Parker Waichman LLP – Competent and Dedicated Long Island General Negligence Lawyers
We all make mistakes throughout our lives, but most of those mistakes do not result in an innocent person’s injuries. However, when mistakes rise to the level of negligence, and such negligence causes a person to suffer serious and potentially fatal injuries, there are laws that allow injured victims to file lawsuits to recover compensation for their injuries. Injuries result in not only physical pain and suffering, but they also result in emotional distress, the inability to work, expensive medical costs, and an uncertain future.
When negligence turns an innocent person’s life upside down, there are legal options available to hold the negligent party accountable. Not only does legal action help a victim receive compensation for injuries, but it also helps to deter similar negligent conduct in the future. For example, if a doctor or medical professional commits medical malpractice by operating on the wrong leg, filing a lawsuit will hopefully ensure the doctor does not make the same mistake again. While compensation cannot turn back time, it is the only option available to injured individuals looking for some recourse to help them move forward after sustaining life-altering injuries.
Parker Waichman LLP Has Obtained More Than $2 Billion for Injured Clients
At Parker Waichman LLP, our nationally-recognized Long Island General Negligence and Personal Injury Attorneys provide legal representation to injured victims who have suffered because of negligent conduct. Our law firm has recovered more than $2 billion in compensation for their clients collectively, demonstrating our success in helping clients receive the compensation they deserve. Parker Waichman LLP has a solid reputation in the legal community and has received many positive peer-reviewed ratings including the following:
- 9.8/10 Rating by AVVO (Rating Every Attorney in the U.S.);
- “Preeminent Lawyers” AV Peer Review Rating (Martindale-Hubbell®);
- Highest Ranking of “5 Dragons” Based on Peer Review by Lawdragon; and
- Listing in Best Lawyers Publication Determined by Extensive Peer Review.
While positive peer-review ratings provide a general picture of a law firm’s ability to help clients, such ratings are only one part of a much larger picture. The Long Island General Negligence Attorneys of Parker Waichman LLP encourage all injured victims to talk with our legal professional and find out what we do to ensure our clients receive the best legal representation possible.
Experienced Long Island General Negligence Attorneys – General Negligence Lawsuits and Settlements
There are a variety of methods in which negligence causes a person to suffer injuries, and a substantial number of negligence lawsuits fall into one or more of the following categories:
- Medical malpractice;
- Nursing home abuse and neglect;
- Wrongful death;
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs);
- Trip and Fall claims;
- Police brutality;
- Birth injuries; and
- Fire and burn injuries.
Regardless of what category a person’s injuries fall into (many of which may fit into multiple categories), the consequences can be devastating both for the injured person as well as his or her loved ones.
Long Island Medical Malpractice Lawsuits and Settlements
Because medical mistakes are a leading cause of mortality in the United States, numerous individuals suffer at the hands of medical malpractice every day. Medical professionals are held to a much higher standard, and their conduct is measured by what a reasonable medical professional would do in the same or similar situation. If a medical professional fails to satisfy the heightened standard of care, and such failure results in harm to a patient, this medical professional may be found liable for the resulting injuries.
Common acts of medical malpractice that lead to serious and fatal injuries include, among others, the following:
- Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis;
- Prescription errors;
- Surgical errors;
- Failure to obtain informed consent; and
- Anesthesia errors.
All medical malpractice cases will involve the use of an expert witness to testify (1) what the standard of care is for the particular medical professional in question; (2) whether the medical professional or doctor in question fell below the standard of care; and (3) whether the medical professional’s failure to adhere to the standard of care was the cause of a person’s injuries or death.
Long Island Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Lawsuits and Settlements
Nursing homes are long-term care facilities intended to provide patients with round-the-clock medical treatment and assistance. These patients are placed in nursing homes because they are no longer able to care for themselves without help from another person. Nursing homes have doctors, nurses and other staff members who are supposed to ensure nursing home patients are well taken care of. However, all too often, nursing home patients suffer from abuse, neglect, slip and falls, and acts of medical malpractice. Because nursing home patients are not always able to voice their concerns, nursing home abuse and neglect may go unnoticed.
Examples of injuries that are signs of nursing home abuse and neglect include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Bedsores that develop because of neglect (i.e., failure to rotate a patient who may not be able to turn on his/her own);
- Being given the wrong medication, one which the patient may be allergic to;
- Having physical signs of abuse, such as bruises and cuts or gashes;
- Being malnourished or dehydrated; and
- Broken bones (frequently fractured hips from falls).
Emotional trauma is often associated with physical injuries sustained in nursing homes. Additionally, some patients may experience emotional trauma from verbal abuse that may not involve physical injuries. Regardless of what the injuries are, nursing home patients do not deserve to suffer because of another’s conduct.
