Spodek Law Group’s team of New York personal injury lawyers are dedicated to helping you. Our team of NYC personal injury lawyers consists of some of the top attorneys, nationwide – with a track record of million dollar recoveries. Our NYC personal injury lawyers have many five star client ratings, demonstrating the fact that our team of attorneys know how to win cases, and how to treat our customers right. We have a very simple philosophy: we only take on cases we believe we can truly win.
Many law firms take on cases even though they don’t believe the evidence is sufficient to prove the validity of the claim. Our NYC personal injury lawyers only take on cases we believe will win a verdict, or settlement. We handle a wide array of cases, such as car accidents, premise liability claims, work related accidents, construction accidents, and more.
At the Spodek Law Group we passionately believe in your right to justice. You’re injured, and you deserve compensation for your injuries. As one of the leading law firms, we take pride in helping victims. If you have been injured, or lost a loved one in an accident caused by another’s negligence, you should contact us today. Our firm has earned a reputation of success. Our staff members are committed to providing the highest level of attention, and satisfaction, to each and every client. We fight aggressively for compensation for any physical, emotional, and financial losses you’ve incurred. If you’re injured it’s highly recommended you hire a legal professional. If you don’t hire one – you’re putting yourself at a serious disadvantage if you decide to handle the claim on your own without guidance. The personal injury claims process is intricate, and you’re probably going to make a mistake if you don’t have an understanding of the procedures, statutes, and methodologies to properly present your claim. If you make a mistake, it’s likely your claim will be delayed, reduced, or even denied.
The decision to take a settlement is one that should be greatly deliberated. However, there is an old saying that simply states that “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.” In many cases, having some money in your hand is better than waiting for the possibility of more down the road. There is no clear yes or no answer to this question. You must evaluate your case and weigh the facts before making such a decision.
Deliberate The Offer
Most of the time, an insurance company is not going to offer you what your claim is worth. They want to settle because they do not have to pay the outrageous costs to litigate the case. Remember, the insurance company has one goal in mind, they want to settle your case as quickly and for as little money as possible. Is the offer substantial, or is it laughable? You should have a list of all of the expenses you have incurred due to the accident or injury. Does the settlement offer cover these expenses plus give you money for your pain and suffering? You must make a financially wise decision. If you can pay off all your medical bills, pay for your attorney, and have some money left over to compensate you for your suffering, then you may want to consider taking the settlement.
Considering Your Time Line
Another thing that you should consider before taking an offer is the amount of time you have already waited. If you are unable to work and the medical bills continue to pile up, a settlement of less may really help you out now. Sure, you can go on and continue to fight, but it will only drag out the day you receive your compensation. Additionally, if your case is before a judge, you can loose and receive nothing. Though that is unlikely if you have a true case, insurance companies play dirty to keep from paying you a dime.
If you have been in an ongoing case for under six months, you may be willing to wait a longer amount of time for a compensation package than someone who has been waiting for two years. The timeline is very important. Depending on your current financial situation, it may be time to cut your losses and be done with the matter.
It can be scary to be injured. You are hurt, you are frightened, and you don’t know what to do next. One thing that you’ve probably been told over and over again, though, is that you should probably talk to a lawyer. You’ve also been told, though, that talking to a lawyer is expensive. The timing in these cases is often important, so it is a good idea to know when you should talk to a lawyer. For example, if someone was drinking and driving, from wine bought at a liquor store, you should hire an attorney. Fortunately, there are a few situations in which talking a lawyer isn’t just helpful, but in which it can make a huge difference in your future.
Immediately After an Injury
The best time to talk to a New York personal injury attorney is immediately after you are injured. Personal injury cases are very time-sensitive matters and evidence will begin to disappear the moment after the accident occurs. Even if you don’t know if you want to bring a case – or even if a there’s a possibility of a case at all. If you want to make sure that your issues are handled in a timely manner, it’s always a better idea to talk to an attorney sooner rather than later.
