The post is about the rights of children who are living in foster care. As the foster care system becomes increasingly privatized, child abuse within them has become an increasingly prevalent issue. Click here to read the article.
In this video FAQ, Hach & Rose, LLP attorney Halina Radchenko discusses how you can file an underinsured claim against your household motor vehicle insurance policy. She stresses the importance of selecting a legal team that has experience with underinsured motorist accident claims. Attorney Radchenko and the team at Hach & Rose, LLP have extensive experience helping individuals who have been hurt in an auto accident in New York City, so contact them at (212) 779-0057 to discuss your claim today.
New York City personal injury attorney Michael Rose has written a new article about jurisdiction for out-of-state injuries. Individuals who sustain injuries in New York generally have to resolve any related issues in New York, including visitors. This means that if you are visiting the state of New York and are hurt, it may be wise to consider hiring an attorney who practices in the state, as they will have greater familiarity with the state’s practices.
Click here to read the new post.
Accidents and injuries are, at the very least, inconvenient. Causes of accidents vary vastly, as do their injuries. Even with a seemingly minor injury there is always the unfortunate chance that it could develop into something much more debilitating. The time of a personal injury case rests on this uncertainty, but can also be prolonged by the other party’s cooperation (or lack thereof). The process generally takes anywhere from six months to two years, give or take.
Seek Medical Attention
You should always seek medical attention immediately after an accident or injury. Regardless of how slight you think your injury is, it could always be more serious. After an accident, you may go into a state of shock, preventing you from immediately feeling pain. Or you may ignore a bruise that is in fact indicative of internal bleeding. Not only does this put your health at risk, but the longer you wait to seek medical attention, the harder it will be to later prove that the accident actually caused your injury. Even if you are able to prove that the accident was the initial cause of your injury, failing to seek medical attention immediately may prevent you from being fully compensated for neglecting to promptly treat the initial injury. It is therefore vital you seek medical attention immediately to increase your chances of a full recovery.
Consult with an Attorney
While calling the insurance company may seem like the next logical step, you should consult with a personal injury attorney first. Personal injury attorneys offer free consultations and will assess whether you have a viable personal injury case, advise you on your options, and estimate your case value. The majority of people who choose to independently settle their claim with an insurance adjuster receive a much lower settlement than those working with an experienced personal injury attorney. An attorney will not only deal with insurance adjusters for you, but will negotiate the highest settlement amount. If an attorney believes you are entitled to a larger settlement, they will give you the option to accept the settlement amount or file a lawsuit to pursue the full value of your case. Once you decide to retain an attorney it will be on a contingent fee arrangement.
Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI)
To more accurately determine your case value and thus the compensation you deserve, attorneys refer to a legal concept called Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI). MMI is defined as “the point when a condition cannot be improved any further or when a plateau in a person’s healing process is reached.” Basically, this means that you should wait six months before you consider settling your claim. Documented complaints lasting six months can establish a permanent impairment, which plays an important role in establishing a comprehensive case value (future medical needs, lost wages, pain and suffering). You should also be aware that if you settle your case before undergoing a related surgery, you will not be compensated for that surgery – settling your case prevents you from asking for additional compensation.
File an Insurance Claim or Demand Settlement
Generally, claims are filed against the at fault-party’s insurance company. After doing so, a claims adjuster will be assigned to investigate the claim and try to negotiate the settlement. In some instances, your attorney will send a demand letter to the other party demanding a settlement for your injuries. This generally happens when the other party does not have insurance, or an insurance company is not involved.
File a Personal Injury Lawsuit
When a settlement cannot be reached, the next option is filing a lawsuit. Under New York Statute, a personal injury lawsuit must be filed within three years of your injury or accident. Filing a lawsuit can motivate the other party to increase their settlement offer to avoid the costs of litigation or a hefty jury verdict. Your attorney will file a complaint on your behalf. The other party will then file an answer to the complaint, along with any counterclaims they may have (which your attorney will to respond to). For more information on whether you should go to trial click here.
Discovery is the pre-trial process where the parties exchange evidence and information. This will help both parties form their arguments and predict their chances of attaining a favorable outcome at trial. This will often motivate the parties to settle before trial as it will expose the weaknesses and strengths of their cases and provides a more inclusive expectation of what the actual value of the case is. Discovery includes interrogatories, depositions and independent medical examinations (IME). Interrogatories are written questions submitted to opposing parties and require a response. Depositions are essentially interviews under oath which deposes both parties and witnesses. An IME is a medical evaluation given by the other party’s doctor of choice to assess your injuries. The discovery process is a lengthy one.
Mediation and Arbitration
Mediation and arbitration are two approaches to attaining a pre-trial settlement. Mediation is where the parties agree upon a neutral third-party to help the parties come to a settlement. The settlement will only be binding if both parties agree to written terms and is signed by both parties. Arbitration, on the other hand, is always binding. Arbitration is a hearing conducted by a neutral third-party (who is often a retired judge or esteemed lawyer). Mediation is never required, but judges may suggest it if they believe a settlement is within reach.
