The law is intrinsically complex and nuanced. That is why attorneys study for three years of law school after four years in undergraduate school. When it comes to personal injury claims or court cases, there is much at stake, and more often than not, the client has only recently suffered a traumatic experience and is facing a significant financial setback.
If you have been seriously injured in an accident or lost a loved one due to the negligence of someone else, do not risk your opportunity to be rightfully compensated for your suffering and losses. Hiring the best personal injury attorney in Queens presents you with several advantages that you would not have on your own.
What Does a Personal Injury Attorney Do?
Personal injury attorneys provide legal assistance to people that have been injured, physically, psychologically, or both, because of the actions of another party. As civil lawyers, the injured party retains them to recover monetary compensation in a civil action against the responsible party.
The types of cases they handle generally include:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Construction Accidents
- Slip & Fall/ Trip & Fall
- Work-Related Injuries
- Medical malpractice
- Wrongful death cases
- Child daycare negligence
- Legal malpractice
- Aviation accidents
- Any case where wrongful actions resulted in injury to another party
They specialize in tort law, which means that they cover civil litigation for injuries caused by negligence or intentional action. For example, car accidents are the most common cause of personal injuries in New York. Therefore, New York personal injury lawyers are probably well versed in cases involving injuries from an auto accident.
Personal injury victims are often still struggling to heal as the insurance calls and medical bills start to arrive. It is an overwhelming time, and typically, a personal injury attorney can step in and help deal with the aftermath.
What Advantages Do the Best Personal Injury Lawyers Offer?
If you are struggling through the financial setbacks caused by a serious injury, now is not the time to compromise on legal representation. You want the best personal injury attorney that New York has to offer. You may be asking yourself if it is worth it. Even the smallest mistake could cause difficulty in your case and result in a considerable loss in compensation. Therefore, hiring an attorney gives you several advantages.
A Thorough Understanding of the Legal Process
Personal injury law is complicated. Dealing with insurance companies, police reports, and the necessary documentation can be overwhelming for someone that is not familiar. If the other party has a legal team in place, you will already be at a major disadvantage. A personal injury attorney with experience in the legal system knows what to do immediately and can take action right away to ensure that your interests are protected. Having a knowledgeable person on your side helps you avoid making mistakes that you may make if you handle your case on your own.
Help Getting Medical Attention
Retaining a personal injury attorney quickly can give you an advantage in the medical care for your injuries. Oftentimes it is important to start treatment within the first 72 hours, and the quality of treatment you receive affects the recovery process. An attorney that is familiar with medical malpractice and personal injury can advocate for you and ensure that you receive proper care. The best personal injury attorney will start filing claims while you are resting and recuperating. On your own, you may need more time to heal before you can get the process in motion.
Support Through the Insurance Claim Process
Hiring an attorney can significantly impact the final settlement figure that you receive. Battling an insurance company for the proper compensation can be a cumbersome and often disappointing process. An insurer’s main goal with a claim is to get the lowest possible settlement to benefit the company. They typically prioritize their own interests above yours.
Trying to take on your claim alone gives the insurance company an advantage. A personal injury lawyer in Queens or New York will fight to make sure you receive a fair amount. If you have very little knowledge about the insurance process, your attorney will handle the aggressive insurance agents and protect your interests. Tort cases generally require experience with insurance claims, making a personal injury attorney highly knowledgeable about the process. Additionally, many law firms also have access to insurance experts for more complex questions and processes.
Have Your Case Prepared for Trial
The majority of personal injury cases do not make it to trial because they are settled before stepping into the courtroom. In fact, between 95 and 96 percent of personal injury cases are settled before trial. This is typically the ideal outcome, however, taking a personal injury case to trial can be beneficial for you, especially if you have excellent legal representation.
Having a competent attorney creates intimidation, often encouraging settlement. Insurance companies and defendants try to avoid the trial process for several reasons:
- Trial costs can be expensive. Insurance companies often find it more financially sensible to pay out an agreed-upon settlement rather than take the case to trial and risk losing significantly more in fees and claim costs.