As a related note, there’s nothing wrong with talking to a lawyer quickly. It doesn’t make you look greedy or guilty – it just makes you look intelligent. People who care about their future are the people who talk to a lawyer soon. He or she may not even advise you to move forward with a case, but it’s better to find this out as quickly as possible.
When You Have Questions
Even if you have absolutely no desire to ever bring any kind of case, it’s a good idea to talk to a lawyer if you have any questions. If you wonder how you should deal with insurance, what you should say to the other party or even if it’s safe to post details on social media, it’s better to get advice fro a lawyer than from strangers. While your friends and family might have very good intentions, they don’t have the information necessary to give you advice.
It’s also good to talk to a NYC personal injury lawyer because you might be out of your depth when you are dealing with things on your own. While working with a lawyer might cost you money, it’s nowhere near as constantly as the mistakes you can make when you handle your problems on your own. It’s always a good idea to talk a lawyer if you have any kind of legal question.
If There’s a Negotiation
You might want to avoid going to court by negotiating with the other party, their insurance, or even your own insurance company. This is a great way to get through the process without things getting overly adversarial and a fantastic way to save everyone time and money. It’s also a situation in which you are going to need a lawyer’s advice, because it’s a given that the insurance company will show up with legal representation. When you are going through a negotiation, you owe it to yourself to be at least as prepared as the other party.
Be careful during negotiations, especially if the other side says they want to keep lawyers out of this. They are under no obligation to avoid a lawyer, and neither are you. If you want to be prepared for your negotiations, it’s a good idea to talk to a lawyer to at least get a bit of advice.
If You Just Want Help
The most important time to talk to a personal injury lawyer in NYC, though, is when you just want help. You might feel overwhelmed or that you don’t know what to do next. You might be panicking or on the verge of making a bad decision. If you want help, you should go to a person who is trained to provide you with legal aid. You don’t have to commit to anything, but it’s a great idea for you to get the advice you need.
Good lawyers are always there to help you with your personal injury case. A lawyer’s job is to represent his or her client zealously, and no lawyer is going to take your case if he or she think he or she cannot help you. If you are at the point where you need a lawyer’s help, the best move you can make is to go ahead and make an appointment.
There’s never a bad time to talk to a lawyer after an injury. Whether you want to bring a case, are thinking about negotiating or if you just need some advice, a lawyer can help you. The worst mistake you can make is to wait to long, so talk to a lawyer as soon as you think that you might need a bit of help.
How severe are your injuries? Insurance companies are more apt to settle quickly when the injuries are more serious in nature. They know that the longer the case drags on that there will be more medical bills that are incurred as well as their legal fees. Are the injuries you suffered going to be ongoing or was your injury one that healed quickly? Those who have soft tissue damages would be eager to settle their claim quicker than those who have a wrongful death case. Everyone knows that the more severe the injuries, the more money you can demand in compensation. It just really comes down to whether their offer fits your injuries.
Things To Keep In Mind
A settlement puts an end to the case. That means that from that point forward, you are responsible for any ongoing medical bills. It is important to have an accurate prognosis to ensure that making a decision like this is not done in haste. If the medical bills are still rolling in, and the doctor’s appointments are ongoing, settling too soon may be a costly mistake. The insurance company likes to play games. They want to wear you down and drown you in paperwork so that you will settle for whatever they offer. You must have a good attorney fighting on your behalf. A personal injury lawyer in NYC can help advise you on the settlement and whether you should take the money or hold out for more. Once the case is settled, there is no do-overs or going back for more money. The matter will be closed and considered finalized, so it is important to make sure you make the right choice.
After you’ve been in an accident, you have a lot going on. Between doctors’ appointments and trying to recover, you’re focusing on getting your life back together.
While your first priority should be returning to health, you also need to consider your timeline for filing a lawsuit against the party responsible for your injuries. If you’re hoping to get compensation for your injuries, lost wages, and medical bills, then you need to begin your lawsuit within the statute of limitations.