Long Island Wrongful Death Lawsuits and Settlements
Any accident or act of negligence can cause fatal injuries. The loss of life is the worst kind of injury a person can suffer, and loved ones also feel the pain as they may have relied on a loved one who is now gone. A Long Island wrongful death lawsuit could be filed if the plaintiff (a representative of the deceased individuals’ estate) can prove that a person or party’s negligence was the cause of the fatal injuries. For example, when a patient is undergoing surgery and is given the wrong dose of medication when going under anesthesia, and the patient subsequently dies, a wrongful death lawsuit may be filed against the doctor or anesthesiologist responsible for administering the proper dose of an anesthesia drug.
Long Island Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Lawsuits and Settlements
Head injuries are not always visible to the naked eye. In fact, some of the most serious traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) have no physical signs. A broken leg is definitely painful, but a person is likely to overcome the pain associated with a broken bone. The consequences of a TBI have the potential to be permanent, and the pain can be both physical and mental. Many severe TBIs result in secondary medical problems, such as the development of depression, chronic headaches, the inability to sleep, difficulty concentrating, and trouble getting along with others. Many family relationships are damaged because of a person’s TBI. As such, any person whose TBI was caused by another’s negligence should consult with a qualified Long Island Traumatic Brain Injury Attorney.
Long Island Birth Injury Lawsuits and Settlements
Most babies are born healthy and clear of injuries. However, far too many birth injuries happen each year on Long Island and throughout the rest of the country. Birth injuries can harm a baby before that baby’s life begins. Some birth injuries do not result in permanent damage, but many birth injuries are permanent. While birth injuries can be sustained during the course of a pregnancy, a significant number of injuries happen during labor and delivery. Examples of birth injuries caused by medical malpractice include, among others, the following:
- Cerebral palsy;
- Hypoxia (lack of oxygen), leading to brain damage;
- Forceps injuries to the head and other parts of the baby’s body;
- Strangulation from the umbilical cord that is not timely removed; and
- Failure to accurately administer and interpret tests that may lead to oxygen-deprivation.
Regardless of what type of birth injury an innocent baby sustains, the costs can be enormous. In addition to physical disabilities, the financial cost of birth injuries can put a family into financial distress.
Long Island Fire and Burn Injury Lawsuits and Settlements
Fire and burn injuries are certainly catastrophic and can make a person’s life difficult. While the physical pain may go away after a person has healed as much as he/she can, the scarring and disfigurement associated with fire and burn injuries can last a lifetime. Burns are categorized by the following degrees:
- First Degree – Superficial burns, such as sunburns, are considered first degree, and these burns often do not lead to permanent scarring.
- Second Degree – These burns go deeper into the skin and may create fluid-filled blisters. While there will certainly be a pain, any scarring is usually minimal.
- Third Degree – Once burns reach the third degree, they are considered severe as they penetrate deep into the skin and cause nerve damage. There may also be permanent scarring that will be a lasting reminder of the injury.
- Fourth Degree – These burns are the most severe out of any category and often require skin graft procedures to help a patient recover. The pain can be debilitating, and there may be substantial nerve damage in addition to significant scarring and disfigurement.
Most burns are caused by fire, but burns can also be caused by exposure to certain chemicals, high-temperature steam, radiation, contact with a very hot surface, and electricity. As such, the type of burn may be different depending on the cause of the burns.
Long Island Statutes of Limitations for Negligence Lawsuits
New York has certain laws, like all other states, which establish how much time a person has to file a lawsuit. Because every state creates its own laws, it is important to be aware of New York law as it applies to negligence and injury lawsuits. The following time limitations apply to negligence lawsuits in New York:
- Personal Injury – A person wishing to file a personal injury lawsuit in New York has three years from the day of injury to file the lawsuit.
- Medical Malpractice – A person wishing to file a medical malpractice lawsuit has two years from the day of injury to file the lawsuit.
- Wrongful Death – A representative of a fatally injured person has two years from the date of the person’s death to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
- Rules for Minors – A minor who sustains personal injuries typically has three years to file a personal injury lawsuit once the minor reaches the age of eighteen (18), meaning an injured minor has until his/her twenty-first birthday to file the personal injury lawsuit. In medical malpractice cases, the time period also begins to run at the age of eighteen (18). However, a minor cannot file a medical malpractice lawsuit more than ten year after the date of injury. For wrongful death cases, the lawsuit must be filed no later than two years after the minor’s date of death.
Under New York law, there may be a situation where exceptions to the general rules apply. However, it is never a smart idea to rely on an exception that may or may not apply in a particular case. It is better to stick to the general rules and seek the advice of a qualified Long Island General Negligence Attorney as soon as possible after suffering personal injuries caused by an act of negligence.
Negligence Claims in Long Island – What to Know When Pursuing a Lawsuit
Many injured individuals are hesitant to speak with an attorney and pursue legal action to hold another person or party responsible for the negligent conduct. While the legal process can be intimidating, it is a tool and a right available to injured victims who have suffered because of negligence. Rather than fear legal action, injured victims should learn about the basic process and understand that a qualified attorney will be handling the matter from start to finish. The following steps apply to most negligence lawsuits:
- Initial Free Case Evaluation – Basic facts about an injured person’s injuries and what caused those injuries must be evaluated by an attorney, and this evaluation is free of charge.
