cases that are similar to yours. A well-credentialed lawyer will:
- Understand the relevant case law and statutes;
- Be able to avoid critical mistakes that could extend the proceedings;
- Know the kinds of evidence needed to strengthen your case;
- Account for all the damages that may be owed; and
- Have access to expert witnesses whose deposition might play an integral role in determining the outcome of your case.
In New York, contingency fees are usually capped at 33.3 percent of the resulting payout. For claims that yield smaller recoveries, firms typically opt to implement a sliding scale as their fee structure. They may charge up to 50 percent of the first $1,000 recovered, 40 percent of the next $2,000, 35 percent of the next $22,000, and up to 25 percent of anything over $25,000.
In the state of New York, a separate sliding scale applies to medical malpractice claims. Generally speaking, a lawyer may charge up to 30 percent of the first $250,000, up to 25 percent of the next $250,000, up to 20 percent of the next $500,000, up to 15 percent of the next $250,000, and no more than 10 percent of anything exceeding $1,250,000.
It’s important to note that regardless of whether an attorney charges a flat percentage or on a sliding scale, the contingency fee is usually based on the net payout. That means various expenses that the law firm advanced for the claim will be deducted before the contingency fee is calculated.
Speak with a New York Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Today
If your loved one received substandard care at a nursing home, your family may be entitled to compensation for all associated damages. To determine if you have grounds for a claim, contact LoTempio P.C. Law Group. Call 716-855-3761 or use our Online Contact Form to set up a free case review with a nursing home abuse lawyer in New York.
A serious car accident can lead to exorbitant healthcare costs, and many victims are unable to earn an income while they recover. Fortunately, if you were injured or lost a family member in a collision, you may be entitled to compensation for economic and non-economic damages.
Strong evidence is the key to winning your claim. If you intend to pursue damages from the liable party’s insurance company (as opposed to your own no-fault insurance provider), you will need evidence to prove liability, causation, and damages.
Read on to learn a few kinds of evidence that might contribute to your case:
1. The Official Police Report
Before leaving the scene, write down the names and badge numbers of the officers who responded to your call. This information can help your attorney obtain a copy of the accident report. Your lawyer may also want to question the responding officers.
2. Statements from Eyewitnesses
If nearby motorists, passengers, cyclists, or pedestrians saw the collision, ask for their names and phone numbers so your legal team can reach out and interview them. If your case proceeds to discovery, eyewitness deposition might serve as valuable evidence.
3. Photographs of the Scene
An accident reconstruction expert may be brought in to determine how the crash occurred in order to establish liability. Their investigation will involve a careful analysis of photos taken of the scene, if such photos are available. When taking pictures, be sure to capture both small and large details from multiple angles including weather conditions, traffic patterns, skid marks, and broken glass.
4. Dash Cam and Surveillance Footage
Purchasing a dash cam for your vehicle could end up paying for itself many times over in the event of an accident. If you don’t have a dash cam yet, there’s a good chance the collision was captured by a dash cam in another vehicle. The accident may also have been recorded by nearby surveillance cameras.
5. Toxicology Reports
If impairment played a role in the accident, the results of any chemical tests conducted at the scene (or shortly thereafter) could prove integral to your case. Sometimes it is even possible to obtain punitive damages after a crash involving a drunk driver.
6. Cell Phone Records
If the at-fault driver was using a mobile device just prior to the wreck, his or her cell phone records may help your attorney prove liability. Since the cell phone service provider might not release these records voluntarily, your legal team may have to file a subpoena to obtain them.
Call 716-855-3761 to Discuss Your Case with a New York Car Accident Attorney
If you were hurt in a collision through no fault of your own, contact LoTempio P.C. Law Group to determine how best to proceed. Our attorneys have more than 200 years of combined experience in the legal field. Call 716-855-3761 or send a message on our Online Contact Form to arrange a free case evaluation with a New York car accident lawyer.
If you were seriously injured in an auto accident, you may be entitled to compensation for property repairs, medical bills, and other damages. Unfortunately, the insurance company has incentive to minimize the value of your claim or to deny it outright. A seasoned car accident lawyer can make sure the insurance adjuster treats you fairly and help you avoid costly mistakes that would harm your case.
Read on to learn a few specific ways a well-credentialed attorney might help with your claim:
1. By Gathering Evidence of Liability
Your legal team will start building your case by conducting a thorough investigation. Over the course of the investigation, they will use all the resources at their disposal to gather evidence of liability, which may include:
- The official police report;
- Photographs of the scene;
- Cell phone records;
- The results of any chemical tests conducted at the scene or shortly afterward;
- Statements from eyewitnesses who might be deposed if your case proceeds to discovery;
- Surveillance footage of the incident; and
- Dash cam recordings.
