What is a Personal Injury Case?

When someone is injured, after the initial treatment and shock of the injury passes, most people start to ask if they have “a case”. Was the injury caused by someone else’s negligence? This means that you win a personal injury case only by proving that your injury was caused as a result of someone else’s negligence. Can I obtain compensation for my injury? The more seriously hurt you are the more compensation you are entitled to. Do I need to hire a lawyer? How do I find a lawyer?

A “personal injury case” is simply a lawsuit that seeks compensation from another for injuries sustained as a result of that other person’s negligence. The injured person, is called, the “Plaintiff”. The person being sued is called the “defendant”.

Personal injury cases can arise in many many ways.

The most common are probably motor vehicle accidents. This can involve a car, truck, bus or motorcycle. The accident may occur at an intersection controlled by a light or by a stop sign, or be a hit in the rear, a sideswipe, a skid, or as we have just had in a case, be the result of a driver’s ill timed “sneeze”. Motor vehicle accidents can also refer to a pedestrian who may be injured while crossing within the crosswalk or not and crossing with the light or not or just standing on a sidewalk. We are also seeing more and more cases involving motor vehicles and bicycles and bicycles and pedestrians.

Slips and falls are another common cause of personal injuries. People suffer injuries as a result of a fall on a cracked or uneven sidewalk, walkway, or driveway, on broken or deteriorated steps, slipping on water or another liquid, falling due to snow or ice, a still wet washed or painted floor, or any number of other ways while pursuing their everyday activities. These slips and falls can occur outside or inside the home.

Construction workers who are often hurt on the job receive the special protection of what is called the New York Labor Law when they bring a lawsuit to recover compensation for their injuries. Most workers who are routinely hurt on the job are limited to receiving their compensation from Worker’s Compensation benefits. These benefits include payment of medical bills and a small percentage of what you were earning in salary before the injury. The positive aspect of being entitled to Worker’s Compensation benefits if you are hurt on the job is that these benefits are provided regardless of whose fault the accident was, even if you were at fault. However, there is no compensation for what is legally referred to as “pain and suffering”. In a personal injury case the recovery for pain and suffering is usually the largest and most important part of the award.

Construction workers, unlike other workers injured on the job, are not limited to just receiving Worker’s Compensation benefits. They may obtain their Worker’s Compensation benefits and then still proceed to bring a lawsuit to recover for their damages from what is called a “Third Party”-an entity that may be held responsible for your injury but that is not your boss. This “Third Party” may be another contractor on the job, the owner of the property, the general contractor, the safety people, the inspectors and so forth. To hold a “Third Party” responsible, however, this “Third Party” must be shown to have been “negligent” in their actions which caused your injury.

This is where the New York Labor law helps the construction worker obtain full compensation for the injuries suffered. There are special laws and rules and regulations that control many aspects of the construction industry. These laws were passed with the intent to protect the construction worker, who by the very nature of the work is exposed to many dangers, to try to make everyone on, or in any way connected, to the job be held responsible for the worker’s health and safety.

If it can be shown that any of the special laws and rules and regulations have been violated and that this violation is the reason for your injury then you are entitled to be compensated for all your damages, including your lost wages, medical expenses as well as for “pain and suffering” for the past aa well as the future.

Falling objects are also the cause of many injuries and most people do not realize how common injuries from falling objects are. At Jaroslawicz and Jaros we have seen cases involving falling objects causing serious injuries such as by a milk crate falling off of a delivery truck, a large carton falling over in a warehouse due to a wind, a large box falling off of a forklift, falling objects near construction sites, ceilings falling in bathrooms and other rooms, glass door panes falling out, windows falling, a building directory falling off a wall and the list could go on and on. Each of these cited examples resulted in someone being seriously injured who then brought a lawsuit seeking compensation.

Medical malpractice is just another type of personal injury case and simply put is when a doctor or hospital makes a mistake that causes you harm and unnecessary suffering instead of righting the matter. Damages suffered due to medical malpractice can be compensated through a claim. The malpractice may take place in a doctor’s office or an emergency room or other part of a hospital or nursing home.

Unfortunately, most people do not know when they suffer a bad result whether it was due to a medical provider’s negligence or not. At Jaroslawicz and Jaros over the past years we have seen a steady increase in cases involving “decubitus ulcers” or bed sores during a stay at a hospital or nursing home. Although the United States Government has labeled bed sores as a “never event”, by which it means that it should never happen, and even refuses to pay for them after they occur, the sad fact is that they are all too common and occur frequently.

Each of these topics, motor vehicle accidents, slips and falls, construction workers hurt on the job, falling objects, or medical malpractice has its own special laws and rules that apply.

When a person is injured all they know is that they are hurt and the first thing that they need is medical attention. After they have sufficiently recovered and realize that due to the injury both they and their family will suffer due to the physical limitations and suffering involved as well as feeing the loss of a regular and full pay check. Now no money is coming in but more is going out. You know the facts of how you were injured but you do not know if you are entitled to any compensation. Now you need a lawyer. The lawyer should be able to get the facts from you and then based on the lawyer’s knowledge of the law decide if you have a case worth pursuing.

If you or a loved one were injured and are in need of legal assistance, call Jaroslawicz & Jaros at 212-227-2780, or toll free in New York 1-800-269-2780, or submit an online questionnaire. The initial consultation is free of charge, and if we agree to handle your case, we will work on a contingency fee basis, which means we get paid for our services only if there is a monetary recovery of funds. In many cases, a lawsuit must be filed before an applicable expiration date, known as a statute of limitations. Please call to ensure that you do not waive your right to compensation. Or you can email us at ajaros@lawjaros.com.