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SSKB FAQ's

FAQ’s

General 

Do I have a Case?

Determining whether you have a case depends on several factors, including the specifics of your situation, the evidence available, and the applicable laws. At Salenger, Sack, Kimmel & Bavaro, our experienced attorneys offer a free consultation to evaluate your potential claim. During this consultation, we will review the details of your case, identify any legal grounds for action, and discuss your rights and options. This personalized assessment helps our attorneys determine the viability of your potential case and the best course of action to pursue justice on your behalf. 

Do All Lawyers Try Cases?

No, not all lawyers try cases. The legal profession is diverse, and lawyers often focus in different areas of law, which may or may not involve courtroom appearances. Here are some distinctions:

  • Trial Lawyers (Litigators): These lawyers specialize in representing clients in court. They handle the full litigation process, from pre-trial motions and depositions to the actual trial and potential appeals. They are experienced in presenting cases before a judge and jury.
  • Transactional Lawyers: These lawyers focus on non-litigation matters such as drafting contracts, handling corporate mergers, real estate transactions, and advising clients on legal rights and obligations. They usually do not appear in court.
  • In-House Counsel: Lawyers who work directly for a corporation or organization, providing legal advice and services related to the business operations. Their work is typically focused on compliance, policy development, and risk management, rather than litigation.
  • Public Interest Lawyers: These lawyers work for non-profit organizations or government agencies, focusing on cases that impact society at large. While some may go to court, others may work more on advocacy, policy-making, and community outreach.
  • Specialized Lawyers: Areas like patent law, tax law, and immigration law involve specific legal expertise. These lawyers often handle administrative and procedural tasks and may appear in specialized courts or tribunals rather than general courts.

Do I need to hire a lawyer if I’ve been injured?

If you have suffered an injury because of the negligence or reckless actions of another person, hiring a personal injury attorney is likely to be in your best interest. By working with a legal representative, you can seek financial compensation for medical bills and other losses associated with the injuries that you have sustained.

Does filing a lawsuit guarantee that I will receive compensation?

Unfortunately, despite the validity of a plaintiff’s claims, there can be no guarantees regarding the outcome of a civil lawsuit. A skilled and experienced attorney can help to ensure that your case is viable and that you comply with all procedural requirements. Moreover, they can help you to pursue a strategy that may lead to an increased likelihood of a favorable outcome.

What are punitive damages?

When someone is injured because of a particularly severe or willful violation of safety rules or regulations, that person may be entitled to receive punitive damages as a part of their compensation through an injury lawsuit. These damages are awarded by the courts and are relatively rare for most compensation cases. However, if provided to an injured claimant, they may increase the amount of compensation a person receives for their suffering and injuries significantly.

Can I sue again if I am unhappy with outcome of my first case?

When a person files a lawsuit without having a full record of injury expenses or does not receive the amount of compensation they were expecting, they may wish to sue again for more compensation. However, this is not allowed. Any settlements or awards provided for an injury are final. If a person needs more money for their injuries or is unhappy with the amount they received, they may be out of options.

Because of this limitation, it is important that when you file a civil lawsuit you seek the full range of compensation that you may eventually require.

Should I accept an offered settlement?

In some cases, a person may be offered a settlement very early in the process of pursuing legal action for a personal injury. If the incident is particularly obvious in who was at fault, there is a chance of a monetary offer being extended soon after the incident. However, it may not necessarily be in an injured person’s best interests to settle early. Instead, they may want to consider their full range of legal options and discuss their claim with an experienced legal advisor first.

How will my compensation be paid if I win?

When a plaintiff’s case is successful, they may receive compensation in one of two ways. The first is to receive all their compensation in a single payment, or lump sum. This type of payment is different from what is known as a structured settlement. These payments provide compensation over a set period of time, providing payments relatively slowly, but eventually in full. Depending on how the case is completed and what agreements are made, a claimant may expect either form of payment if their claim is successful.