Without strong evidence of liability, the insurance company may try to blame you for the accident or shift fault to another defendant. A dispute might arise over how fault is apportioned. A skilled accident lawyer can reduce the risk of such disputes by performing a thorough investigation to ensure your case is as strong as possible when settlement negotiations begin.
2. By Handling Relevant Correspondence
It is incredibly common for accident victims to inadvertently say something to the insurance company that brings liability, causation, or damages into question. Simply describing your symptoms or saying that you’ve returned to physical activity might be enough to cause a dispute. Your attorney can handle all correspondence with the opposing party so you don’t provide any statements that can be used to challenge your claim.
3. By Preparing Your Case for Trial
The best lawyers prepare each case as if they are going to trial, even if a settlement is the expected outcome. This sends a message to the opposing party that if they don’t cooperate, they might have to face the added expense and risk of litigation, thus giving them more incentive to pay a fair settlement.
4. By Litigating Your Case If Necessary
The best attorneys will not hesitate to file a lawsuit and proceed to litigation if it is in their client’s best interests to do so. The mere threat of litigation may be enough to pressure the insurance company into cooperating. For this reason, it’s a good idea to hire a seasoned litigator who has a track record of success in court.
Discuss Your Claim with a Car Accident Lawyer in New York
At LoTempio P.C. Law Group, we take great pride in helping the injured and their loved ones pursue the compensation they need to move on with life. We have represented thousands of clients in personal injury and wrongful death cases. Call 716-855-3761 or fill out our Contact Form to schedule a free consultation with a car accident attorney in New York.
Driving is an inherently dangerous activity. When you consider the average car weighs more than 4,000 pounds and the average speed limit (in New York) is nearly 60 mph, it’s no surprise that auto accidents are one of the leading causes of unintentional injury and death.
If you were involved in a collision and you were partially at-fault, you may still be able to recover compensation for medical bills, property repairs, and other damages. Since personal injury protection (PIP) is mandatory in New York, you may be able to bring a claim against your own PIP policy no matter who caused the crash. However, if your case meets the serious injury threshold and you intend to seek compensation from a negligent party, the fact that you were partially responsible could reduce your net recovery.
New York follows a pure comparative fault rule, which means the settlement or verdict in a personal injury case is reduced by the plaintiff’s own percentage of fault. It also means you can pursue damages even if you were 99 percent responsible, which differs New York from modified comparative negligence states, where plaintiffs are barred from recovering damages if they were 50 percent or 51 percent liable.
How Might Being Partially Responsible Complicate My Car Accident Claim?
Unfortunately, just because you have the right to seek compensation doesn’t mean recovering a payout will be easy. If you played even a minor role in the accident, the opposing party may try to blame you entirely for the crash or might dispute how fault is apportioned, arguing that you should be assigned a higher percentage of liability.
The best way to avoid or counter such a dispute is by gathering sufficient evidence of liability. Such evidence may include:
- Photographs of the accident scene;
- Deposition from eyewitnesses and the people involved in the wreck;
- Deposition from an accident reconstruction expert;
- Video recordings of the accident;
- Cell phone records; and
- The police report.
What Kinds of Damages Can I Seek by Filing a Car Accident Claim?
In New York personal injury claims, the following damages might be recoverable:
- Past and future medical expenses;
- Lost wages and benefits;
- Home care;
- Alternative transportation;
- Property damage;
- Pain and suffering;
- Mental anguish;
- Loss of enjoyment in life; and
- Physical impairment and disfigurement.
If the party who caused your injury acted with wanton recklessness; malice; willful negligence; a high degree of immorality; conscious disregard for your rights, health, or safety; or fraudulent or dishonest intentions that implied criminal indifference to civil obligations, it may also be possible to obtain punitive damages. And if your spouse has suffered a loss of intimacy, care, or companionship, they may be entitled to compensation for loss of consortium.
Call 716-855-3761 for a Free Consultation with a New York Car Accident Lawyer
If you were hurt in an auto accident, contact LoTempio P.C. Law Group to determine the most strategic way to proceed. We are dedicated to getting our clients the results they deserve even if that means taking the fight all the way to trial. Call 716-855-3761 or fill out our Contact Form to schedule a free case evaluation with a car accident attorney in New York.