Time can go by very quickly after an accident. You may think you have plenty of time to complete your lawsuit, but you would be surprised how easily the statute of limitations can pass you by. Once that statute of limitations passes, you lose your right to file a personal injurylawsuit forever.
If you have a personal injury case in the state of New York, you only have two years to file your lawsuit. If your case is against the state of New York or against a city or county in New York, you have even less time – only 180 days to file your claim and one year to file a lawsuit.
The statute of limitations will begin running the day you are made aware of your injuries. In most cases, this is the same day that the accident occurs. The only exception to this is if you have a “hidden” injury.
Hidden injuries do not appear immediately. They may take years and years before they show up. If you have a hidden injury from your accident, then the statute of limitations would begin the day you’re made aware of the injury.
This means you need to act very quickly after you’ve been injured to ensure you meet the deadlines of the statute of limitations. However, there are many benefits to beginning your personal injury case early.
Negligence is when one party’s careless actions result in an injury to another party. If a court determines that a party was negligent, then that party may be liable for any damages the injured party incurred as a result. The negligent party could be an individual, a business, or an organization.
There are four essential factors that play a role in negligence cases.
The first part of a negligence case is determining if the defendant had a legal duty of care towards the plaintiff. This legal duty may or may not be the result of a relationship between the two parties.
One common example of negligence that typically requires a relationship between the two parties is medical negligence. The law requires doctors and nurses to competently care for their patients. If a doctor were to ignore a patient’s symptoms and the patient became ill or injured because of that, the doctor could be held liable, as the patient entrusted their care to that doctor. If the patient’s friend ignored their symptoms, their friend wouldn’t be liable, because they don’t have that duty of care.
Car accidents are a common situation that doesn’t require a relationship for one party to be found negligent. If one driver is using the phone while driving and rear ends another, they are negligent, because the law requires them to drive safely and focus on the road.
Breach of Duty
After finding that the defendant had a legal duty towards the plaintiff, the next step is figuring out if they breached that duty. The law determines this by comparing the defendant’s actions to those of a legal standard called a reasonably prudent person, which refers to how the average, responsible adult would have handled the situation.
Going back to the car accident example above, the court would likely determine that the driver who caused the accident had breached their duty, because a responsible adult wouldn’t allow their phone to distract them while operating a vehicle.
It’s not enough that the defendant breached their legal duty to the plaintiff. That breach of duty also must have directly caused the damages. Requiring cause ensures that people aren’t punished simply for acting negligently. For example, if that driver who was using their phone was in the other lane and not involved in the accident, it wouldn’t make sense to blame them only because they were acting negligently.
Cause also takes into account if the situation was foreseeable for the defendant. If the situation occurred because of a completely unexpected act of nature, the court may not hold the defendant liable even if that party was negligent.
If the plaintiff is able to prove that the defendant had a legal duty, breached that duty, and caused damages, then the final step is for the court to determine the amount of those damages and compensate the plaintiff accordingly. The plaintiff provides documentation of damages that they allege were the result of the defendant’s negligence. Damages may include property damage, medical bills, and lost wages (if the plaintiff missed work because of the accident).
Negligence damages can add up quickly, as one case may have multiple types of damages. Consider a car accident where one driver is negligent and a serious injury occurs. The injured party may file a lawsuit for the damage to their car, medical expenses including an ambulance ride and hospital costs, and all the lost wages from being injured and unable to work. Negligence judgements can easily exceed tens of thousands of dollars, which is why it’s so important to protect yourself by having the proper insurance. The most common types of insurance that cover negligent actions are auto insurance for drivers, home owner’s insurance for home owners, and liability insurance for businesses.
What is a deposition
In a personal injury case, an attorney questions a party in the case while a court reporter keeps a record of the entire conversation. The opposing attorney asks the questions. Either attorney can deposition witnesses to the accident.
