Suffering a personal injury goes beyond just the physical, mental, and emotional aspects of being harmed by someone else. It can also wreak financial disaster on you and your family. If you’ve been hurt because of another person’s negligence, you could find yourself faced with significant medical bills. That’s in addition to being unable to work and possibly seeing the end of your once-promising career. You should not have to bear these and related losses on your own, but who can you count on to stand up for yourself?
Miller, Montiel, & Strano, P.C. advocates on behalf of Queen’s personal injury victims who just want to get their lives back to normal. We help clients win the compensation they deserve for their injuries so they can focus on recovering and caring for their loved ones.
The Basics of Personal Injury Law
Personal injury law is based primarily on the concept of negligence. Everyone is responsible for the way they conduct themselves, whether it’s on our streets and highways or the manner in which they operate their business. When someone acts in a way that is irresponsible and inflicts physical injury upon another person, the victim has the right to seek compensation (known in law as damages). The same is true when someone intentionally acts in a dangerous way that causes harm to someone else.
This is the essence of personal injury law. The objective is to restore the victim for the various physical, mental, and/or emotional losses that he or she has suffered because of the wrongful party. But personal injury law covers a wide range of lawsuits, including those that involve:
- Car, truck, and motorcycle accidents
- Bicycle and pedestrian accidents
- Pedestrian knock-downs
- Sidewalk accidents
- Construction site accidents
- Slip, trip, and fall and other premises liability cases
- Uber and Lyft accidents
- Bus, train, and public transportation accidents
- Wrongful death
What You Need To Prove In A Personal Injury Lawsuit
It is up to the victim (the plaintiff in a lawsuit) to gather the evidence and make the arguments necessary to establish that the wrongful party (the defendant) was negligent. More specifically, in New York, personal injury victims must prove these four elements:
Duty of care. The duty of care is the responsibility one has to not act in a way that harms someone else. For instance, if you own a business property, you are obligated to remove certain hazardous conditions that could cause injury to a visitor. You owe your customers this duty of care.
Breach. This term refers to some act or omission that, as a result of either negligence or intentional action, violated the duty of care. In most lawsuits, whether the defendant breached the duty of care is a major point of contention.
Causation. Causation consists of two components. First, it must be shown that the defendant’s breach was a cause-in-fact of the plaintiff’s injury. This criterion is met if it can be shown that the plaintiff would not have been harmed if the defendant had not breached the duty of care. Second, the plaintiff must prove proximate cause. This means the defendant could reasonably foresee that his or her actions would injure the plaintiff.
Damages. The plaintiff must also prove the nature and amount of damages he or she suffered due to the defendant’s behavior. Damages are designed to compensate the victim for economic losses (for which the dollar amount can be readily calculated) as well as for non-economic losses (where the value is more subjective, e.g. pain and suffering). In rare cases, punitive damages may be awarded to punish the wrongful party.
Damages You May Seek In Your Queens, NY Personal Injury Case
Since every personal injury is different, the amount of damages you can recover in your lawsuit will depend heavily on the facts of your case. Some examples of potential damages include:
- Physical injuries, broken bones, tears of ligaments, herniated discs, lacerations/scars
- Medical bills, including hospitalization, ambulance, surgery, lab work, adaptive medical equipment, prescription medications, and more
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation
- In-home personal care
- Lost income and lost future income (sometimes called lost earning capacity)
- Emotional distress, mental anguish, and pain and suffering
- Punitive damages, in some cases
- Wrongful death damages if the victim dies
How Can Miller, Montiel, & Strano, P.C. Help Me?
Our attorneys are dedicated to seeking the maximum damages available under the law for our personal injury clients. Damages include not only past and present losses, but also those you are likely to incur in the future. You should understand that you will have only one chance to seek the damages that will fairly compensate you, either by way of settlement or a trial. In other words, if you later suffer additional losses that were not factored into your settlement or jury award, you won’t get to ask for more money.
How can you take steps to ensure your future damages are covered? Our firm relies upon the testimony of expert witnesses for this purpose. These are individuals with specialized knowledge who can testify about complex subjects, including medical treatments you may need later or the ways in which your injury will negatively affect your career prospects down the road. This information can then be used to calculate a dollar figure that will compensate you.
In addition to understanding personal injury law, we know how to negotiate with the at-fault party’s insurance company. Most personal injury cases are resolved without going to trial as attorneys for the plaintiff and defendant negotiate what the insurer should pay. However, it is not recommended that you try to settle your case on your own. Insurance companies are for-profit businesses that do not have your best interests at heart and will use a number of tricks to attempt to deny or underpay your claim. Let our attorneys handle negotiations while you focus on your recovery.
Contact Our Queens, NY Personal Injury Attorney
When you hire us, you will have the same trusted and experienced attorney advocating for you from start to finish. We make home and hospital visits and our firm takes calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We are a proactive law firm that responds to the concerns of our clients, and there is no fee if we do not recover for you.