Medical Malpractice

What is medical malpractice?

Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare professional or institution provides substandard care that results in harm or injury to a patient. This can involve errors in diagnosis, treatment, aftercare, or health management. Common examples include surgical errors, misdiagnosis, medication mistakes, and failure to diagnose

What are some common examples of medical malpractice?

  • Misdiagnosis: Incorrectly diagnosing an illness or delayed diagnosis.
  • Surgical Errors: Operating on the wrong body part or patient, leaving objects inside the body, or anesthesia mistakes.
  • Medication Errors: Prescribing or administering the wrong medication or dosage.
  • Birth Injuries: Harm to a fetus or newborn due to malpractice, leading to lifelong impacts.

How long do I have to file a medical malpractice claim? (Statute of Limitations)

The statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases defines the time frame in which you can file a claim. It typically starts when the incident occurs but can be extended if you're receiving ongoing treatment from the same provider.

The statute of limitations in a medical malpractice case can be difficult to pin down. In most instances, New York law requires that a case be filed within 2 1/2 years of the date of injury. This timeline is shorter than other cases of negligence and personal injury, where the victim generally has up to three years to file a claim.

What do I need to prove in a medical malpractice case?

To succeed in a medical malpractice case, you must demonstrate four key elements:

  1. Duty of Care: The healthcare provider owed you a duty of care.
  2. Breach of Duty: The provider breached this duty by failing to meet the standard of care.
  3. Causation: The breach directly caused your injury or harm.
  4. Damages: You suffered actual damages (e.g., physical, emotional, financial) as a result

How do I know if I have a medical malpractice case?

To determine if you have a valid medical malpractice case, consider the following:

  • Did you suffer an injury or harm due to a healthcare provider's actions or inactions?
  • Did the provider fail to follow standard medical practices?
  • Did this failure directly cause your injury? Consulting with a medical malpractice lawyer can help you assess the merits of your case. For further guidance, please reach out to our experienced attorneys. 

What do I need to prove in a medical malpractice case?

To succeed in a medical malpractice case, you must demonstrate four key elements:

  1. Duty of Care: The healthcare provider owed you a duty of care.
  2. Breach of Duty: The provider breached this duty by failing to meet the standard of care.
  3. Causation: The breach directly caused your injury or harm.
  4. Damages: You suffered actual damages (e.g., physical, emotional, financial) as a result. For a more detailed explanation please reach our to our experienced medical malpractice team.

What types of compensation can I receive in a medical malpractice case?

In a medical malpractice case, you may be entitled to several types of compensation, including:

  • Economic Damages: Medical expenses, lost wages, and future medical care costs.
  • Non-Economic Damages: Pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life.
  • Punitive Damages: In cases of gross negligence or intentional harm, punitive damages may be awarded to punish the defendant and deter similar behavior.

Whom Can I Sue for Medical Malpractice?

You can sue various parties for medical malpractice, including doctors, nurses, hospitals, and other healthcare professionals or institutions responsible for your care. This includes surgeons, anesthesiologists, pharmacists, and even the healthcare facility itself if it contributed to the negligence. It's important to consult with a qualified medical malpractice attorney to determine who is liable in your specific case and to navigate the complex legal process effectively.

Is misdiagnosis automatically considered medical malpractice?

Many people may be misdiagnosed by their doctor, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that the doctor will be sued as a result. As long as a physician took the proper steps throughout the diagnosis process and reached a reasonable conclusion with the information provided to them, they may successfully defend a malpractice lawsuit. This is because medical malpractice lawsuits can only be filed when a doctor has failed to uphold the medical profession’s standards of care. Reasonable errors, as harmful as they may be, may be protected from a medical malpractice claim.

Can I still sue for malpractice if I signed an informed consent waiver before the procedure?

