Frequently Asked Questions in a Personal Injury Case
Frequently asked questions in a personal injury case.
While almost every case is different from almost every other case, there are often similarities. Additionally, people who are injured as the result of the negligence of someone else have many of the same questions. Some of those questions are answered below.
- Can I sue?
The easy answer is probably yes, of course. But will you succeed? That can only be answered after an in-depth review of the facts of your case and an application of the law to your facts.
A free case evaluation and review is available. Then and only then can we advise you about commencing a lawsuit.
Call us for a free initial consultation, 845-778-2121.
- What is the process if I retain Jacobowitz & Gubits for my injury claim?
After the consultation, if there is an agreement that we will represent you, we will gather all of the relevant paperwork including your medical records. Together we will communicate with any insurance company for the liable party or parties. If we cannot obtain a settlement of your claim, we will begin a lawsuit.
- How does a lawsuit for personal injuries generally proceed?
While cases are different, the process is generally the same. After we file the summons and complaint in the New York State Supreme Court, we serve the defendant who will serve an Answer….or face a default motion. Paper discovery will be exchanged which will include your medical records. Depositions normally occur and the defendant has a right to have you examined by a doctor of their choice. The case is then put on the trial calendar. All the while we are attempting to resolve your case short of trial by constant communication with the insurance company for the liable party.
- Will my case go to trial?
That depends, although most cases do not. A lawsuit is a disagreement between the parties and most times the case is resolved between the parties. A wise attorney will remember that a good settlement, so it is said, is when both parties are a bit unhappy, one side paid too much, the other side took too little. But as the case develops, we are mindful that the other side may not settle so we are always preparing to present your case to a jury of your peers.
- What is my case worth?
Again, all cases are different. A settlement or verdict is fair and reasonable, and it is what your case is probably worth, if it is in line with similar cases with similar injuries. Advising a client about the value/worth of a case requires a combination of many factors including experience in court, settling other cases, reviewing precedent for other verdicts together with being in the rough and tumble of personal injury litigation on a daily basis.
- What do I do after the accident?
Your first concern should be appropriate medical care. A negligence case for anyone over 18 years of age has a three year statute of limitations so there is plenty of time for treatment and thereafter to consider your legal options. Once you are able, take photos of your injuries. You can consider writing down what happened and the names and contact information of any witnesses, and also obtaining a police report if they were on the scene.
- What if I am partially at fault for the happening of the accident?
It was not that long ago that if you were even 1% responsible for causing the accident, you would lose the case. Comparative negligence in New York changed that so if you are partially responsible, any money judgement gets reduced by your percentage of negligence. This is, of course, one factor to be considered in the overall case.
- So, how long does this all take?
Well, that depends on many factors. Even with what seems like the easiest case, it will take time. Your treatment may be on-going and we don’t want to resolve the case until we know your outcome so it can take many months. The other side may contest that it is liable at all in which event the case can take years. Our court system is very crowded and the time between required court dates is often months which is a big factor in litigation. Bottom line: the time it takes is often in the hands of the court and out of our control.
Your case will have your own questions. Call us for a free consultation, 845-778-2121 or schedule an appointment at [email protected].
This is not intended to be legal advice. You should contact an attorney for advice regarding your specific situation.
Robert M. Lefland is Senior Counsel and primary attorney in charge of civil litigation and Personal Injury at J&G.
He can be reached by calling 866.303.9595 toll free or 845.764.9656 and by email .
He is available by appointment on Saturday’s.
If you need his immediate attention, you can reach him on cell.