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Home > Personal Injury > Comprehensive Personal Injury Guide

A Comprehensive Guide to Understanding New York’s Personal Injury Laws

Personal Injury Law, text words typography written on wooden blocks, life and businessWhen accidents happen, dealing with the aftermath can be overwhelming. Amid the physical pain and emotional distress, having to navigate the legal landscape can be confusing, frustrating and intimidating. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you navigate through the legal intricacies of New personal injury laws. If you or a family member has been injured because of the negligence of another in Ulster County or the Hudson Valley, contact Rusk, Wadlin, Heppner & Martuscello, LLP, for guidance and representation from an experienced and successful Kingston personal injury lawyer.

Statute of Limitations

In personal injury law, there’s a strict time limit, known as the statute of limitations, within which a lawsuit must be filed. For most personal injury cases in New York, including those arising from car accidents or slip and fall incidents, the statute of limitations is three years from the date of the accident. However, there are exceptions to this rule, so it’s essential to consult with a qualified attorney to understand the specific deadlines for your case. The timeline might be longer or shorter in your particular situation, so don’t delay contacting a lawyer, and don’t give up on an older claim without first talking to a skilled legal professional.

Comparative Negligence

New York follows a comparative negligence rule, meaning that even if you were partially at fault for the accident, you may still be able to recover damages. However, your compensation will be reduced in proportion to your degree of fault. For instance, if you were found to be 20% at fault, your compensation would be reduced by 20%. Insurance companies will always say you were at least partially to blame to reduce their liability. Don’t just take their word for it; get your own assessment from an attorney working to maximize your compensation.

No-Fault Insurance

New York is a no-fault insurance state, which means that regardless of who is at fault for a car accident, your no-fault insurance will cover your medical expenses and lost wages up to a certain limit. However, in cases of serious injuries meeting certain thresholds, you may be eligible to step outside the no-fault system and pursue a claim against the at-fault party where you can recover a fuller extent of the harm done to you. Our attorneys can offer a complimentary consultation and advise you whether you likely have a tort-based claim outside of the no-fault system.

Types of Damages

In personal injury cases, there are various types of damages that you may be entitled to recover, including:

  • Medical Expenses: This includes past and future medical bills related to your injury.
  • Lost Wages: Compensation for income lost due to the injury, including future earning capacity if the injury affects your ability to work.
  • Pain and Suffering: Non-economic damages to compensate for physical pain, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life.
  • Punitive Damages: In cases where the defendant’s actions were particularly egregious, punitive damages may be awarded to punish the wrongdoer.

Strict Liability

Some personal injury cases, such as those involving defective products or certain dog bite incidents, may be subject to strict liability. This means that the defendant can be held liable for the injuries without having to prove they were negligent.

Premises Liability

Property owners have a legal obligation to maintain safe premises for visitors. If you’re injured on someone else’s property due to their negligence, you may be able to pursue compensation through a premises liability claim. Common examples include slip and fall accidents and injuries caused by inadequate security measures.

Dog Bite Laws

New York has specific laws regarding dog bites. In most cases, dog owners are strictly liable for injuries caused by their pets, but only if the dog had a history of aggression or the owner was aware the dog might be dangerous. However, there are exceptions, such as if the injured person was trespassing or provoked the dog. New York dog bite law can be confusing, so it’s important to consult with an experienced legal professional to determine whether you have a claim.

Wrongful Death Claims

When a person’s death is caused by the negligence or wrongful act of another party, surviving family members may pursue a wrongful death claim. Damages in wrongful death cases may include compensation for funeral expenses, loss of financial support, and the emotional impact of losing a loved one. These cases can be difficult to prove depending on the circumstances, but the needs of family members for both justice and compensation can make pursuing these claims worthwhile.

Legal Representation for Personal Injury Claims in Ulster County and the Hudson Valley

Navigating the complexities of New York’s personal injury laws can be challenging, especially while dealing with the physical and emotional aftermath of an accident. Seeking guidance from an experienced personal injury attorney can help ensure that your rights are protected and that you receive the compensation you deserve.

If you or a loved one has been injured due to someone else’s negligence, don’t hesitate to seek legal representation to explore your options for recovery. In Ulster County, call Rusk, Wadlin, Heppner & Martuscello, LLP in Kingston at 845-331-4100 or Marlboro at 845-236-4411, or call 800-566-4101 toll-free throughout the Hudson Valley. Our experienced and dedicated legal team is ready to serve you.

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