Depositions usually take place during the lawsuit’s discovery phase, which is after the plaintiff files the lawsuit but before it actually goes to trial. While an attorney can hold a deposition anywhere, the most common locations are at the attorney’s office or at the court reporter’s office. The attorney who is holding the deposition has to provide a reasonable amount of notice to the other parties involved. An attorney is able to depose any party that has knowledge relating to the lawsuit, but people who are deposed don’t always appear. If an attorney wants to depose someone and that person won’t voluntarily appear, then the attorney must subpoena them.
How you are questioned in a deposition is much different than how you are questioned in court. In court, your own attorney would ask you questions first in what’s known as direct examination. Then, the opposing attorney would ask you questions in what’s known as cross examination. In the deposition, the opposing attorney is the only one to question you.
The opposing attorney typically starts the deposition by explaining a few general rules to you, including that you’re under oath, that your answers are being recorded by the court reporter, and that you must answer out loud, since the reporter isn’t allowed to record nods or gestures. They may also tell you that although you shouldn’t guess at an answer, you should provide your best estimate when it comes to times, speeds, and distances. These are all difficult to judge, so don’t be afraid to say you aren’t sure if that’s the case.
The answers you provide at your deposition are crucial, so your attorney should thoroughly prepare you beforehand. They will likely instruct you to keep your answers concise and to the point. Opposing attorneys sometimes ask broad, open-ended questions in depositions, as the longer the answer, the more likely it will provide them with something they can use
The most important thing to realize at a deposition is that the opposing attorney wants to find information that they can use against you. Resist the temptation to go into detail trying to tell your side of the story. No one is going to make a judgement after the deposition, and you aren’t going to convince anyone there that you are in the right. The ideal answer length is one sentence. The opposing attorney can ask follow-up questions if he wants more information.
An opposing new york personal injury attorney has a few things they’re looking for at a deposition. They want to know your story, because that helps them prepare their case. For that reason, you don’t want to provide more information than necessary. They also want to get your story on record, because that means you have to stick to that story at the trial to avoid contradicting yourself. Ideally, the attorney wants to either catch you in a lie at the deposition or at the trial. The more details you provide, the more opportunities there are for the attorney to spot inconsistencies in your testimony.
A deposition can feel a bit awkward, but that’s actually a good sign. You should wait for the personal injury attorney to complete their question, take a moment to consider you answer, and then answer. It should never feel like two friends having a chat, as that means you’re likely providing too much information. If you don’t understand the question, ask the attorney to clarify. Don’t be afraid to clarify a question or say that you don’t know an answer if that’s truly the case.
Depositions are often long and mentally taxing. Remember that you can request a short break if you’re starting to get tired. It’s better than ending up drained and providing poor answers. Bring snacks and water. Get up and stretch your legs on your breaks. It’s good to take a 10 to 15-minute break for every 45 minutes of questions.
Our personal injury law firm has recovered millions in combined verdicts and settlements on behalf of our clients. When you’re the victim of an injury, you need an attorney who believes in you – and is going to fight for you. We believe in concierge customer service, and encourage you to contact us.
We are one of the top personal injury law firm in New York. Founded by two former prosecutors, we are very aggressive and have the resources to win your case. We help each, and every, client – get the results they deserve. Our personal injury attorneys are all recognized by the top lawyer ranking platforms like Avvo, National Trial Lawyers Organization, Super Lawyers, and many more.
Our NYC personal injury lawyers are selective about the number of clients we service each month. We believe that by limiting the number of clients we’re able to provide more service, and generate better case results. That’s one of the main reasons why many of our clients refer us to their friends, and family members. It’s because they know we’ll give them the service they deserve. We offer a risk free consultation, so you can get an assessment of the strength of your case. During this initial free consultation, you can ask us anything.
How long will my case take?