Doctors are required to obtain your informed consent before performing any procedure, and it can be malpractice if they fail to do so. Informed consent means that you are made aware of the risks and benefits of the procedure, including potential complications or side effects. While many procedures do contain known or even unknown risks, one thing you are not consenting to is to have the doctor commit malpractice on you through negligence or incompetence. Whether or not a given injury falls within or outside the bounds of informed consent is an important initial question to be researched and analyzed by your attorney. 

How long do medical malpractice cases generally last?

A law firm/attorney can work on a medical malpractice case for an injured client on average of three to five years. Depending on the complexity of the case, it can take a longer or shorter time. If a case actually goes to trial, it can take a couple of weeks to months for the trial itself. Cases can be settled during the trial process as well. If not, then a jury will come to a verdict, based upon the evidence presented, either for the patient or the defense.

Car Accidents

What should I do immediately after a car accident?

After a car accident, take the following steps:

  1. Ensure Safety: Move to a safe location if possible and check for injuries.
  2. Call 911: Report the accident to the police and request medical assistance if needed.
  3. Exchange Information: Collect names, contact information, insurance details, and license plate numbers from all involved parties.
  4. Document the Scene: Take photos of the vehicles, damages, and any relevant details.
  5. Seek Medical Attention: Even if you feel fine, get a medical evaluation to check for hidden injuries.
  6. Notify Your Insurance Company: Report the accident to your insurer as soon as possible.
  7. Consult an Attorney: Contact one of our seasoned car accident lawyers to discuss your legal options.

What types of compensation can I receive after a car accident?

After a car accident, you may be entitled to several types of compensation, including:

  • Medical Expenses: Costs for immediate and future medical care.
  • Lost Wages: Compensation for time missed from work due to injuries.
  • Pain and Suffering: Damages for physical pain and emotional distress.
  • Property Damage: Costs to repair or replace your vehicle.
  • Loss of Consortium: Compensation for the impact of the accident on your relationship with your spouse.

How long do I have to file a car accident lawsuit in New York?

In New York, the statute of limitations for filing a car accident lawsuit is generally three years from the date of the accident. However, if the accident resulted in a wrongful death, the time limit is two years from the date of death. It's essential to consult with an attorney promptly to ensure your claim is filed within the appropriate timeframe.

What is no-fault insurance and how does it affect my car accident claim in New York?

No-fault insurance, also known as Personal Injury Protection (PIP), covers your medical expenses, lost wages, and other accident-related costs regardless of who was at fault for the accident. In New York, all drivers are required to carry no-fault insurance. This system aims to reduce litigation and ensure prompt payment of claims. However, you can still file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver if you suffer serious injuries.

Construction Accidents

I was injured on a construction site. Can I sue for compensation?

The rules regarding the definition of the workplace include any area that is used for work purposes. This includes vehicles used for transport to or from work, among other instances when a construction worker is injured at work while off-site. As long as that worker was injured because of their employer’s negligence, any space used for work purposes may be considered a part of the workplace.

What types of injuries are common in construction accidents?

 Common injuries in construction accidents include:

  • Falls: Leading to fractures, head injuries, and spinal cord injuries.
  • Electrocutions: Resulting in burns, cardiac arrest, and neurological damage.
  • Struck by Objects: Causing concussions, lacerations, and broken bones.
  • Caught-In/Between: Leading to crush injuries, amputations, and internal injuries.
  • Repetitive Motion Injuries: Such as carpal tunnel syndrome and tendonitis. 

How is fault determined in a construction injury case?

Fault in a construction injury case can be complex and may involve:

  • Employer Negligence: Failure to provide a safe work environment or adequate training.
  • Third-Party Negligence: Liability of contractors, equipment manufacturers, or property owners.
  • OSHA Violations: Breaches of safety standards set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. An experienced attorney can help investigate the accident and determine liability. For more details, visit FindLaw and Nolo.

What types of compensation can I receive for a construction injury?

