Do I need to hire a personal injury attorney?


Any injured claimant who is serious about damage recovery following an injury will need an effective and experienced personal injury attorney to represent the case. Being properly and equitably compensated for a personal injury is not as simple as submitting a claim to the respondent insurance company, even when the claim is obviously valid. Laws applying to personal injury claims could also qualify other potentially negligent actors in causing an injury, whether they occur from an accident or intentional act. It is rarely a sound decision to attempt handling a personal injury claim alone without at least some counsel from a personal injury legal professional. This can be especially true in New York because injury cases can be complicated when comparative negligence percentages are evaluated. In addition, serious cases regularly go to a full trial and having an experienced trial attorney is absolutely essential to winning a case trial.

Proving Duty of Care Against a Respondent

Personal injury attorneys are charged with the responsibility to prove their client is injured and the injury was either the direct or indirect fault of the respondent. The first step is proving the respondent had a reasonable duty of care to the injured plaintiff regarding their individual safety. This applies in all personal injury claims, and if the claim presenter fails to meet this test the case is usually summarily dismissed. Your personal injury attorney can present all appropriate documentation to support the claim, along with proof that the injury was a result of some breach of this duty. Failure to act or acting intentionally are both considered negligent, and could be considered as grossly negligent in a jury trial. Material case facts of how an injury happened are vital to a fair settlement.

Comparative Negligence

Many individuals injured in an accident do not pursue damages because they think that any fault in the causing the injury would disqualify them for compensation. That once was true in the state of New York, but now the law is pure comparative negligence which means that anyone who is not totally at fault for their own injury can receive some amount of compensatory damages. This is a significant change in the law and now insurance companies realize when they will be required to settle a claim for some amount, meaning that most injury claims will result in some amount of financial damage settlement. Respondent insurance companies always use negligence by the claimant as a point of contention in negotiations, as they try to lessen the value of the claim by increasing the comparative responsibility of the injured claimant. Your New York personal injury attorney will always recognize this is happening in a settlement discussion and ensure that all material evidence is evaluated properly and accurately in protecting the client’s legal rights to full financial recovery.

Going to Trial

Some cases will require going to a jury trial, especially when very serious injury or wrongful death awards are at stake. Sometimes respondent insurance companies are the party taking a case to a trial, but the plaintiff legal counsel has the option too because this is where punitive damages can apply after a jury finds the respondent to be guilty of gross negligence in causing the injury. This is also common when there are co-defendants, such as a trucking company that has employed a negligent truck driver and may have failed in compliance with rules and regulations of the road. Punitive damages are often what makes an injured plaintiff financially whole in a accident claim, and it takes an experienced trial attorney to win this type of special financial award.

No injured plaintiff is a match for an insurance company legal team that is only obligated to the company profit line and the negligent client. They are trained professional negotiators looking for any inkling to reduce or deny an injury claim. Having a solid legal professional handling your case means that you have your very own legal team ensuring that all of your recovery rights are observed and enforced. And always remember that the attorney you choose can matter greatly for a favorable outcome of your case.

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