If no settlement can be reached, then the case goes to trial. However, the parties are able to settle any time up until the final judgment is rendered. The length of trials vary vastly, ranging from hours to months. Trials can be unpredictable, but the best way to protect your best interests is by choosing an experienced attorney to represent you.
There is a new article on our Must Know Info page written by Mark Glen Sokoloff about pursuing FELA claims. It outlines the Federal Employer’s Liability Act (FELA) and points to a recent case in which attorneys with Hach & Rose, LLP were able to obtain a $1.4 million verdict on a FELA claim.
Click here to read Mr. Sokoloff’s article.
Whether you settle your case or take it to trial, your choice of representation will dictate how much compensation you receive. Choosing the first attorney who takes your case is simply not enough to achieve the results you deserve. You must take into consideration things like experience, fields of specialization, past results, and even the size of the firm.
The Right Experience
This is pretty self-explanatory but worth mentioning. Do not just choose an attorney with the most years of experience; choose one who has the most relevant experience. Choosing an attorney with 30 years of experience primarily in Corporate Law to represent your Personal Injury case clearly is not the best choice. Use the attorney’s or law firm’s website to research whether they have experience handling cases similar to yours. You can also use their website to reveal whether they have trial experience. While many cases settle, choosing a respected trial lawyer not only increases your chances of a favorable outcome if your case does end up going to court, but also encourages the opposing party to offer a fair settlement to avoid the courtroom altogether.
Playing the Fields
As mentioned above, years of experience is only helpful if it is relevant to your case. Some law firms will advertise they take cases in many fields which essentially means they specialize in none. Choosing a firm that specializes in a certain field means you are not getting the player but the entire team. Attorneys in a firm are invaluable resources to each other and collaboration between knowledgeable attorneys leads to better results and helps expedite the road to recovery. Specializing in a certain field enables attorneys to estimate your case value based on personal knowledge, pursue the best course of action to get your full recovery, and can avoid endless negotiations with uncooperative opposition. They will also have the groundwork laid out for you even before walking in the door since they will already have the resources and legal knowledge relevant to your case.
Results are usually listed on an attorney’s or law firm’s website. If they are not listed, this could be an indication that they have none worth listing. Results pages may demonstrate how many cases a firm has taken and the financial successes of those cases. Looking at listed results will also help you form an idea of how much you may be due, and help you realize the law firm that encourages you to settle for a fraction of what you think you deserve is probably not the right law firm for you. This is not to say settling is never a good idea, but choosing a law firm that does not prepare their cases for trial will settle for lower amounts in order to avoid the litigation process. Successful litigation firms receive both higher settlements as well as higher verdicts. While settling your case may be the smartest move, settling for a law firm never is.
Contrsuction Accident Victims
Construction work is an inherently high-risk job. It is therefore vital for construction workers to be aware of the remedies available to them for injuries sustained on the job and the necessary steps to receive compensation. Hach & Rose, LLP specializes in construction workers’ injuries, and we encourage injured workers and their loved ones to contact us with any questions they may have.
Representing Construction Accident Victims
Hach & Rose, LLP regularly achieves some of the largest jury verdicts in the state of New York for workers injured on construction sites. We obtained a $13,000,000 jury verdict for an injured union painter who fell from a ladder and sustained a traumatic brain injury. We also obtained a $12,800,000 jury verdict for a woman who suffered a severe neck injury due to defective construction. These cases are heartbreaking, and no amount of money can ever undo the damage done, but we dedicate ourselves to ensuring the victims and their families are given the opportunity to live as good a life as they deserve. We do this by preparing every case for trial – always ready to fight for the absolute highest recovery for our clients.
The Importance of Reputation
Obtaining such high jury verdicts warns the opposition that Hach & Rose, LLP has aggressive and highly-skilled attorneys who do not back down from a fight. Our reputation has been a powerful tool in obtaining faster recoveries for our clients without compromising the results – defendants agree to significant settlements to avoid facing our attorneys in court. These results include:
- $3,525,000 for a worker who fell from a makeshift ladder
- $3,500,000 for a stone mason struck by a piece of sheetrock
- $2,600,000 for a worker who was struck by a backhoe
- $2,500,000 for a worker who was injured when a piece of construction debris fell from a building
- $2,000,000 for a construction worker injured by a falling pipe
- $1,800,000 for a construction worker struck by a vehicle due to a lack of a barricade
- $800,000 for an engineer who tripped and fell over debris
- $225,000 for an engineer who hurt his wrist falling from a ladder on a construction project
You Are Not Alone
There are so many unpredictable dangers present at construction sites and are inherent to construction work. While Hach & Rose, LLP understands it is impossible to control all of these unpredictable dangers, we believe that those injured by such dangers must be compensated accordingly. Whether an injury is caused by a construction company overlooking the need for a barricade or the negligence of a fellow worker operating equipment, an injured victim should never feel like they are alone or without recourse. Where others fail to protect construction workers, Hach & Rose, LLP is there to defend them. If you have been hurt on a construction site, contact us to learn more about how we can help you.
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