 Compensation for a construction injury may include:

  • Medical Expenses: Coverage for immediate and future medical treatments.
  • Lost Wages: Compensation for time missed from work and loss of earning capacity.
  • Disability Benefits: Payments for temporary or permanent disability.
  • Pain and Suffering: Damages for physical pain and emotional distress.
  • Punitive Damages: In cases of gross negligence or intentional misconduct.

Personal Injury

 What is a personal injury case?

 A personal injury case arises when an individual suffers harm due to another party's negligence or intentional conduct. Common types of personal injury cases include car accidents, slip and fall incidents, medical malpractice, and product liability. The injured party, known as the plaintiff, seeks compensation from the responsible party, the defendant, for damages such as medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

How long do I have to file a personal injury lawsuit in New York?

In New York, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases is generally three years from the date of the accident or injury. However, there are exceptions, such as medical malpractice cases, which typically have a statute of limitations of two and a half years. It's crucial to consult with an attorney promptly to ensure your claim is filed within the appropriate timeframe. More information can be found at New York State Unified Court System.

What types of compensation can I receive in a personal injury case?

In a personal injury case, you may be entitled to several types of compensation, including:

  • Medical Expenses: Costs for medical treatment, rehabilitation, and future medical care.
  • Lost Wages: Compensation for time missed from work due to the injury.
  • Pain and Suffering: Damages for physical pain and emotional distress caused by the injury.
  • Loss of Consortium: Compensation for the impact of the injury on your relationship with your spouse.
  • Punitive Damages: In cases of gross negligence or intentional misconduct, punitive damages may be awarded to punish the defendant and deter similar behavior. 

How is fault determined in a New York personal injury case?

New York follows a "pure comparative negligence" rule, meaning that your compensation may be reduced by your percentage of fault in causing the accident. For example, if you are found to be 30% at fault for the accident, your compensation will be reduced by 30%. This allows you to recover damages even if you are partially at fault.

What should I do immediately after a personal injury accident?

 After a personal injury accident, you should:

  1. Seek Medical Attention: Your health and safety are the top priorities.
  2. Report the Incident: File a report with the appropriate authorities, such as the police for car accidents or a property owner for slip and fall incidents.
  3. Document the Scene: Take photos, gather contact information from witnesses, and make notes about the incident.
  4. Avoid Making Statements: Do not admit fault or make statements that could be used against you later.
  5. Consult an Attorney: Contact an experienced personal injury lawyer at Salenger, Sack, Kimmel, & Bavaro to discuss your case and legal options.

Why should I hire a personal injury lawyer?

When you have been injured or suffered the ill effects of another person’s negligence, you are likely facing numerous consequences beyond the physical repercussions. As people in your position are often burdened by medical bills, rehabilitative costs, lost income, and other expenses, financial strains are common and can quickly become overwhelming. Therefore, securing compensation through a personal injury lawsuit can be essential to easing your peace of mind and recovery. Working closely with an experienced personal injury attorney can help to ensure that your case is adequately heard.

How likely is a personal injury case to settle before going to trial?

The vast majority of personal injury cases settle out of court. However, you can pursue a personal injury lawsuit if the insurance company denies your claim or makes an inadequate settlement offer.

Will I have to go to court when I file a personal injury lawsuit?

This is a major concern of many busy people who do not have the extra time to go to court to present their case. Fortunately, it does not have to be a concern, as many personal injury cases are settled out of court between you, your lawyer, and the party from whom you are seeking financial compensation. However, every case is unique to the parties involved and circumstances of the case.

Should I keep records for all of my injury expenses or just medical bills?

A person considering filing a personal injury lawsuit after sustaining an injury because of another person’s negligence should keep whatever records or receipts they have from injury-related expenses. In particular, records of medical bills are extremely important to have in these cases. However, proof of other injury costs in the form of records and receipts can also dramatically strengthen a person’s claim to compensation. If possible, copies of these bills should be sent to a claimant’s legal advisor.

What is a deposition in a personal injury case?

