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After going through a potentially traumatic car accident, the last thing anyone wants to do is negotiate with an insurance company. Unfortunately, it’s important for all parties that the paperwork is handled as soon as possible. During the ensuing back and forth, there are some important negotiation tactics to keep in mind.

Preparation

Stacks of insurance policy papers underneath a pair of glasses

First, report your car accident right away. Many insurance companies have policies requiring prompt reporting. After that, start with what is referred to as a demand letter. This letter encapsulates your desired outcomes for the insurance company including the settlement amount sought. When drafting, make sure to have both a high-end number and a minimum amount that would be acceptable in mind. Of course, do not reveal this range to the adjuster. After deciding on an appropriate settlement amount, you can start the negotiation.

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When a person is injured in an accident caused by another person or entity, he or she can recover damages for pain and suffering as well as other costs. In New York, the court award for pain and suffering in a personal injury case depends on the extent of the injury and the future prognosis, including the psychological and emotional as well as physical impact. If you or a loved one pursues a personal injury claim because of a negligent action by an individual, business, or organization, the court will consider proof of pain and suffering when determining the final damage amount.

Expert Testimony

juridical concept with hammer and lawbook, selective focus on metal part,toned f/x
Gather documents from health care providers that detail the physical and mental effects of the accident. Your medical doctor must include information about how the injury has impacted your ability to function and the surgeries, treatments, and pain-relieving measures that will be required as you recover. If you are experiencing psychological effects related to the accident, seek care from a mental health provider such as a psychiatrist or therapist. He or she can provide notes about how the trauma has impacted your emotions, cognition, and overall mental health, including depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress symptoms that have arisen after the accident.

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Leav & Steinberg, LLP is proud to announce that associate Ricardo Martinez took a verdict on December 4th, 2019 in the Supreme Court, Kings County.  We represented a middle-aged woman who fell on a wet floor in her lobby.  We alleged that the super of her building had been mopping and had removed all signs and warnings.  She landed on her non-dominant wrist and was in immediate pain.

We were retained immediately and were able to demand that the owner preserve the video showing the area in question before, during and after our accident.  This was critical because the EMS workers who came to her apartment after she was taken upstairs, made an error indicating she fell in the bathroom.  The video was critical proof to the contrary.

She underwent surgery and had follow up medical care.

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Daniela F. Henriques, managing partner at Leav & Steinberg LLP, recently successfully defeated defendants’ respective motions to dismiss the complaint on the issue of serious injury/threshold.

Assessing the Extent of the Injuries

Court columns representing the services of personal injury attorney office Leav & Steinberg LLP in New York, NY
Plaintiff’s Bill of Particulars alleges post-concussion syndrome and injuries to the cervical spine, lumbar spine, right knee, and right shoulder. In support of their motions for summary judgment, defendants submitted the medical affirmations of J. Serge Parisien, MD, Vladimir Zlatnik, MD, and Michael Setton, MD. Dr. Setton reviewed MRIs of plaintiff’s cervical spine, lumbar spine, and right knee, as well as an arthrogram of his right shoulder, finding degenerative disc disease in plaintiff’s spine, unrelated to any trauma, and finding degeneration and evidence of prior repair in plaintiff’s right shoulder and knee, unrelated to the subject accident.

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Partner Edward A. Steinberg, President-Elect of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association (NYSTLA), settled a personal injury case at private mediation in October 2019. Leav & Steinberg LLP represented the plaintiff, a 37-year-old male, who suffered injuries in an incident that took place in December 2016.