Many people wonder how long their personal injury case will take to settle. They’ve gotten themselves a reliable attorney; they have some of their documentation, and they are ready to receive a judgment and check. Unfortunately, no one has a clear-cut answer to the question of how long a personal injury case will take. The length of the case depends on a number of factors. The following are some factors that affect the longevity of a case for a personal injury:
The Attorney’s Workload
One factor that may affect the length of a personal injury case is the attorney’s workload. Victims can choose whomever they wish to handle their case. They can choose a small local firm or a large established firm. The drawback that may come about with a larger firm is a tight schedule. Larger firms tend to handle many cases at one time. Case movement may be significantly slow if the firm is popular in the neighborhood. However, the client will want to choose a high-quality firm, even if doing so stretches the length of the case.
The Patient’s Medical Care
Sometimes, the victim is a family member of a person who is in the hospital. The person may be in a coma or otherwise incapacitated. The case cannot progress much until the person obtains a release from the hospital. Therefore the length of the case will last at least as long as the victim is in a hospital’s care. The time the person spends in the hospital depends on the severity of the injury.
The Out-of-Court Concept
Negotiation is the first step in the process of settling a personal injury case. An attorney will first try to get the offending party to settle out of court for personal injury. Many large firms will be willing to settle out of court because of the detrimental media coverage they may receive if they do not settle out of court. An out-of-court settlement can move very quickly. The attorney and the offending party may reach an agreement in only a few days or weeks. The fastest cases end with out-of-court settlements.
The Offender’s Availability
The offender’s availability may have something to do with the time frame on a personal injury case. Some offenders may be out of the office or otherwise unavailable when the time comes for them to answer a claim or make a statement. The victim’s attorney may have to play tag for several weeks or months before the case moves along.
Proving percentage of fault may add some time to the case. Most states have percentage-of-fault stipulations on personal injury cases. In other words, they deduct the amount of a settlement based on the victim’s percentage of fault. For example, a judge will decrease a settlement by 50 percent if the victim is 50 percent guilty for his or her injury. An example of a case that involves percentage of fault is a car accident. More than one person can be responsible for a car crash. One person may run a red light while the other driver sends a text message while driving. Assigning 100 percent fault to one person would be difficult in such a case. Attorneys and their clients would need to have discussions and produce paperwork to determine the percentage of fault. This process alone may take weeks before the parties can move to the next stage.
Calculating Settlement Amounts
To determine a settlement amount, the attorney has to perform various calculations. He or she will have to use the patient’s medical bills, auto repair bills, loss-of-work statements and other such documents to come up with a calculation that works. The process may require that the client or the attorney visit different locations and request the necessary documents. It may take the client weeks to get the paper in order. The attorney may have other tasks that hold up that step in the process, as well.
Witnesses and Experts
If the case has witnesses and experts, the hearing may be delayed. The judge will want to hear testimonies from everyone who is involved in it in some way. Witnesses have to work around their work schedules and personal lives to find time to come to court and give their testimonies. Coordinating schedules with key witnesses may prolong the case somewhat. An expert opinion may need to show up in court, as well. Experts are people in special professions such as psychologists, therapists and surgeons. Their schedules have to fit will with their testimonies, as well. Since most specialists have extremely busy agendas, the personal injury case may drag on for months.
The Court’s Schedule
The court itself may have a schedule that conflicts with a personal injury case. Busy courthouses may have to schedule a hearing months away because of a multitude of cases that it must hear.
Investigative and Fact-Finding Steps
Investigations and fact-finding steps may prolong a case. Attorneys and private investigators must travel to the injury site and speak with people who may have witnessed the incident. They may have to gather paperwork from a local police station, as well. Many things come into play during an investigation, and they may add time to the event.
Estimation of Case Time
A personal injury case can be as short as two to three weeks or as long as several years to conclude. A victim’s best option is to hire an attorney that can promise a speedy conclusion. A reliable attorney will be easy to access. The website will offer several options for the prospective client to get in touch. The attorney will return the call within 24 to 48 hours to schedule an initial consultation. The initial consultation will disclose whether the case is worth fight for or not. An attorney may offer contingency representation to a promising case, which means that the victim will not have to pay a penny until the judge awards him or her a settlement. A personal injury attorney will start on a promising case immediately.
