New Law for 2018 Looks to Help Victims of Auto-Negligence

New York has enacted a new law which helps victims of auto-negligence recover compensation they are entitled to, even if the person who caused their injury has insufficient automobile coverage.  Most people know that its a good idea to get auto insurance with sufficient liability limits to help protect them if they are sued by someone injured in a car accident.  What most people don’t know is that they have the right to purchase coverage in that same auto policy which can provide them with coverage for their own injuries if the person who caused the accident doesn’t have sufficient policy limits themselves.  That coverage is called Supplementary Uninsured Motorist Coverage or SUM coverage.  Its been around a long time but its not promoted by the insurance companies.  So what we’ve seen all too often are client’s with large liability limits but low SUM limits.  Low SUM limits means that if  the person who caused your accident has bad coverage your insurance recovery will be limited even though you thought you had purchased a ‘big’ policy.   Under the new law, if you purchase a new policy, your SUM coverage will automatically be set to the same level as your liability coverage so can you protect yourself  to the same degree as you protect others (unless you opt-out).   Unfortunately, under the new law your existing policy is not affected so please check your policy to see if you are getting the right coverage to protect you and your family.  Please know that there is a lot of ‘fine print’ that comes into play before you can access this coverage so feel free to call our office if you’ve been injured in an auto accident to discuss your rights.

 

Verdict Alert – $18,200,000.00

We are proud to announce that partner, Steven Miller, took a verdict today in a case in which we claimed that due to medical error our client sustained loss of adequate blood supply to her small bowel causing the loss of a substantial portion of the bowel.   The surgeon claimed no responsibility and refused to make an offer of settlement.  The trial lasted over one month and Steven’s persistence, attention to detail, and dedication to preparation was put to the test. We are happy to share that Steven passed that test with flying colors as the jury rendered a verdict in favor of our client in the sum of $18,200,000.00.  Well done Steven.

Overcoming Pre-Conceived Notions

Unfair as it may be, motorcyclists are often assumed to be at fault by a public who has been exposed the media’s portrayal of ‘bikers’.  The insurance companies know this and seek to use it to their advantage when negotiating an accident case involving a motorcyclist.  Catherine Montiel recently faced this hurdle.

Our client, was a hard-working family man who also happened to be a motorcyclist.  When he was struck and injured by a motor vehicle he retained an attorney who referred the case to this office. Rather than capitulating to the biases against motorcyclists, Catherine stood her ground and negotiated hard on behalf of the client.  Her tenacity paid off when she obtained a settlement of over $450,000 on behalf of her client.

Fighting for our Clients: Recent Victory

Our client was struck by a vehicle while she crossed the street injuring her neck and back.  The insurance company felt our client’s injuries weren’t that serious and gave us a choice, take $7,500 or go to trial.  We felt the offer was low, so David Strano took the case the trial and the jury awarded $120,000.   Sometimes it pays to stand your ground.

Difficult Issues No Obstacle to Success

At a construction site, our client injured his back when he slipped and fell on a step which had ice and debris on it.  This type of transient condition presents quite a challenge when it comes to holding the property owner/contractor responsible for an unsafe condition of the premises.  This difficulty, was compounded by the fact that defendants claimed our client had a pre-existing symptomatic degenerative condition of his back.   They claimed that was the reason he required back surgery, the accident having nothing to do with the need for surgery.

Faced with this situation, attorney Catherine Montiel brought suit against the owners of the property and various construction companies, conducted detailed discovery which involved obtaining voluminous documents, conducting multiple depositions, and gathering mountains of medical records and reports.

Her hard work paid off  when she brought the case to a conclusion with a recovery for our client of  $1,275,000.00.

Some cases are harder than others, but we attack them all head on. Congratulations Catherine.

The Firm Fights On

Early last year, after our client’s case was dismissed by a Supreme Court Justice who found that our client hadn’t sustained a “serious injury” after being hit by an automobile, we kept fighting for our client.  Attorney David Strano succesfully appealed the ruling to the Appellate Division and the case was sent back to Supreme Court for a trial.  David tried the case this past Tuesday and the jury returned a verdict of $400,000 in favor of our client.

Not all of our client’s have multi-million dollar cases, but each and every one of our clients gets the care and attention they expect and deserve.  We keep fighting.

Congratulations David.