Accident law in Q&A

What should I do if I got into an accident or suffered an injury? Where should I call first?

Of course, first of all you should make a call to the police. It is desirable that the injured person capture in documents all injuries received. To do this contact the hospital. If possible, make detailed pictures of the crime scene or accident. Sometimes the accident cause may be a crack in the pavement, slippery floor in the store, open hatch and so on. After you got necessary help from the emergency services, call your lawyer.

How much time passes from the moment of contacting a lawyer to getting compensation?

Everything depends on the complexity of the case. In some cases, the person receives compensation within a few months, in other – waits for a few years. Courts are too overwhelmed, so sometimes affected people have to wait. If you are living in a big city with a developed infrastructure like New York, auto accidents, construction accidents and injuries, unfortunately, become commonplace here. Experience shows that New Yorkers could be affected in a completely anywhere: in your own home, on the street, in private and public transport, elevators, stores, at work, in public parks, etc…

An accident may happen everywhere, and no one is immune from it.

An accident may happen everywhere, and no one is immune from it.

Does a person who receives compensation for pain and suffering save government benefits (Medicare, Medicaid, Section Eight, SSI, etc.)?

This question can not be answered in unambiguous terms. The answer depends on a variety of factors, among them: the amount of compensation and types of benefits received.

What are the most common medical errors committed by doctors?

Every day in the country doctors made thousands of different medical errors, after which people either die or remain disabled for life. As practice shows, errors are done by doctors of various specialties. Also today childbirth errors are very common.

What factors influence the amount of compensation for the victims of personal injury?

A person guilty of causing injury (and, consequently, their representatives from an onsurance company) is obliged to compensate medical treatment costs and loss of income because of the incapacity for work caused by an accident. At the same time it does not matter whether the job was permanent or temporary, full-time or hourly, for another employer or as a freelance worker. In addition, the victim may receive money for physical pain, suffering, disability, damage caused to his family, social or educational future (college, planned vacation or remarkable dates), emotional damage (state of stress, depression, disorder in family relationships), failing to take care of children, stress caused by the consequences of the incident – for example, a stillborn child or sexual disorder. Finally, the amount of compensation includes damage of material property, usually as a result of car accidents.

How to estimate the damage?

It is easy to count the money spent on doctors or car repairs. It is more difficult to specify the figure expressing physical pain or lost job prospects. For this purpose damage assessment formula is used. At the beginning of the negotiations with the insurance company all the medical costs associated with an accident are summed up. This initial figure is the basis for both parties of the accidents (the victim and the perpetrator) to establish the final amount of compensation. For example, if the injury is not very serious, the amount of compensation will be 1.5-2 times greater than the initial figures, in the case of more serious injuries, it will increase to 4 or 5 times. Then, financial losses caused by the incapacity for work are added to the sum. If the opposite side bears full responsibility for the incident, the latter figure becomes final. If the victim is partially to blame for the incident, the amount of compensation will be reduced by this same share of the blame. For example, if it is proved that you acted negligently, which contributed 25% to the incident, you may qualify for compensation for the quarter smaller than if the blame is completely laid down on the opposite party.