- Case Decision – After the basic facts are gathered, an attorney will decide to either move forward with the case or decline the case. If declined, the attorney will explain to the injured person what the reason is for choosing to decline the case.
- The Lawsuit – If an attorney decides to move forward with a case upon agreement between the attorney and client, the complaint for damages and jury demand will be filed alleging that another party or parties are at fault for causing the client’s injuries.
- The Discovery Stage – After a complaint is filed, the parties begin to exchange information including documents (medical records, accident reports, and other materials) and deposition testimony from all parties, fact witnesses, and expert witnesses.
- Mediation/Settlement Negotiations – Settlement discussions typically do not begin until the discovery stage is well underway. As discovery moves forward, the parties begin to have a better idea of the severity of injuries and the link between the defendant(s) conduct and the injuries. Many cases are settled after mediation where the plaintiff and defendant(s) work with a third-party mediator to discuss their viewpoints on the case and what may be a fair result.
- The Trial – If a case is not scheduled before it goes to trial, the case will be heard before a jury that will decide whether an injured person is entitled to compensation from the negligent defendant(s). A trial date to be scheduled well over one or two years after the case is filed, especially because of how busy the courts are on Long Island.
- The Appeal – The losing party at trial will likely file an appeal to overturn the jury’s verdict. The entire appeals process can go on for two or more years. As such, many injured individuals agree to settle claims before they go to trial.
While many lawsuits result in a settlement award, case results cannot be guaranteed. However, with the assistance of Parker Waichman LLP, a significant number of injured clients can receive the compensation they deserve.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Long Island Negligence Lawsuits and Settlements
If my injuries are permanent, how are future damages calculated?
Permanent injuries may require constant medical treatment for the rest of your life. As such, it is essential to calculate the best estimate of how much the medical treatment will cost into the future. There are experts who can provide estimates of the costs a permanently injured person will incur for the rest of his/her life. These experts are used in negligence lawsuits to support an injured person’s case and are necessary to justify a particular amount of damages that the injured person is entitled to.
What are punitive damages?
Punitive damages are intended to “punish” and deter a person or party whose conduct was wanton, reckless, and in disregard of the health and safety of others. Such damages are not awarded in every case as they go beyond simple negligence. An example of conduct that may be considered punitive in nature is drunk driving. A drunk driver decides to get behind the wheel while under the influence, which is a decision to place others at risk for suffering debilitating and sometimes fatal injuries. At trial, a case for punitive damages will be decided separately by a jury after a verdict is reached as to whether a defendant was negligent in causing the plaintiff’s injuries.
Does New York have caps on damages for pain and suffering (also known as non-economic damages)?
No. New York is a state that does not place caps or limitations on how much compensation an injured person can recover. As such, if an injured person is awarded a certain amount of compensation at trial, this is the amount the injured person will receive (so long as the verdict is not overturned from an appeal).
What is comparative negligence in New York?
Comparative negligence is when the injured person may be partly to blame for his or her injuries. For example, if a person is seriously injured in a car accident, but the person was not wearing a seatbelt, a jury may find that the injured person shares some of the blame. In such cases, the amount of compensation a jury awards the injured person may be diminished by the percentage of his or her own fault. If a jury believes the injured person was 30% at fault, then any monetary award may be reduced by this percentage.
What is the cost of pursuing a negligence lawsuit in New York?
All lawsuits incur case costs that a client does not have to worry about until the conclusion of the case if he or she is awarded compensation. Case costs include filing fees, the cost of obtaining medical records and other documents, expert fees, travel expenses, deposition costs, and attorneys’ fees. If a client’s case is successful, the case costs and fees will be deducted from the client’s total award. Because a client is not responsible for any case costs or fees unless he or she is successful in obtaining compensation, there is no risk to speaking with an attorney about injuries sustained because of an act of negligence.
Contact Parker Waichman LLP Today to Schedule Your Free Consultation
Whether you or your family member has sustained injuries from negligent conduct, you already know just how debilitating the injuries can be and how it is difficult to recover. As such, it may be time to speak with a qualified Long Island General Negligence and Personal Injury Attorney to review potential legal options for moving forward and holding the negligent party liable for your suffering.
At Parker Waichman LLP, our nationally-recognized Long Island General Negligence and Personal Injury Attorneys have the skill, dedication, and resources to help injured victims receive the compensation they rightfully need and deserve. If you would like to speak with one of our Long Island General Negligence and Personal Injury Attorneys, contact Parker Waichman LLP today by calling (800) YOUR-LAWYER (968-7529). We have attorneys and paralegals who speak many languages, including Spanish.
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