Blog > Accident Lawyer > Categories > Plaintiff Vs. Defendant: The Difference In A Personal Injury Case

Plaintiff Vs. Defendant: The Difference In A Personal Injury Case

Legal jargon can be highly perplexing for most individuals, especially if you have never been involved in a legal situation. People in the United States believe that legal English phrases and legal jargon are unnecessarily difficult. As a result, legal English is attempting to become more intelligible to the general public.

There are two terms, however, that have never changed or been attempted to be replaced: plaintiff and defendant. These legal phrases are extremely important in civil proceedings, where they are mostly utilized. The plaintiff is the one who files the case, whereas the defendant is the person accused of wrongdoing. Additionally, there are some crucial differences that must be understood if you are thinking about filing a personal injury lawsuit

An experienced attorney will probably use these terms, but do not worry, they know that not everyone is an expert, so they will gladly explain every word to you. 

plaintiff vs defendant
Plaintiff VS. DefendantContact Us To Get Help

Who is the plaintiff in a personal injury claim?

The plaintiff is always the person or entity who files the lawsuit. This person or party is required to file “the complaint.” “The complaint” is a document that contains all of the details of the litigation. This same document must later be served on the defendant.

The etymological origin of the word dates back to the 13th century when it was derived from the Anglo-French word “pleintif,” which signified “complaining“: a general description of what the plaintiff must do in court.

Around the 15th century, it was introduced into the legal vocabulary. Imagine that two drivers get involved in a car collision. Susan, the driver of car A is hit by Mark, the driver of car B because Mark was texting and he was not paying attention to the road. Susan ended up with a broken arm as a result of the crash. Susan is now filing a personal injury lawsuit against Mark to recover compensation for her damages. In this case, Susan is the plaintiff. 

what is a plaintiff and what is a defendant
What Is A Plaintiff And What Is A Defendant? | Greenberg & Stein | Contact Us To Get Help

Who is the defendant in a personal injury claim?

On the other hand, the defendant is the person who is being accused of wrongdoing. To easily remember the meaning of this term, just remember that the defendant must defend themselves from the plaintiff’s accusations.

If you consider the preceding scenario, Mark is the defendant. Mark is accused of being careless while driving and causing the accident. Susan’s charges require Mark and his attorney to defend themselves.

Are petitioner and plaintiff the same thing?

Another term you may be familiar with is “petitioner.” Nonetheless, this phrase is distinct from “plaintiff.”

There are significant distinctions between these two terms. First and foremost, the plaintiff is the one who files the lawsuit. A petitioner is someone who files a petition in a higher court, regardless of whether they were the plaintiff or defendant in a lower court. Nonetheless, the petitioner is the one who was defeated in a lower court. Typically, the petitioner requests that a decision made in a lower court be reviewed by a higher court.

defendant vs plaintiff
Defendant VS Plaintiff | Greenberg & Stein | Contact Us To Get Help

Are the defendant and the respondent the same?

The terms “defendant” and “respondent” are distinct and are occasionally used improperly as if they had the same meaning. The defendant is the person against whom a lawsuit is being filed. The respondent is the person against whom a petition in a higher court is being filed. That means that if the petitioner is the person who lost in a lower court, the respondent is the person who won in the lower court. 

How do you identify a plaintiff and a defendant in a personal injury case?

If you are having problems identifying who is the plaintiff and who is the defendant in a personal injury case, there is a very simple way to find out. The plaintiff’s last name is usually first in the case name. Remember the imaginary case with Susan and Mark? Well, let’s imagine that Susan’s last name is Gibbs and Mark’s last name is Watson. The case name would be Gibbs v. Watson. And just like that, you can identify who is the plaintiff and who is the defendant. 

who is listed first plaintiff or defendant
Who Is Listed First, Plaintiff Or Defendant? | Greenberg & Stein | Contact Us To Get Help

What is the burden of proof?

When bringing a personal case, the plaintiff must understand that they bear the “burden of proof.” The plaintiff bears the burden of proving that their allegations are true. The plaintiff must show sufficient proof (not amount, but quality) to establish that the defendant was accountable for the wrongdoing they are accused of.

Let us return to the case of Gibbs v. Watson. Mark Watson is not required to prove that he was not at fault; rather, Susan Gibbs is required to prove that Mark was at fault for the crash. Susan Gibbs and her attorney will have to provide the evidence that can convince the jury that the chances of Mark being responsible are greater than 50%.

