Personal Injury FAQ

What should you do after the accident?

After an automobile accident, gather all necessary information involving all drivers and passengers and refrain from making any type of statement or signing any papers without first consulting with an auto accident lawyer.

What is the role of our NY motor vehicle accident lawyers?

Motor vehicle accidents can be terrifying. If you were not at fault, then the “at fault party” will have to take responsibility of all damages done to you in the accident. This mostly leads to court trials. Do not try to handle the court on your own. Hiring an expert New York motor vehicle accident lawyer can extremely increase your chances of winning the case

When Is It Important To Contact My Attorney?

Communication between attorney and client is a key to a favorable outcome. As a client there is information you have in your possession that your lawyers may not be able to obtain without your help. You must always inform your attorney when you stop medical treatment, start treatment with a new doctor and/or undergo surgery. If you stopped medical treatments but begin feeling pain again you must contact your attorney. It is important to be honest with your attorneys and trust them. Many times clients do not inform their attorneys of prior injuries or medical conditions and this can be detrimental to your case. It is also important to contact your attorneys if you are subsequently injured.

How can I afford to hire an attorney for a Personal Injury case?

Everyone can afford to hire our firm. We are committed to providing quality and affordable legal representation to those in need. With The Grigoropoulos Law Group, PLLC., you pay no fee to your attorney unless we have been successful in settling your case or obtaining a successful verdict.

What is “No-Fault” Insurance in New York?

It is coverage afforded an occupant of a motor vehicle that is involved in an accident regardless of fault. Under New York law, you are entitled to No-Fault benefits paid by your own insurance company. Those No-Fault benefits involved: lost wages up to $2,000 a month, medical expenses for any treatment related to the accident or collision, as well as mileage to and from doctor’s offices. The benefits total at $50,000 unless you have purchased additional No–Fault insurance, which is available to you.

The coverage is also available to bicyclists and pedestrians struck by or hit by a portion of a motor vehicle. This coverage is designed to pay for your medical bills, lost wages and any medically necessary expenses and does not cover your personal injury and pain and suffering. It is important that you contact an attorney as soon as possible following a motor vehicle accident as you must submit a no-fault application to the insurance carrier within 30 days of the date of accident in order to be eligible for the No-Fault coverage.

How do I choose my lawyer?

Choosing a lawyer for yourself or a family member can be one of the most important decisions you make. It is a good idea to make a list of questions to bring with you during your consultation. It is also very important that you feel comfortable with your attorney who will be a strong defender of your rights.

Why wouldn’t an attorney take My Motor Vehicle Accident Case?

It is commonly believed that if you are in an accident you are automatically entitled to compensation. Unfortunately, that is not true. The law requires that you must have sustained a serious injury in the state of New York in order to qualify.

We have decades of experience handling these types of cases, and know exactly what we need to prove in order to get you a fair settlement or a fair verdict.

Why Should I hire an attorney and not just go through my Insurance Company?

Very often insurance companies will contact you directly in order to try and settle your case. Unfortunately, you need to remember that insurance companies have only their own interest in mind. They are not out there to help you, and what they might offer you could be only a percentage of the full value of what your case is worth. Only an experienced lawyer in will know the real value of your case and can help you attain the maximum recovery that you’re entitled to for your injury and suffering.

What does my lawyer need for my personal injury case?

In the personal injury case it is important to gather all of the written documentation supporting your claim such as a police report or incident report. Without the proper documentation, it will be difficult for your attorney to evaluate the merits of your case and your options.

Is a No-Fault Claim the same as a Bodily Injury Claim?

No. These two are separate and apart. “No fault” is coverage provided for a victim’s medical bills, lost wages and any medically necessary expenses such as transportation to and from doctor visits, medications, braces and bandages and home care. This coverage is not dependent on a persons fault.

