Five pitfalls to avoid in personal injury cases
If you have been injured through the fault of another you may be confused about the legal process and what to expect. Personal injury litigation is a complex undertaking and should you fail to adhere to its strict rules your case may be forever dismissed. The attorneys at Duffy & Duffy can walk you through this process.
In order to protect your rights, listed below are five important things to know about personal injury matters:
- If you are injured in an automobile accident, you have a limited time in which to file a claim for lost wages and medical benefits.
In New York the deadline to file a no-fault application is 30 days from the date of the accident. That means that if you were driving your vehicle and were hit by another car, you must file a claim for unpaid medical bills or lost time out of work with your own insurance company within the time allowed. On the other hand, if you were a pedestrian, the claim must be made against the car that struck you. Thus it is important, if at all possible, to obtain the driver’s insurance information at the scene of the accident, so that you may timely submit all the required documentation.
- If you were struck by a hit and run vehicle you must report the accident within 24 hours.
When you are injured and the car that hit you runs away many victims often go straight home and hope for the best as they feel that they have no one to recover against. However, New York State maintains a department that deals with compensating victims of such accidents and as long as the matter is reported to the police or ambulance personnel or the fire department within 24 hours your right to sue is protected and the lawsuit will be brought against the municipal corporation, called Motor Vehicle Accident Indemnification Corporation, who will appear in place of the hit and run vehicle. The legal proceeding against said company is different from a regular lawsuit and your best bet is consulting with personal injury lawyers who are familiar with these types of cases.
- Personal injury lawsuits must be started within the applicable Statute of Limitations
Many of you know that the time limit to start a lawsuit in New York is generally three years on accident cases. However, what you may not know is that the time to start a lawsuit against a municipality, such as the City of New York, or against a public corporation, such as the New York City Transit Authority, is much shorter.
- The City of New York requires a notice of claim filed within 90 days of the occurrence
Another common mistake that the injured parties make is to wait until they are finished with their medical treatment before contacting an attorney, which may take months and often years to complete. In the meantime municipalities and public corporations maintain a strict set of rules about receiving initial notice of the accident and will move to dismiss a case if the notice is not filed timely.
- The extended time to file a lawsuit that is afforded to minor children does not apply to their parents.
If you underage child has been injured you may facing enormous medical and hospital bills for his or her care which you would like to get reimbursed. In addition, if the personal injury sustained by your child is severe, you may be forced to take time off work or quit your job all together to care for your son or daughter, thus experiencing economic loss. You need to know that your time to start an action to recover for damages is much shorter than that of your child.
The attorneys at Duffy & Duffy will explain the legal process to you as well as the applicable statutes of limitation, to make sure that you do not miss your opportunity to bring a lawsuit.
Hiring the firm of Duffy & Duffy to represent you in your personal injury action is the first important step in making sure that you don’t lose your day in court.