Suffering a serious personal injury as a result of the negligence, recklessness, or malfeasance of another can be a traumatic, life-altering experience, resulting in medical expenses, lost wages (present and future), pain and suffering, and even long-term disfigurement or disability. The financial, physical and emotional aftermath of such an injury can be overwhelming, but you do have legal recourse. It is invaluable to have a skilled, compassionate personal injury attorney at your side to provide you with legal support and protection.
Through aggressive legal action, your lawyer can help you obtain the damages you are due, changing your role from victim to victor. Personal injury lawsuits are civil lawsuits involving torts, not criminal charges, though a criminal case and a civil case may proceed simultaneously. The experienced attorneys at Barket Epstein are adept at negotiating settlements and at courtroom battles as well. We will ensure that you get the maximum amount of monetary compensation you deserve.
Liability and Damages
There are two basic components to a personal injury claim: liability and damages. In other words, your attorney has to prove  the defendant is responsible for your injuries, either through intentional assault, negligence, recklessness or strict liability and  the extent of your injuries, both in terms of pain and suffering and in terms of financial cost.
Types of Personal Injury in New York State
Often times, “accidents” are really the fault of another’s careless, reckless, or aggressive behavior. Below are some common varieties of personal injury for which lawsuits are filed:
- Vehicular accidents (car, truck, bus, motorcycle, boat, pedestrian)
- Medical malpractice
- Product liability
- Slip and fall
- Pharmaceutical errors
- Unsafe workplaces
- Nursing home abuse
- Dog bites
The Need to Move Quickly
No matter what type of injury you suffer, if it is the fault of another you should consult with a personal injury attorney as quickly as possible. There are many reasons for taking action promptly. For one thing, it is important that evidence be collected before the defendant has time to clean up or repair the “scene of the crime.” For another, it is much easier to get photographs, written records, other evidence, and/or witness accounts if you move rapidly. Also, it is important to know that there is a statute of limitations for filing personal injury claims. In New York State, you have 3 years from the date of the injury to file a personal injury lawsuit. This means that if you fail to file your claim before 3 years have passed, you will have no right to receive compensation for your injuries.
Types of Damages: Compensatory and Punitive
There are two fundamental types of damages you may sue for: compensatory and punitive. Compensatory damages are payments to compensate you for medical costs, lost wages, permanent disability, and pain & suffering. Punitive damages are monies meant to punish the defendant for particularly egregious conduct and to discourage others from engaging in similar bad behavior.
New York State is a no-fault state, using a “pure comparative negligence rule.” What this means is that the amount of compensation you receive will be reduced by an amount equal to your percentage of fault in the accident. Examples of comparative negligence are a slip and fall accident in which the floor is slippery, but you are also intoxicated, or a car accident in which the other driver runs a red light, but you are driving over the speed limit. In such cases, the percentage of responsibility for your own injury for which the court holds you accountable will be deducted from the damages you’re awarded. For example, if you are found 20 percent responsible in a vehicular accident case and have been initially awarded $100,00, you will receive only $80,000.
Experienced attorneys, like those at Barket Epstein, are frequently able to settle cases without ever going before a judge or jury. Our talents for negotiation enable us to obtain a just settlement for your injuries. Our attorneys will be able to realistically assess the amount you may receive if you go to trial and also to approximate what your future costs resulting from the injury are likely to be. In all cases, you make the final decision about whether to agree to the settlement; we just pave the way. You should be aware that settlements can be arrived at during any phase of the judicial process, even during the trial, as long as the verdict has not yet been reached.
If you or a member of your family has suffered a personal injury because of someone else’s negligence, recklessness, misbehavior, or strict liability, you should certainly explore with one of the highly dedicated attorneys at Barket Epstein the possibility of filing a lawsuit. We will evaluate your case and fight vigorously to get you the compensation you deserve. We are available and eager to help and can be reached by phone or by filling out one of the contact forms on our website.