Personal injury means physical injuries, mental injuries, or property damage caused to you by another party’s negligence. This type of injury may allow you to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party to recover compensation for the negative financial consequences of their actions. Examples of personal injury claims include:
- Car and truck accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Construction accidents
- Wrongful death
- And more
If you decide to pursue the at-fault party for compensation in a personal injury insurance claim or lawsuit, you or your lawyer typically must be able to prove the at-fault party:
- Owed you a standard of care
- Failed to meet that standard
- Negligently caused your injuries
- Caused you financial repercussions due to your injuries
Types of Damages You May Be Able to Recover in a Personal Injury Claim
If you can prove that the at-fault party’s negligence caused your injuries, they may owe you compensation for your damages. This compensation may be available to you via a personal injury claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company or a personal injury lawsuit.
You may be entitled to recoup the cost of any medical care you received to treat accident-related injuries. You may also be entitled to compensation for financial expenses and losses that stem from your injuries. Depending on the nature of your injuries and their impact on your life, you may be able to recover:
- Economic damages: such as your current and future medical expenses, current and future income loss, and property damage
- Non-economic damages: such as compensation disability, pain and suffering, physical disfigurement, mental anguish, etc.
- Punitive damages: although these are rarely awarded, a judge may include punitive damages in a personal injury case to punish the at-fault party for actions that were intentional or extremely reckless
If you choose to work with a personal injury lawyer on your case, they can help you identify the types of damages that you may be able to recover. A lawyer can also assist you in calculating the total monetary value of your damages.
The Time You Have to File a Lawsuit in New York
Every state in the US imposes a statute of limitations that defines the amount of time you have to file a civil lawsuit against an at-fault party. In New York, the time is restricted as follows:
- Personal Injury: New York Civil Practice Law and Rules (CVP) §214 generally imposes a three-year statute of limitations on personal injury lawsuits.
- Wrongful Death: New York Estates, Powers & Trusts (EPT) §5-4.1 generally gives victims a two-year statute of limitations on wrongful death lawsuits.
- Medical Malpractice: CVP §214-A generally allows victims two years and six months to file a lawsuit for medical, dental, or podiatric malpractice.
There may be circumstances that alter these general deadlines in certain cases. Failure to meet the relevant deadline in your case could put your potential lawsuit at risk of being refused or of being dismissed without being heard.
Given sufficient time, the legal team who represents you can ensure your potential lawsuit is filed on time to comply with the state’s filing deadline.
A Lawyer May Be Able to Help You Reach a Settlement or Court Award
When you decide to work with a personal injury lawyer on your case, they may be able to handle all of the legal work and communications on your behalf. If your lawyer can demonstrate the at-fault party’s liability, the insurance company that represents them might agree to negotiate a financial settlement.
Before any settlement talks, your lawyer may build a case file that demonstrates the responsible party’s negligence and the monetary value of your claim. Your case file may contain evidence such as:
- Police or incident reports
- Medical reports and bills
- Witness statements
- Injury photos
- Property damage photos
- Testimony from accident reconstruction or medical experts
- And more
If the responsible party’s insurance company refuses to compensate you fairly, a lawyer can take your personal injury lawsuit to trial, where a judge or jury may decide on the liability of the defendant and may choose to award you compensation based on the evidence you or your lawyer presents.
Call Morelli Law Firm for a Free Consultation on Your Case
If you or someone you love was injured because of another person’s negligence, Morelli Law Firm may be able to help you file an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit against the responsible party. We represent clients in New York City, on Long Island, and in New York State up to Albany.
To learn more about what personal injury means and to receive a free, no-obligation consultation on your case with a member of our team, call Morelli Law Firm today at (212) 751-9800. We may be able to provide you with representation on a contingency-fee-basis.