Experienced New York Personal Injury Attorneys Answer Frequently Asked Questions
The attorneys at Ingber & Provost have been advising and representing clients in the Hudson Valley collectively for over 40 years. Below are answers to some of the questions our lawyers encounter most frequently when advising clients injured in automobile accidents, slips and falls, medical malpractice, birth injuries, asbestos-related negligence, or wrongful death. We hope this information is helpful to you. If you have other questions or need immediate help with an injury case, please call Ingber & Provost at 845-733-2720 to speak with one of our attorneys.
How long do I have to file a lawsuit or claim for benefits?
In most cases of personal injury, you have up to three years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit against the negligent person responsible for your injury, or you may be forever barred from bringing a case. That is only the general rule, however. For instance, in the case of medical malpractice, you only have 2 ½ years to bring a claim, depending upon when the injury was discovered and whether it was the result of one medical error or an ongoing course of improper treatment. In the case of wrongful death, the statute of limitations limits the time to two years from the date of death. If your accident involved public property or a government vehicle, you may only have 90 days or even less to begin a suit.
Your personal injury lawyer will be able to identify the applicable statute of limitations and make sure your lawsuit or claim is filed in a timely manner. Even if the applicable limitations period is three years, it is still important to contact an attorney as soon as possible to ensure an adequate investigation of the accident and the preservation of witness statements and other important evidence.
I know the accident was the other driver’s fault, but the insurance company says I was speeding and won’t pay. Is it true I can’t recover if I was speeding?
If the other driver was careless, reckless, or negligent and caused or contributed to the accident, then you can recover for the damages you suffered, assuming you follow the proper procedures and can prove the other driver’s negligence, if necessary. If filing for no-fault benefits, it does not matter who was at fault. Even if suing the other driver for negligence, New York follows a doctrine of pure comparative negligence, which means that you can still recover for another person’s negligence, except that the amount of your recovery will be proportionately reduced according to the percentage of fault assigned to you by the jury. A capable personal injury attorney will fight to establish the other party’s negligence while also protecting you against unfounded defense tactics which try to shift the blame onto you.
What is a “serious injury” under New York auto accident law?
Compensation in a traffic accident is paid based on no-fault insurance, unless the accident caused “serious injuries” as defined under New York auto accident law. For purposes of determining whether a lawsuit may be filed, New York Insurance Law 5102(d) defines a serious injury as any of the following:
- Significant disfigurement;
- A fracture;
- Loss of a fetus;
- Permanent loss of use of a body organ, member, function or system;
- Permanent consequential limitation of use of a body organ or member;
- Significant limitation of use of a body function or system;
- A medically determined injury or impairment of a non-permanent nature which prevents the injured person from performing substantially all of the material acts which constitute such person’s usual and customary daily activities for not less than 90 days during the 180 days immediately following the occurrence of the injury or impairment.
Determining whether an injury qualifies as a serious injury requires a medical opinion as well as a legal determination as well. If you have been injured in an automobile accident in the Hudson Valley region, contact Ingber & Provost for assistance in getting quality care and adequate compensation for your injuries.