Learn how to use these legal terms correctly in a personal injury case

The legal world is filled with words and terms that may be not so easy to understand if you have never attended law school. Fortunately, you do not need to know all these complicated words and terms by heart. If you are thinking about filing a personal injury lawsuit, make sure to contact an experienced attorney to get the best legal assistance possible. Your lawyer should be able to explain to you every word that you do not understand or you are not completely sure of what it implies. At Greenberg & Stein P.C., our legal team has worked with countless clients and we have helped them succeed in court. Whether you were in a car accident or were attacked by a dog, our lawyers are prepared to help you in every step of recovering compensation for your damages. To schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys, call us at 212-681-2535.

Related Posts:

Blog > Accident Lawyer > Categories > How To Sue Someone: Personal Injury Claims

How To Sue Someone: Personal Injury Claims

Being involved in an accident and suffering injuries can be a stressful and traumatizing experience. Additionally, it can be very expensive. Medical treatment, lost wages, and property damage can turn a small accident into a very costly event.

Personal injury claims occur when the injured person seeks compensation for their financial losses. To sue someone, the injured person must be able to prove that the other party acted negligently and that due to their actions someone was harmed. The injured person can file a claim with the responsible party’s insurance company.

Usually, insurance companies offer less money than what is fair, but it is possible to reach a settlement through negotiation. If the responsible party is not insured or it is not possible to reach an agreement, the plaintiff can file a personal injury lawsuit and go to court. Regardless if the injured person decides to file a claim with an insurance company or decides to file a personal injury lawsuit, hiring a personal injury attorney is crucial. Experienced lawyers can negotiate with insurance companies to get a reasonable settlement. If the injured person decides to file a personal injury lawsuit, having an attorney on their side highly increases their chances of succeeding in court. 

how to sue someone
How To Sue Someone: Personal Injury ClaimsContact Us To Get Help

What is a personal injury lawsuit?

A personal injury lawsuit is a form of civil litigation. Personal injury lawsuits begin when a person who has been injured as a result of the negligence of another person, business entity, or government institution seeks recompense for their losses.

In many cases, civil disputes can be resolved outside of court through an informal settlement. However, there are cases in which a formal lawsuit is needed. In a formal lawsuit, the plaintiff must demonstrate evidence to the jury that the other person is legally responsible for their damages. For instance, a police report can serve as proof that in a car accident the at-fault driver acted carelessly and caused the automobile collision. The plaintiff must also provide evidence that supports their claim. For example, if the plaintiff is seeking compensation for medical expenses, they will have to show medical bills and/or medical records. 

Where are the laws that govern personal injury cases?

Personal injury lawsuits are different from other areas of law and the laws that govern personal injury cases are not in statutes. For example, the laws that rule over criminal cases can be found in penal codes. Most laws that rule over personal injury lawsuits come from court decisions. Some states have tried to create statutes for personal injury lawsuits. However, in the majority of states, court rulings continue to be the primary source of law.

personal injury lawsuit
Personal Injury Lawsuit | Greenberg & Stein | Contact Us To Get Help

What qualifies as personal injury in New York state?

Contrary to popular belief, personal injury in New York does not solely refer to bodily injury. According to the New York State laws, any harm that is done to the body, mind, or emotions, whether done purposefully or due to the neglect of another party is considered a personal injury. It is crucial to note that in the case of car accidents, certain standards must be completed in order to launch a personal injury claim against another party.

New York is a no-fault state. That means that an injured person is not able to file a lawsuit unless their injuries can be deemed as serious. Here is a list of injuries considered a serious: 

  • A fracture
  • Loss of a limb
  • Loss of a fetus
  • Permanent loss of a body organ, function, or system
  • Permanent consequential limitation of use of a body organ or member
  • A significant limitation of the use of a body function or system
  • Medically determined injury or impairment of a non-permanent nature that prevents the injured person from performing substantially all of the material acts which constitute such person’s usual and customary daily activities for not less than ninety days during the one hundred eighty days immediately following the occurrence of the injury or impairment
  • Significant disfigurement
  • Death

When to sue for an injury?

It is impossible to tell when is the right time to sue for an injury, as long as you are meeting the deadlines applicable to your case. In most cases, the best thing you can do is to file a claim as soon as possible.

In New York, the statute of limitations indicates that personal injury lawsuits can be filed within three years from the date of the event. There are some exceptions that may cause this statute of limitations to increase. However, if you are filing a lawsuit against a government entity, you normally have to submit a “notice claim” within 90 days from the day of the accident. If you do not meet the deadlines, your case may be dismissed.

Working with a personal injury lawyer is important because they will help you meet every deadline that applies to your specific situation. 

medical records
Medical Records | Greenberg & Stein | Contact Us To Get Help

What damages can you recover?