Part of the process of filing an injury claim against another person includes questioning both the claimant and the defendant. This questioning is more commonly known as a deposition. Depositions are used to gather information about the event that caused the injury, the injury itself, and the health of claimant before the injury. These depositions are recorded, and the claimant or defendant answering questions is expected to answer to the best of their ability.

An insurance company wants to take a recorded statement. Should I let them?

Insurance companies often try to get injured individuals to provide recorded statements after an accident as proof against them during an injury claim. If an insurance company wants to take a statement, it is likely that they’re building a legal defense against a lawsuit. An injured individual may want to avoid providing these statements.

If you have been pressured by an insurance company to provide information that you do not feel comfortable giving, we can help you to ensure that your rights and interests are protected.

Nursing Home Abuse & Negligence

What is nursing home abuse?

 Nursing home abuse refers to any intentional or negligent act by a caregiver or other individual that causes harm or serious risk of harm to an elderly resident. Abuse can be physical, emotional, sexual, or financial. Signs of abuse may include unexplained injuries, sudden changes in behavior, withdrawal from social activities, and fear of caregivers.

What is nursing home negligence?

Nursing home negligence occurs when a facility fails to provide the standard of care that is reasonably expected, leading to harm or injury to a resident. Examples of negligence include inadequate medical care, poor hygiene, failure to prevent falls, and insufficient staff training. Neglect can result in severe health issues like infections, bedsores, malnutrition, and dehydration

How can I recognize signs of nursing home abuse or negligence?

Common signs of nursing home abuse and negligence include:

  • Unexplained bruises, cuts, or injuries
  • Sudden weight loss or malnutrition
  • Poor personal hygiene
  • Bedsores or pressure ulcers
  • Fear or anxiety around certain staff members
  • Withdrawal from social activities
  • Unexplained financial transactions
  • Overmedication or under-medication

What should I do if I suspect a relative in a nursing home is being abused?

Nursing home abuse is a particularly devastating problem, but can be very difficult to reveal. As the perpetrators of the abuse may use threats and violence to silence nursing home residents, getting real evidence of abuse for a lawsuit can be difficult. If you suspect nursing home abuse or negligence, take the following steps:

  1. Ensure Safety: Ensure the immediate safety of the resident.
  2. Document Evidence: Take notes, photos, and keep records of any signs of abuse or neglect.
  3. Report to Authorities: Report your concerns to the nursing home administration, Adult Protective Services (APS), or local law enforcement.
  4. Consult an Attorney: Contact one of our qualified nursing home abuse attorneys to discuss your legal options.

What types of compensation can be awarded in a nursing home abuse case?

In a nursing home abuse case, victims may be entitled to various types of compensation, including:

  • Medical Expenses: Costs for treatment and rehabilitation related to the abuse or neglect.
  • Pain and Suffering: Compensation for physical pain and emotional distress.
  • Punitive Damages: In cases of egregious misconduct, punitive damages may be awarded to punish the wrongdoer and deter similar behavior.
  • Relocation Costs: Expenses associated with moving the victim to a safer facility.

Workplace Injuries

If I am injured at work, can I receive financial compensation?

In many cases, yes, you may be eligible for financial compensation after a work-related injury. This will largely depend on the specific circumstances surrounding the injury and whether or not an attorney can prove negligence was the cause of the accident. It is important to discuss your legal rights with an attorney before you accept any sort of benefits.

Truck Accidents

How long do I have to file a truck accident lawsuit in New York?

In New York, the statute of limitations for filing a truck accident lawsuit is generally three years from the date of the accident. However, if the accident resulted in a wrongful death, the time limit is two years from the date of death. It's crucial to consult with an attorney promptly to ensure your claim is filed within the appropriate timeframe.

What is the difference between a truck accident and a car accident claim?