I have a lawyer who did my will, divorce or when I bought my house. Can’t he or she handle my injury case
While it may seem like an excellent way to save time and money by using the same attorney from case to case, in addition to having an attorney who you´ve developed a good rapport with and who is familiar to you, in the long run, this is very rarely a good idea. Some people find using different attorneys within the same law firm to be beneficial, but it is rare to find someone successfully using the same attorney in more than one type of case. There are several reasons for this.
Attorneys spend several years studying in college, followed by several more additional years of studying in a law school. During law school, different types of case law are examined by law school students, but these studies are geared more towards teaching future lawyers about the process of researching case law than how to represent clients in one or another type of litigation. Presenting cases to juries and judges, drawing up court documents, the many different methods of producing witness´ statements, and cross examination of witnesses called on by the opposing party are covered in law school classes, also.
Much of the process of litigation involves case preparation. This includes, in an injury case, gathering of medical records, questioning witnesses and gathering their statements, researching case law, taking photographic evidence of the accident scene, talking with first responders and other government employees who were on-scene at the accident, to name a few.
The type of work required to prepare an attorney to represent you in an injury case is very different from the work needed to prepare an attorney to represent a client in any other type of case. There are different types of evidence needed, and hopefully, a different defendant. Also, after spending time in one type of litigation, attorneys become more familiar with the staff in the different courtrooms, and also with the individual judges who hear cases. Judges have been known to be overly particular about certain things, including things that have nothing to do with the case being heard, but rather with how paperwork is completed and presented and other things unrelated to a case. Having an attorney who is familiar with the pet peeves of the judge who will be presiding over your injury case can be more important to the outcome of your case than your familiarity with the attorney providing his or her expertise.
In addition to case preparation, the attorney representing you must be knowledgeable about your specific type of injury. If there is an insurance company opposing your lawsuit, they will have their own list of experts who are paid to discredit you and your injury. Expert witnesses are often paid large sums of money in an effort to protect financial assets from injury case awards. Hiring an attorney who provided exccellent representation in your divorce will leave you without your own list of expert witnesses to provide testimony for your side of the lawsuit. Again, this is an advantage that you don´t want to exchange just to have an attorney who is familiar to you.
Another aspect that you need to take into consideration regarding retaining an attorney who has been specifically trained in injury law is experience in the courtroom. There is a great deal of different between a divorce case, which rarely goes before a jury, and an injury case, which most likely will be decided by a jury. Courtroom presentation can make or break a case, and again, the attorney´s experience with the current situation is very important to your financial wellbeing.
If you truly need to have an attorney who is more familiar to you than someone who is completely new, it is best to see if there is another partner in the same firm, or, possibly, another attorney who your ´old´ attorney will refer you to. There are too many risks involved in retaining an inexperienced attorney. Experience in one practice area of law does not guarantee experience in another practice area.
Court cases of many types can be extremely complex, with many different variables affecting the outcome of each case. Some practice areas of law are more complicated than other areas, but adding in an opposition who has much to lose financially, motivating them to actually fight against you, creates the need to retain an attorney who is experienced in your specific type of case, be it injury, discrimination, or even breach of contract.
Consistent successes in the courtroom may show that an attorney is adept at one or two practice areas, but even that is no guarantee that he or she will always be able to win a case. However, with many types of cases, particularly injury cases, most attorneys wil n ot accept a case if they feel they cannot win. This is largely because the losing party is typically ordered by the court to pay for court costs. In a divorce, this is not usually standard billing practice. For standard procedures, such as drawing up a will or power of attorney, or transfer of property, there is usually a set fee, and no ongoing attorney-client relationship is created, except for updating the documents involved.
So, in short, you can most certainly retain the same attorney for your current injury case if you were really impressed with their handling of your other legal issues. But, you really shouldn’t, for several reasons. Calling their office for a referral might be an excellent way to begin your search for a new attorney who can successfully represent you in your current needs.
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