In a personal injury lawsuit, you are able to recover both economic and non-economic damages. Here is a list of recoverable damages in a personal injury lawsuit:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Future medical treatment
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Lost earning potential
  • Punitive damages (rarely awarded) 

Is it worth it to sue someone after an accident?

Yes, it is worth it to sue someone after an accident. You do not have to carry all the economic burden that comes after an accident if another person is fully or partially responsible for your financial loss. Another compelling motive to sue the accountable party is to prevent future injuries from occurring.

Property owners and managers, for example, have a duty of care to maintain their properties secure. If a person slips and falls and the owners are sued, they will almost certainly be more cautious in the future.

Personal Injury Compensation
Personal Injury Compensation | Greenberg & Stein | Contact Us To Get Help

What steps to take after suffering an injury?

After suffering an injury the first thing you should do is to seek medical assistance. Even minor accidents can cause serious injuries. Once you have done that, the next thing you should do is to contact a personal injury lawyer. Explaining the situation to them and taking action quickly is crucial to gathering evidence that can help you receive fair compensation for your injuries. At Greenberg & Stein P.C., you will find attorneys with vast experience in accident claims. If you want to get the greatest legal advice in New York, do not hesitate to contact us. Call us at 212-681-2535 to schedule a free consultation with one of our lawyers to review your case. 

Related Posts:

Blog > Accident Lawyer > Categories > Is It Illegal To Drive Barefoot In NY?

Is It Illegal To Drive Barefoot In NY?

After a long day at work in uncomfortable dress shoes or high heels, it may be very tempting to remove your shoes and drive home barefoot. However, it is very likely that we have all heard someone mention at some point in our lives that driving barefoot is unsafe and illegal. But, is that true?

The safety of barefoot driving is a highly debatable topic, some people think it is more dangerous while others say it safer under certain conditions. What is not debatable is the legality of driving barefoot. New York traffic law does not have any rule or regulation that prohibits barefoot driving. This means that if you are pulled over, no police officer will be able to give you a ticket for barefoot driving. Nevertheless, it is important to keep in mind that just because it is not illegal, that does not mean it cannot have any consequences in the event of a motor vehicle accident. 

is it illegal to drive barefoot 1
Is It Illegal To Drive Barefoot? Contact Us To Get Help

What the law in New York says

In New York, driving barefoot is not against the law. Actually, none of the country’s 50 states do. Jason Heimbaugh explored the legality of driving barefoot in the 1990s. He wrote a letter to each state’s Department of Motor Vehicles, inquiring if it was lawful in their state. It took some time, but all of the departments to which he addressed a letter responded and assured him that driving barefoot was legal.

Many years have passed, but the laws have remained unchanged. However, as previously mentioned, even if it is not illegal, it may have implications in the event of an automobile accident. While a law enforcement officer will not give you a traffic ticket for barefoot driving, the law requires all drivers to drive as safely as possible.

If you are involved in a car accident while driving barefoot, the opposing party’s insurance agent may claim that your barefoot driving caused or contributed to the accident. If the jury agrees with the insurance company, your compensation may be decreased or you may even be held accountable for the accident. Insurance companies will go to whatever length to pay as little as possible, thus they will try to prove that driving barefoot constitutes negligent driving.

What about flip-flops?

Similar to barefoot driving, there are no laws that prohibit the use of flip-flops while driving. However, most experts agree that driving while wearing flip-flops is even more dangerous than driving barefoot.

Flip flops do not have straps or anything that secure them to your feet. For that reason they can slip off your shoe and get stuck under the brake pedal or the gas pedal, thus preventing you from being able to fully maneuver or control the vehicle. If you have a car accident while driving while wearing flip-flops, the other party may accuse you of careless driving. 

is it illegal to drive with no shoes 1
Is It Illegal To Drive With No Shoes? | Greenberg & Stein | Contact Us To Get Help

Can you drive in high heels?

High heels are another type of footwear that might be hazardous while driving but it is not illegal to drive while wearing them. The biggest issue with high heels is that your heel is not in contact with the vehicle’s floor. The proper foot position while driving is with your heels firmly planted on the automobile floor. If your heels are not positioned correctly, your feet may not be at the correct angle to step on the pedals. That can cause you to miss the brake pedal in a situation where you need to brake suddenly or you can even make contact with both the gas and the brake pedal at the same time. Additionally, high heels usually have slippery soles or soles that do not have a sufficient amount of grip. 

Is driving in socks illegal?

Driving in socks is also not unlawful. However, just like driving barefoot, there may be consequences in the event of a car accident. Driving in socks may be riskier than driving entirely barefoot in terms of safety. Surprisingly, if our feet are moist, they won’t have a good degree of grip. Socks typically lack any form of grip that can provide additional stability while pressing the pedals. As a result, driving while wearing only socks can be more dangerous due to the risk of your feet slipping off the pedal.