A bodily injury claim is compensation for, an array of things; your injury, pain and suffering and who is at fault for the accident is also deliberated. You are eligible for no-fault benefits even if you do not commence a personal injury action/lawsuit. Similarly, you can also have a personal injury lawsuit even if you are not eligible for no-fault benefits.

I was stopped and “Rear-Ended”. Is the other driver automatically at fault?

Typically the other driver is usually considered at fault for hitting another vehicle and “not maintaining a safe distance” and causing the collision. However, there is a possibility that the other vehicle will assert a justification for striking the rear of your car. You must contact an attorney with experience and knowledge in these areas who can explain the possible outcomes, call today to schedule an appointment with one of our attorneys.

What happens if I am injured by a motor vehicle that does Not have automobile insurance?

In cases such as these, if you or a member of your household maintains an automobile insurance policy then a claim can be made under this policy. If you or a member of your household does not have an insurance policy you may have legal recourse through the Motor Vehicle Accident Indemnification Corporation (MVAIC). MVAIC was established to pay bodily injury damages and no-fault benefits to qualified victims of motor vehicle accidents in which a viable insurance policy does not exist.

What do I do if I am involved in an accident with a vehicle that leaves the scene?

Get a description of the vehicle that left the scene, including a license plate and the state where the vehicle is registered and if possible, a description of the driver. You MUST report the accident to the police immediately or as soon as possible. Contact our attorneys today to discuss your case.

What can I do if I injure myself by a condition that I have been asking my Landlord to fix?

You may have a cause of action against your landlord if you could prove that your landlord knew or should have known about the condition upon which you were injured. It is important to make all complaints to your landlord and/or management company in writing, and you should keep a copy for yourself. It is best to send the written complaint certified return receipt requested or by certificate of mailing.

Do I have a case against my Landlord if I am assaulted inside my building?

Whether you have a case in this situation is contingent upon whether the landlord had prior notice of the defective condition that allowed an unauthorized person to enter the building, such as a broken lock on the entrance/exit doors.

What Should I Do If I Slip/Trip And Fall And I Am Injured?

Just because an accident occurs in a store does not mean that the store is liable for your injuries.

  • Report the accident.
  • Document the exact location of exactly where you fell and how you would go back to the site of the accident.
  • Get the names, phone numbers and addresses of all witnesses.
  • Take a number of photographs of what you fell upon.
  • If there is construction going on in the area where you fell, document the names of any construction company. Often, there are permits posted that list the name of the contractors or there are trucks on the road bearing the company name.
  • If you are taken to the hospital make sure you give all ambulance and medical personnel an accurate description of your fall.

Should I Seek Medical Treatment?

Yes. If you are injured you should seek medical attention. Many times people who are involved in an accident do not think that their symptoms are serious. However, as the days progress your symptoms may worsen. It is also possible that you may not initially feel pain but wake up the next day or a few days later and feel pain. Very often the insurance companies will refuse to pay on claims, or underpay on claims, where there has been a delay in treatment or a long gap in treatment. Whatever the scenario, it is crucial to seek medical attention in order to document your pain and when that pain started.

How Much Is My Case Worth?

Each and every case is different. Different factors such as fault, severity of injury and length of treatment must be taken into consideration when assessing the value of any case.

What Is A Deposition?

A deposition, also referred to as an Examination Before Trial (EBT), is the portion of the litigation process wherein you are questioned under oath by the defendant’s attorney. An attorney will prepare you for your testimony and will be present with you during the EBT. Some of the areas that you will be asked about are questions concerning how the accident occurred, your injuries, your medical treatment, what limitations you have as a result of your injuries and how your life has been affected as a result of the injuries you sustained.

Am I Eligible For Social Security Disability?You may be eligible for Social Security Disability if you have met the earnings requirement of the Social Security Act. You must be out of work for at least six (6) months and anticipate being out of work for an additional year prior to applying for Social Security Disability.

How do attorneys pick a jury?