- The trial takes much longer. The trial process takes exponentially longer than settling.
- It is in the best interest of the defendant to avoid trial for two reasons. First, the lengthy process can result in time missed from work, resulting in a loss of income. In some cases, the details of the trial might also be embarrassing or detrimental to the defendant’s reputation, which is an asset that is very important to larger corporations.
Insurance companies also prefer to avoid trials because juries typically do not rule in their favor. Having the best personal injury attorney with experience gives you the advantage of intimidating the insurance company into settling more quickly and fairly in order to avoid trial.
Increase Your Chance of Higher Compensation
A New York personal injury attorney likely works on a contingency fee basis. In simple terms, this means that they will not charge a legal fee upfront. Instead, their fees come out of the settlement that they recover for you. Hiring a personal injury attorney will likely maximize your chances of recovering a much higher settlement, than if you were to negotiate on your own. Therefore, if you maximize the compensation you receive by hiring a personal injury attorney, you will likely walk away with a greater payout even after paying fees.
Much-Needed Stress Relief
As previously stated, the legal process can be overwhelming for someone that does not specialize in personal injury law. Turning over the responsibilities of your case to a personal injury attorney alleviates a great amount of stress.
Some of the tasks your attorney can handle for you include:
- Gathering and organizing medical bills,
- Collecting your medical records,
- Filling out the insurance forms for your claim,
- Filling out the personal injury claim forms,
- Handling discussions with your insurance company, including negotiations.
Your recovery may include therapy and medical appointments. You need rest and to focus on your health. Added stress slows the healing process and can be detrimental to your lawsuit if you are handling it on your own.
Losing a family member to wrongful death can undeniably be one of the most stressful experiences in a person’s life. Even the best personal injury attorney cannot ease the emotional pain, but they can relieve the heavy burden of the legal process. A lawyer can seek financial restitution to cover economic and non-economic damages.
Non-economic damages can be difficult to quantify on your own, but a personal injury lawyer in Queens, NY, can help you seek compensation for the pain and suffering your loved one experienced before death as well as the pain and emotional anguish caused by the loss that you and your family experienced. You can rely on a New York personal injury attorney to investigate the death of your loved one thoroughly, giving you the time you need to grieve.
Protection From Bad Faith Tactics
When you file an insurance claim, you expect a fair and honest investigation and are counting on receiving compensation. You should not have to worry that the insurer will try to intimidate you in an effort to save the company money. Unfortunately, this does happen.
Many insurance companies have developed what is called “bad faith tactics” or dishonest dealings, and there are many examples, including:
- Breaching your contract by refusing to pay a claim that is valid,
- Undervaluing a claim, or “lowballing” the policyholder,
- Delaying payment for a valid claim,
- Prioritizing profit over a policyholder’s valid claim,
- Misrepresenting the law or language in your policy and denying the claim based on that misrepresentation,
- Refusing to provide documentation that has been reasonably requested,
- Denying a claim for an invalid reason or without giving a reason,
- Failing to complete an investigation promptly or even at all,
- Denying or delaying decisions deemed by a doctor to be reasonable and necessary for medical treatment,
- Making threatening statements to intimidate policyholders.
This list is not comprehensive. Insurance companies have been known to resort to all manner of insidious tactics to prevent proper compensation. If you retain a personal injury attorney, insurance companies generally know that “bad faith tactics” will not be tolerated. They tend to conduct themselves more reasonably and compensate more fairly.
If you are looking for the best personal injury attorney in Queens, NY, you want one with solid negotiation skills. A good negotiator can get you a much better settlement than you would get handling your case on your own. If your lawsuit makes it all the way to court, a personal injury attorney with excellent negotiation skills will be better suited to appeal to the emotions of a jury, which is a powerful motivator in a case of personal injury or wrongful death. Additionally, bargaining with insurance companies can be extremely difficult for someone without experience, but a personal injury attorney understands the nuances of that exchange and how to work it in your favor.