The Facts of the Case

A headshot of Edward A. Steinberg, a partner at the personal injury firm Leav & Steinberg LLP in New York, NY
The plaintiff was a patron inside of a bar in New York City with friends when an altercation began between his friends and another group inside of the bar. It was our position that the plaintiff was not physically involved in any altercation but was the one targeted by the bar’s bouncer and forcibly removed from the bar. In what could be a scene out of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, the plaintiff was placed in a “bear hug” and physically thrown out of the bar’s front door by the bouncer, landing flat on his back on the sidewalk. The bouncer then threw a second patron (who was involved in the altercation) out of the front door, causing that patron to land heavily on top of the plaintiff. The plaintiff suffered a fractured left clavicle that was diagnosed in the emergency room and treated non-operatively. The plaintiff left New York City (he resided outside of the state) and continued his recovery under a doctor’s care as the bone healed. The fractured clavicle healed after many months but left a visible protrusion.

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Many construction workers wonder if they’re entitled to more than just workers’ compensation for injuries they sustain at work. In some circumstances, it is certainly possible and even encouraged to pursue legal claims. While the nature of construction is inherently hazardous, companies are required by law to take specific steps to protect their employees from preventable injury. If it can be proven that your company failed to provide adequate safety or equipment, you may be able to take your case to court.

Negligence and the Duty of Care

A yellow tower crane
Construction job sites involve dozens of entities and individuals, from companies and vendors to engineers and architects, both on-site and off-site. If any of these persons or companies involved had a responsibility to act reasonably and safely toward you and your injury was caused as a result of their failure to do so, an attorney can help you determine if you have a case. Examples of negligence on construction job sites include:

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Car accidents occur frequently in New York, but especially for those who have never been involved in one, the process can be scary and confusing. Taking a few important steps can ensure that the situation is handled as quickly and effectively as possible.

Stop Immediately

A silver car crashed in the front
No matter who caused the car accident, it’s important that both parties stop immediately. Leaving the scene of an accident is illegal and can lead to license revocation, fines, and/or a jail sentence. Once you’ve stopped, check with each passenger in your vehicle for injuries before making contact with the other driver to determine their condition and exchange information, including name and address, insurance information, vehicle registration, license plate number, and driver’s license number.

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When a loved one dies unexpectedly, his or her survivors may not be thinking about whether they can file a wrongful death claim. However, depending on the circumstances of the fatal incident, you may need to act within weeks to receive legal compensation for medical costs, funeral expenses, and other monetary and nonmonetary damages. If your spouse or another family member lost his or her life because of the action or inaction of a third party, it’s important to understand the statute of limitations for wrongful death claims in New York.

Length of Time to File a Claim

Several cement columns of a building
In most cases, the deceased individual’s family members must file a wrongful death claim within two years of his or her death. However, certain incidents are subject to a shorter or longer statute of limitations. For example, if your loved one died in a car accident, you must submit a claim for no-fault insurance death benefits within 30 days. When the lawsuit names a government agency or institution as the defendant, such as a transit authority, the plaintiff must first submit a notice of intention to file a claim.

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If you or a loved one has been injured in a natural disaster, it can be challenging to bring your case to court. However, in circumstances in which the injury cannot be attributed simply to an “act of nature,” the negligence of an individual or organization may be to blame.

Protections Under Insurance

An empty neighborhood street during a snow blizzard
Insurance companies can be difficult to work with, especially when it comes to receiving benefits. When you enroll in an insurance plan, carriers often make the information they want you to see obvious while hiding the fine print and legal jargon in case you ever need the coverage. Many people don’t realize the importance of having a trusted insurance representative or understanding the details of their policies until they need benefits, only to be turned down by their insurance company. A trusted lawyer can help you determine if you have a case against the insurance carrier.

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Property owners have a legal duty to guarantee the security of visitors and workers on their premises. If a criminal act on a property leads to personal injuries, the property owner may be liable for damages under the premises liability laws. This is referred to as negligent or inadequate security and can result in a premises liability claim.

Breaking Down Negligent or Inadequate Security

A close up of an outside security camera
Most negligent security verdicts and settlements involve robbery, sexual assault, wrongful death, physical assault, and carjacking. A negligent security claim arises when the injured party seeks compensation for their suffering. Such legal action can be taken against business premises owners, schools, landlords and other property owners.