Truck accident claims often involve more complexity than car accident claims due to:

  • Federal Regulations: Trucking companies and drivers must adhere to specific federal regulations.
  • Multiple Parties: Potential liability can extend to the driver, trucking company, cargo loaders, and manufacturers.
  • Severe Injuries: Truck accidents often result in more severe injuries due to the size and weight of trucks.
  • Higher Insurance Policies: Commercial trucks typically carry higher insurance limits. Consulting our team of experienced truck accident attorneys can help navigate these complexities.

Who’s responsible for my truck accident injury?

Due to the numerous laws that regulate the trucking industry, there can be some confusion regarding who is actually at fault after a truck accident. Usually, a trucking company will assume liability if the accident involved an illegally overworked driver, a driver with a dangerous driving history that should not have been hired, or an untrained new employee. They may also assume responsibility for a lack of proper repairs having been made of the truck. On the other hand, drivers may be liable for errors on the road they make. Manufacturers are usually responsible for unexpected malfunctions or defects. The government is often responsible for road defects.

Train & Subway Accidents

I was injured in a subway accident, what do I need to do?

Often, when a subway accident occurs, many people suffer harm. If you did not receive medical attention after the accident, have a physician assess your injuries. In order to take action against the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), you must file a notice within 90 days of your subway accident. This also means that you should contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. The MTA will likely be facing many lawsuits, with the possibility of an accident investigation; you want to make sure your voice is heard and your rights are protected.

How do I know if the MTA is liable for a subway accident?

The MTA is the parent company of the New York Transit Authority, who controls the New York City Subway. It is the responsibility of these companies to make sure their operators and staff are adequately trained and capable of getting passengers to and from their destinations safely. They are also responsible for making sure facilities and subway cars are maintained and functioning correctly. When an accident involves faulty car doors, car collisions, slips or falls in a subway car, falling onto the tracks, sudden car stops, or a number of other circumstances associated with car maintenance or staff training, you can most likely believe that the MTA is liable.

What damages can be recovered in subway accidents?

When subway accidents occur, there can be many negative consequences for victims. Depending on the type of accident, victims could experience head injuries, bones fractures, anxiety attacks, lacerations, burns, electric shock, or in the worst case, death. If you were injured in a subway accident, you may be entitled to recover damages for physical pain, mental suffering, medical bills, and loss of income. If you lost a loved one due to a subway accident, you may be able to recover compensation as well.

Wrongful Death

What is a wrongful death claim?

A wrongful death claim is a legal action brought when someone dies due to the negligence, recklessness, or intentional actions of another person or entity. It seeks compensation for the survivors' losses, including lost wages, funeral expenses, and loss of companionship. Common causes include car accidents, medical malpractice, workplace accidents, and defective products. For more detailed information, contact our experienced team. 

Who can file a wrongful death lawsuit in New York?

In New York, only the personal representative of the deceased person's estate can file a wrongful death lawsuit. This representative is typically named in the deceased's will or appointed by the court if there is no will. The lawsuit is filed on behalf of the surviving family members, such as spouses, children, and parents.

Can punitive damages be awarded in New York wrongful death cases?

Yes, punitive damages can be awarded in New York wrongful death cases, but they are rare. Punitive damages are intended to punish the defendant for egregious misconduct and to deter similar behavior in the future. They are awarded in addition to compensatory damages when the defendant's actions are found to be particularly reckless or intentional.

What is the process for filing a wrongful death lawsuit in New York?

The process for filing a wrongful death lawsuit in New York includes:

  1. Appointing a Personal Representative: The court appoints a personal representative for the deceased's estate if not already named in the will.
  2. Investigation: The attorney conducts a thorough investigation to gather evidence and build the case.
  3. Filing the Complaint: The personal representative files a complaint in the appropriate court, outlining the allegations and damages sought.
  4. Discovery: Both sides exchange evidence and information relevant to the case.
  5. Settlement Negotiations: Parties may engage in negotiations to reach a settlement before trial.
  6. Trial: If a settlement is not reached, the case goes to trial, where a judge or jury determines the outcome.
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