Personal injury law covers a wide variety of cases that involve injuries caused by another person or party. A personal injury claim is brought against someone whose negligence caused you harm. Common examples include vehicle accidents, slip and fall cases, dog bites, and medical malpractice. Personal injury laws allow victims to seek compensation for their injuries and damages. Most personal injury claims are based on the legal theory of negligence. Negligence is the failure to exercise the same level of care that a person of reasonable prudence would use in the same or similar situation. It is always best to consult with an experienced Syracuse personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to ensure your rights are protected.
Personal injury claims are numerous, there are millions of injuries every year. A personal injury claim will detail a victim’s claims against someone and the damages they are demanding. These cases often involve a lengthy legal process in addition to any recovery from injury. Many of these cases end in settlement, while others end up going to trial before a jury. Before you can recover compensation for an accident claim, you must prove each of the elements of a negligence claim:
- The other party owed a duty of care to you.
- The other party breached the duty of care.
- The breach of care was the direct cause of the accident or incident that resulted in your injury.
- You sustained damages because of the breach of care.
When pursuing a personal injury claim, one of the biggest factors people look to is damages. Damages are compensation for economic and non-economic losses incurred from a personal injury. Although damages vary, there are a few general categories of damages that are common to most personal injury claims. Any past and future medical expenses you incur from an accident, including hospital bills, doctor’s visits, ambulance rides, or physical therapy are recoverable in a personal injury case. Past and future lost wages can be recovered if your injury causes you to miss work or affects your ability to work in the future. Past wages can be calculated based on the amount of work missed, whereas future wages are typically calculated based on the income you would earn in the future if you had not been injured. If you are involved in a vehicle accident or suffer damage to other property because of someone’s negligence, the expenses to repair or replace the property will likely make up a part of your claim. This can vary based on insurance coverage and whether there is a policy in place to cover the damage, but personal injury attorneys often negotiate with insurance companies in these cases as well to make sure their clients get fair compensation. If you incur expenses for prescriptions, arm slings, or other out-of-pocket costs from your injury, you can claim these as part of your damages. Pain and suffering are a type of non-economic damages, which means they are not meant to compensate you for economic losses, but rather for the physical and mental anguish suffered from your accident. Pain and suffering typically account for the very large damages awards in some personal injury cases, as pain and suffering are not tied to certain expenses. Other types of non-economic damages include wrongful death and loss of consortium. Punitive damages, rather than compensating someone for harm, are a category of damages meant to punish a defendant for egregious conduct. These are reserved for conduct that deserves to be punished.
After an accident, you should immediately see medical attention. Even if your injuries seem minor or you do not notice any pain, some injuries can be hidden, and it may take some time for injuries to manifest. Allow the paramedics to examine you at the scene and transport you to the hospital if necessary. After the accident, visit a doctor to examine you as soon as possible. A doctor will ask you questions about your medical history, the accident, and any pain or injuries you are experiencing. Using this information, the doctor will make a diagnosis and prescribe a treatment plan. Sometimes, an accident doctor may refer you to a medical specialist if your injuries are specific in nature or if you require further examination. This may include making an appointment with an orthopedist, neurologist, pain management doctor, or chiropractor. Additionally, part of your treatment plan may include physical therapy with other specialists. It is important to continue to see your doctor as scheduled so that he or she can keep an eye on your injuries and notate any developments. Continuing medical care until you are cleared by your doctor to discontinue treatment will ensure that you recover as best as possible.
Statutes of limitations are laws that say how long, after certain events, a case may be started based on those events. You have 3 years from the date of injury to file a personal injury lawsuit in New York State. Should you delay taking action, the statute of limitations can run out and forever bar you from seeking damages.
It is natural to wonder whether hiring an attorney is worth the expense. However, a personal injury attorney has knowledge of the law and experience with similar cases that will help to build the best case for your circumstances. As experienced personal injury attorneys in the Syracuse and Rochester areas, DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers are recognized as strong litigators who fight tenaciously for the rights of our clients. Therefore, defendants and their insurers often feel pressure to provide an appropriate settlement for a case rather than taking it to trial. They know that we will pursue them relentlessly until justice is served. If a case does go to trial, however, we are familiar with litigation procedures in Upstate New York and are ready to showcase the full scope of our courtroom acumen on your behalf.
If you have been the victim of a personal injury in Syracuse or in the Upstate New York area, you likely have many questions. After the initial shock wears off, the next steps can seem confusing and daunting. There are many factors involved in an accident, and it is essential to be informed. Our experienced attorneys at DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers will be able to decide if the lawsuit has substance and will also be able to gather evidence to build a strong case accordingly. We have years of experience helping injury victims secure the compensation they deserve. We serve clients throughout Upstate New York with offices in Syracuse, New Hartford, Oswego, Watertown, Oneida, Cortland, Rochester, Binghamton, Albany, and Buffalo, New York. You can contact us via our form online or by calling us at 833-200-2000 to set up a conference.