So… Is it really dangerous to drive barefoot?

The safety of driving barefoot has been a topic of debate for a long time. There are people who think that driving barefoot is more dangerous than using appropriate footwear. But what exactly is “appropriate footwear”?

Most experts think that the best driving footwear is comfortable sneakers or shoes that fit securely to your foot and have a flat sole. When you’re barefoot, you have no way of uniformly distributing your foot’s force, and you may not have enough pressure to adequately engage the brakes. Furthermore, when the anti-lock braking system (ABS) kicks in your foot may lose stability.

is driving with shoes off illegal 1
Is Driving With Shoes Off Illegal? | Greenberg & Stein | Contact Us To Get Help

Additionally, sweat and moisture might make your feet slipperier. It is vital to remember that the surface of the pedals also plays an important function. Some pedals have a rubberized surface, while others are made of plain metal and can be very slippery. Finally, driving barefoot may pose a greater risk of injury to your feet.

Shoes provide additional protection to your feet in the event of a car accident. However, other people believe that driving barefoot has some advantages, such as direct contact with the car, which may make some people feel safer or more in control of the vehicle. Lastly, while driving barefoot is not usually advised, it is better than driving in flip flops, high heels, or socks.

What to do if you get in an accident while driving barefoot

Like in every other car accident situation, remaining calm is crucial. Make sure that you and the other passengers are unharmed. If someone is injured, make sure to get medical care as soon as possible. You will also need to take the other driver’s contact information and their license plate number, car model, and year. Make sure to provide them with the same information.

Next, report the accident to your auto insurance company and the police. Take photos and videos of the accident and gather as much evidence as possible. Finally, it is highly advisable to contact a personal injury lawyer to protect your rights and increase your chances of getting fair compensation for your damages.

Getting involved in a car accident is something very common these days, therefore having an experienced attorney represent you is very important. At Greenberg & Stein P.C., our attorneys have years of experience dealing with all kinds of car accidents. Feel free to contact us at 212-681-2535 to schedule a free case consultation with a member of our legal team to review your case. 

Related Articles:

Blog > Accident Lawyer > Categories > Blunt Force Trauma to The Head – What Is It?

Blunt Force Trauma to The Head – What Is It?

You have probably heard the term “blunt force head trauma to the head” while watching the news about a car accident that happened the day before. But, what is blunt force trauma to the head? A blunt force trauma is a type of bodily injury that occurs when we collide with a blunt item or surface but the surface of the afflicted organ does not break or become punctured.

If we specifically talk about a blunt force trauma to the head, we are referring to the impact that someone’s head suffers against a blunt object or vice versa, but that does not penetrate the skull. Blunt force head trauma to the head can cause a traumatic brain injury (TBI).

This injury can be very dangerous depending on the severity of the collision. Its effects may take a few days to wear off, but in other circumstances, victims may suffer long-term problems. Different events can cause blunt force traumas but they are usually associated with car accidents

blunt force trauma to the head 1
Blunt Force Trauma To The HeadContact Us To Get Help

What is a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)?

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurs when the brain is damaged by a sudden, external, physical assault. It is one of the leading causes of adult disability and death.

TBI is a broad term that refers to a wide range of lesions to the brain. The injury might be localized (limited to one part of the brain) or diffuse (more than one brain area is affected). A brain injury can range in severity from a moderate concussion to serious types of injury that result in coma or even death.

What are the 4 types of non-penetrating traumatic brain injuries?

Blunt force trauma to the head injuries can be broken down into four major categories: Contusion: A contusion is a bruise on the brain. A concussion produces internal bleeding and edema in the brain near the point where the brain was impacted. Contusions can arise as a result of a skull fracture or blood clots.


A blow to the head is frequently the cause of a concussion. Concussions can also be caused by violent shaking of the head and upper body. A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury that impairs brain function.

Headaches and issues with focus, memory, balance, and coordination are common side effects. Concussions are not considered severe injuries because the effects normally disappear after a few days.


An intracranial hematoma happens when blood vessels rupture inside the brain as a result of a blunt force trauma to the head. As the blood starts collecting in the skull, the intracranial pressure increases pressing on the brain. This head injury can be extremely dangerous. Treatment options include surgery to decrease the blood pressure inside the skull.

