Articles Tagged with liability

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After suffering a personal injury, many people are not familiar with the related legal terms. The law has its own language, and if you’ve been injured in an auto accident or on someone else’s property, then it is important to know at least the basics of the relevant legal jargon.

Here we’ll discuss a few terms that anyone who has suffered a personal injury in New York should understand.

Liability is a basic concept in personal injury law. When someone else is liable for an injury you’ve suffered, that person (the defendant) is legally responsible for the harm caused to you (the plaintiff). When the defendant is found to be liable for your injury, he or she could be ordered by the court to pay damages.

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A slip-and-fall injury can affect every aspect of a person’s life, and for someone to recover compensation for medical bills and other accident-related costs, it is important to thoroughly document the injury and its effects. A good way to start doing this is to take some notes as soon as possible after the fall.

If your injury prevents you from taking notes, then a personal injury attorney can do it for you, as well as help preserve other documentation of your injury. In any case, it is important to begin building your injury claim soon after the accident, as important evidence and your clear memory of the fall will fade as time passes.

The more evidence you have to support your claim, the better. Evidence should include documentation of the circumstances of your injury. Did you slip on a wet spot inside a store? Was there insufficient lighting in your building when you fell? Was the parking lot where you were attacked too dimly lit? Did a property owner or construction crew fail to put up signage indicating a dangerous work site? Did a property owner fail to remove ice or snow?

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Not every state requires drivers to have uninsured motorist insurance policies, but New York does. That doesn’t mean, however, that all drivers in New York have this kind of coverage, nor can you assume that every driver has basic liability coverage; hence the need for uninsured motorist insurance.

If you are injured in a crash with an uninsured driver or a hit-and-run driver, then you are likely wondering about your options for receiving compensation. This should be a time when you focus on getting better physically and mentally, but unfortunately you’re faced with some legal issues. A personal injury attorney with experience in handling hit-and-run accident cases can explain your options and help you build a claim.

Every legal avenue for securing compensation for medical bills and other costs should be pursued in a hit-and-run case. Compensation may be sought by investigating the accident and identifying the hit-and-run driver. Coverage of your medical expenses and other needs may also be provided by your insurance policy, whether it offers personal injury protection (PIP), uninsured motorist protection or both.

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The winter holiday season is a time for New Yorkers to celebrate time-honored traditions and enjoy the company of family, friends and co-workers. It’s also a time to look forward to the New Year.

Unfortunately, though, the good tidings too often come to a tragic end because of drunk driving. The holiday season can be a wonderful time to make good memories, and to keep it that way, drivers should take some important safety precautions if they plan to imbibe.

We’ve often written about the devastating effects of drunk driving accidents. To avoid potentially catastrophic consequences, individuals or groups who plan to drink should arrange for a designated driver. It’s well-known advice, but failure to get a sober ride results in far too many injuries and deaths each year.

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New York has a no-fault insurance law, meaning that automobile insurers, regardless of who might have caused the accident, are obliged to pay up to $50,000 in economic damages to car accident victims. Economic damages include medical expenses, loss of income and other financial losses.

Another aspect of the no-fault insurance law is that auto accident victims are allowed to recover non-economic damages (pain and suffering and other damages that are more difficult to express in quantifiable terms) only if it can be proven that the victims suffered “serious injury.” Here let’s discuss how the law defines “serious injury.”

New York’s no-fault insurance law defines an injury as serious if any of the following occur as a result of the injury:

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If you have been injured in a truck accident in New York, then you may be fairly certain about who was at fault for the crash: the truck driver. Reckless driving, truck driver fatigue, distracted driving — unfortunately, these are all behaviors that lead to commercial vehicle accidents and cause extremely serious injuries to victims.

However, in many cases, the truck driver is not the only one liable for damages. State and federal regulations apply throughout the trucking industry, and truck owners, trucking companies and other companies that contract with motor carriers may be liable for injuries suffered in a collision. Often, the key for injured victims is to have a personal injury attorney investigate the accident and identify all of the responsible parties.

For example, a trucking company may be liable for improperly loading cargo. Improper loading can result in rollovers and jackknifing, and too often occupants of smaller vehicles pay the price.

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After being injured in a car accident, people begin to wonder how much their settlement with the insurance company or the other driver will be. The settlement should cover any lost income, medical expenses and other monetary damages caused by the accident. The settlement should also account for general damages such as pain and suffering.

In terms of liability and the amount of the settlement, pedestrian accidents can involve particularly complex issues. A collision between a car and a pedestrian will almost certainly injure the pedestrian, but drivers and insurance companies often claim that the pedestrian was partially if not entirely at fault. To arrive at a settlement that covers all of the damages suffered by a pedestrian, it is important to provide detailed documentation of the injury and to negotiate for appropriate compensation.

If you were a pedestrian who was hit by a car, then the amount of the settlement you receive will be affected by a number of factors. Those include the following:

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Investigations of trucking accidents are typically more complex than accidents involving only small passenger vehicles. The reason is that with truck accidents there may be multiple parties responsible, potentially including the truck driver, the trucking company, the truck manufacturer and the construction company that built the road.

All of these parties have a financial interest in protecting against an injured person’s liability claim, and often the trucking company’s investigators are on the scene gathering evidence while victims are in a hospital recovering. In general, truck accident victims should talk to a personal injury attorney before offering statements to insurance companies or the trucking company. These parties will try to get victims to sign releases that are not in an injured person’s best interest.

To prove liability in a trucking accident, a personal injury attorney may call on specialists to analyze the circumstances of the crash. These specialists could include safety experts, crash reconstructionists, forensic analysts and metal experts who can determine whether a manufacturing defect was a factor in the accident.

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After being involved in a car accident, some people aren’t sure if they should seek medical treatment because they fear they don’t have enough money. However, postponing or avoiding medical care after a crash could lead to legal complications down the road if the injured person seeks compensation from an insurance company or the driver who caused the accident.

New York is a state with no-fault insurance, meaning that an insurance company is supposed to cover the cost of damages, regardless of who was at fault for a crash. However, if the cost of a person’s accident-related injuries exceeds the amount covered by the insurance policy, then the injured party may sue the other driver for damages. In any case, it is a good idea to seek prompt medical treatment to help ensure the best possible outcome for an injury claim.

Plaintiffs in personal injury cases have an obligation to take reasonable steps to mitigate the negative effects of the injury. For example, if a person who has suffered an injury in a car accident refuses a doctor-recommended surgery that is not dangerous in most cases, then the injured party could see a reduction in compensation for damages.

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Proving liability after a truck accident can be a complicated area of law, given that trucking companies, truck drivers, vehicle manufacturers and other related businesses often try to shift blame onto each other after a crash. In our previous post — “Who can be held liable for a truck accident?” — we discussed a few scenarios in which proof is needed for a truck accident victim to receive compensation for damages.

To understand how a trucking company’s liability is proven after a truck accident, New Yorkers should understand the principle of “respondeat superior” — sometimes called the “Master-Servant Rule.” The Latin respondeat superior translates to “let the superior answer.” However, “letting” a trucking company answer for an injurious accident will almost certainly require some legal help.

Generally, a trucking company is liable for an accident if the truck driver’s actions that led to the crash were committed in the course of employment. In other words, the crash might be seen as unavoidable in the course of the trucking company’s business.

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