An Objective and Professional Perspective
Personal injury cases are often inundated with understandably high levels of emotion, especially in cases with very severe injuries or wrongful death. An attorney offers an objective and professional perspective. If you are in mental pain, physical pain, or both, you may find it difficult to settle on target choices concerning your injury or loss. Having a professional to bring experience and ability to your case can be beneficial.
How Does a Personal Injury Attorney Value Your Claim?
One of the most valuable advantages that retaining a personal injury attorney can bring to your case is the ability to understand the value of your claim. Determining the worth of a claim is a complicated process. To value your case accurately, you must understand how personal injury laws work. Without that expertise, you are much more vulnerable to the “bad faith tactics” of insurance agents, who will offer advice that you may not be able to trust.
The Basics of Damages
“Damages” is a concept in personal injury law that refers to your injuries and losses. They are categorized as economic, non-economic, and punitive. Nearly all personal injury cases have economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages include financial losses and quantifiable expenditures that directly relate to the injury or injuries that you suffered. These are usually very easy to calculate, especially if you keep detailed records of everything that was lost because of your accident, including wages. We previously discussed non-economic damages, which include emotional or psychological suffering. These damages are harder to quantify than economic.
Punitive damages are not available in every personal injury case, and they are slightly more complex to quantify. This type of damages is designed to punish the party that caused pain and suffering, and in most cases, you will not find them in the settlement calculations with economic and non-economic. You can calculate an injury settlement on your own, but the best personal injury attorney will know how insurance companies work, including how much compensation might actually be available for your case.
A skilled New York personal injury attorney will use several items to calculate the value of economic and non-economic damages in your claim.
The items include:
- Any physical pain and suffering you endured
- All expenses related to the accident that you paid out-of-pocket
- All medical care and treatment expenses
- Any loss of income from missed work
- Any emotional distress caused by the accident that negatively affected your quality of life, including anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Any permanent physical damage to your body, including scarring and disfigurement
- Any impairment in organ and system functions that led to disability
Finding a compassionate personal injury attorney is important for this process, particularly because non-economic damages are more difficult to quantify. Attorneys in this field have experience in valuing emotional and mental distress, starting with researching similar cases that can inform demand.
Framing and Formalizing Demand
Once your attorney understands the damages in your case, they will frame a demand. At this stage, negotiation skills play an important role. Framing a demand entails adding up all your economic damages as well as the compensation you deserve for the pain and suffering caused by the negligent party. Either the defendant, the defendant’s attorney or the insurance company will typically try to negotiate the demand to a lower number.
The best personal injury attorney has thoroughly researched your case, including the damages, and knows the strengths and weaknesses. Their experience and legal knowledge allow them to confidently advocate for you. The negotiation stage can be intimidating for someone without experience and even insulting for you, the person that suffered.
For a New York personal injury attorney, the negotiation process is par for the course. It can be settled with just a few phone calls between attorneys, or it can be exhaustive, involving mediators and even judges. As you navigate the difficulties of recovery and loss, you want an aggressive attorney that knows the value of your claim and refuses anything less.
Choose the Right NY Law Firm to Help You
Aggressive legal representation from the best personal injury firm will save you from the burden of arguing your case during such an intense time. At Elliot Ifraimoff & Associates, PC, we understand how difficult it can be to navigate the complex legal process while recovering from a traumatic accident or mourning the loss of a loved one. With over 60 years of combined legal experience and a compassionate approach to valuing your damages, we are committed to providing you with the best services to ensure that you get the results that you deserve.
If you have been injured in an accident or lost a loved one because of someone else’s negligence, our reliable and aggressive legal team can advocate for you while you focus on more important matters. Contact our office today for a free initial consultation. We can discuss your personal injury case and determine if you are eligible for compensation for everything from monetary losses in the form of wages and medical bills to unquantified damages, such as emotional pain and suffering.