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 attorney 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.
If you were seriously hurt in some kind of preventable accident, you may be facing steep medical bills, lost wages, and other costs that were entirely unexpected. As the expenses mount, you may find yourself wondering how much compensation you might receive from the insurance claim.
No personal injury attorney who practices with integrity would promise to achieve a specific outcome no matter how strong your case seems. Also, it won’t be possible to approximate a fair settlement amount before a thorough investigation has been performed; however, you might be able to get a rough idea of your claim’s potential value by learning the factors that could affect the settlement calculations, which include:
1. The Severity of Your Injuries
Whether your injuries cause any permanent disabilities, scarring, or disfigurement could affect the settlement figure. More severe and long-term injuries usually cost more to treat, and they often warrant higher awards for non-economic damages. Also, serious injuries might leave you sidelined from work for a longer period of time, and the value of lost wages could add to the settlement amount.
2. The Role You Played in the Accident
New York courts follow a pure comparative fault rule when apportioning liability in a tort case that involves shared fault. That means if you were partly responsible for your injuries, the final payout would be reduced by your own percentage of fault; however, even if you are deemed 90 percent liable for the accident, you could still pursue compensation for the 10 percent of your damages for which the defendant was liable.
3. The Available Insurance Coverage
In most cases, personal injury claimants aren’t actually seeking compensation from the liable party directly but, rather, from his or her insurance company. As such, your recovery might be limited by the defendant’s insurance coverage.
4. Whether Punitive Damages Are Warranted
In the state of New York, plaintiffs can seek punitive damages if defendant’s conduct demonstrated:
- A high degree of immorality;
- Wanton recklessness;
- Willful negligence;
- Dishonest or fraudulent intentions that conveyed criminal indifference to civil obligations; or
- A conscious disregard for the safety, rights, or health of others.
5. Whether You’ve Mitigated the Damages
You must take reasonable steps to mitigate the damages you incur as a result of the tort. This usually involves visiting a doctor for a prompt medical evaluation, following the instructions of your healthcare providers, and avoiding activities that could aggravate your injuries.
Discuss Your Claim with a Personal Injury Attorney in New York
At LoTempio P.C. Law Group, we understand the devastating impact that unanticipated injuries can have on the whole family. We will use all the resources at our disposal to help you fight for the compensation you need to get your life back.
Our attorneys are recognized leaders in their fields with many decades of combined experience. Call 716-855-3761 or use our Online Contact Form to set up a free case evaluation with a personal injury lawyer in New York.
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 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.
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.
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.
Making 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.
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.