The trial process can be very stressful as the outcome is near. Trial however, is the chance to tell your story to an objective group of individuals who will then decide the outcome of your case.

Picking the jury is a critical step which can affect the outcome of your case. Our experienced attorneys will strategize through jury selection based on the facts in order to select the best potential jurors.

The first step of a jury trial is to pick the jury. This process is called Voir Dire. A group of potential jurors are brought into a court room, then typically the judge asks the entire group basic background questions to eliminate the impartial or biased jurors. Once the judge has turned over these potential jurors to the attorneys, the lawyers are then allowed to question 12 jurors at a time more extensively. And repeat the following process until the required amount of jurors are sworn in. After a short period of questioning by the judge, the lawyers then go to the judge and strike or eliminate their unwanted jurors. Depending on the total number of jurors needed which are either 6 or 12 (depending on the court and severity) and 2-3 extra backup jurors, called “alternates” Who sit through the entire trial as well. Depending on the amount of jurors needed, each lawyer may get up to six chances to eliminate jurors for any reason whatsoever. If one attorney feels that a juror is biased they can then ask the judge to eliminate that juror “for cause”. There is no limit to “for cause” challenges to eliminate jurors. The judge is the only decision-maker of whether a juror will be eliminated for cause.

What are opening statements?

After voir dire, The next step is the opening statements. The court will instruct the jury that opening and closing statements are only argument of the attorneys and do not constitute evidence upon which averted. Each side usually gets on the allotted amount of time for opening statements to set the tone for the trial to begin and for witnesses to be questioned.

What happens after opening statements in a trial?  & What is the timeline of a trial?

(both have the below answer)

After opening statements are concluded, the plaintiff’s on their case by calling witnesses favorable to their case first. The plaintiff attorney then directly examine each witness and the defense attorney is allowed to cross examine those witnesses attempting to discredit them or call into question their credibility. At the end of the plaintiffs case, after they “rest” The defense attorneys will then put on their case through the witnesses they believe support their defense.  These defense witnesses will be put on the stand and directly examined by the defense attorney and The plaintiffs counsel then gets to cross-examine witnesses in order to impeach them.

Once the defense concludes their case, the plaintiff is allowed to call rebuttal witnesses if necessary to rebut the witnesses who testified for the defenses case. All cases do not involve rebuttal witnesses and judges are typically strict about allowing this type of testimony. After all testimony and evidence have been presented and both sides rest, the next phase of trial is closing arguments or summations.

What are closing arguments or summations?

A closing argument is the final factual and legal argument made by each attorney on both sides of the case in a trial prior to allowing the jury deliberate on a verdict or judgment. The plaintiff goes first giving closing arguments followed by the defense. Generally, and civil actions, the plaintiffs attorney speaks first and the defendants counsel immediately follows. In criminal trials, the prosecution gives it’s summation, followed by that of the defense. In addition the plaintiffs counsel or the prosecutor is allowed time for everybody argument. The reason for this additional time is that the burden of proof is on the plaintive or prosecution therefore the plaintiffs attorney or the prosecutor is allowed to reply to the defense’s closing argument.  An experienced trial lawyer will put great emphasis on their closing argument or summation because it is their last chance to be persuasive and convince the judge or jury of their case before the deliberations begin.

Following the closing arguments, the judge will read jury instructions to tell the jury the rules for deciding the keys and the applicable law which they must apply to the evidence which was presented. This usually takes approximately an hour. Immediately after the jury instructions the jurors will retire to the jury room to begin their deliberations. The first step and beginning the deliberations will involve the jurors selecting a foreperson to head the jury.

What happens once the jury reaches a verdict?

Once the jury reaches a verdict, the parties are called into the courtroom where the verdict is red allowed by the four person. Did you reverted consists of a form of questions which the jury has answered. After the foreperson reads the verdict, either party has the right to ask the judge to “poll” the jury, which means the judge will ask each juror individually if they agreed with the verdict of the jury.

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