Diffuse axonal injury

Also known as DAI, diffuse axonal injury is one of the most severe brain injuries. DAI is caused by tearing the brain’s axons as the brain shifts and rotates inside the skull. Torn tissue can die and the trauma may cause the brain to swell, damaging soft tissue even more. DAI typically results in unconsciousness and brain damage. 

what is blunt force trauma to the head
What Is Blunt Force Trauma To The Head? | Greenberg & Stein | Contact Us To Get Help

What is the most common cause of blunt trauma to the head?

Several different events can cause blunt force trauma to the head. Nonetheless, car accidents are the leading cause of blunt trauma to the head. Other causes of blunt trauma to the head include attacks or assaults, falls, and sports injuries.

What are the effects of blunt force trauma to the head?

Depending on the degree of the damage, a person may have a variety of symptoms following a blunt force trauma injury. Some injuries are considered primary, while others are considered secondary.

Primary injuries are those that occur immediately due to an accident. Secondary injuries are those that manifest themselves over time. This amount of time can be rather long in some circumstances, for example, chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) can take more than 10 years to manifest.

Here are some of the most common symptoms experienced by people who suffered a blunt force trauma to the head:

  • Headaches or migraines
  • Blurred vision
  • Slurred speech
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Loss of balance
  • Confusion
  • Seizures
  • Memory loss
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of coordination
  • Dilated pupils
  • Mood swings
  • Double vision
  • Drowsiness or fatigue
  • Changes in blood pressure 
blunt force trauma to the back of the head 1
Blunt Force Trauma To The Back Of The Head | Greenberg & Stein | Contact Us To Get Help

How do I know if I have blunt force trauma?

If your head was recently struck by an object and you are experiencing any of the symptoms indicated above, you should seek medical care as soon as possible. Blunt force injuries can get worse over time, particularly if left untreated.

What should I do if I believe I have suffered a traumatic brain injury?

If you believe you have suffered a traumatic brain injury you should tell your doctor immediately. A physical examination following a motor vehicle accident may reveal an injury you were unaware of. X-rays and MRIs are common exams used by doctors to determine the type of traumatic brain damage you sustained.

blunt force trauma to the head car accident
Blunt Force Trauma To The Head Car Accident | Greenberg & Stein | Contact Us To Get Help

Can I file a lawsuit over traumatic brain Injuries?

It is definitely possible to file a lawsuit over traumatic brain injuries. With the assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney, you can collect compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other out-of-pocket expenditures. A traumatic brain injury can be a terrifying experience that can become very costly and impact your life permanently. If someone else’s negligence caused your injuries, seeking legal counseling is crucial.

If you suffered a traumatic brain injury as a result of another person’s negligence, please contact Greenberg & Stein P.C. Our attorneys have represented individuals who have suffered a variety of injuries. We’ve helped a lot of car accident victims, slip and fall accident victims, and assault victims get compensated for their losses. To schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys to discuss your case, call us at 212-681-2535.

Related Posts:

Blog > Accident Lawyer > Categories > Is Tailgating Illegal In NY?

Is Tailgating Illegal In NY?

Following too closely, also known as tailgating, is the action of driving behind another vehicle too closely and not leaving enough space to stop without causing a collision. But is it illegal to tailgate? Tailgating is illegal in New York state, according to the Vehicle and Traffic Law. That is why when we learn to drive, instructors teach us to keep a prudent distance between the car in front of us.

is it illegal to tailgate
Is It Illegal To Tailgate?Contact Us To Get Help

What Is Considered Tailgating (Following Too Closely) in New York?

New York VTL § 1129(a) says “the driver of a motor vehicle shall not follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard for the speed of such vehicles and the traffic upon and the condition of the highway”.

As you have probably guessed, the law is very ambiguous. It does not indicate what constitutes a prudent distance or when this distance must be extended or decreased due to roadway circumstances. This, of course, raises an obvious issue. Unlike other offenses, such as red light violations, where it is clear why you received a ticket and there are no gray areas, tailgating tickets are somewhat vague.

Depending on the officer’s view and criteria, you may obtain a ticket even though you believe you were driving properly and allowing a reasonable distance between your car and the one in front of you. As a result, you may think that the ticket that you received is unfair. Fortunately, there are ways to dispute a ticket. Tailgating tickets are not so easy to dispute but it is possible to have a good defense.

What is the Cost for a Following Too Closely Ticket?

The price for a tailgating ticket varies depending on if it is the first, second, or third offense in a specific period of time. If you obtain a fine for tailgating but it is the first offense, the fine is $150. If you receive a second ticket within 18 months from the first offense, the fine can be up to $300. Lastly, if you get a third ticket for tailgating within 18 months, the fine may rise up to $450.

Furthermore, in New York, a driver who is convicted or enters a guilty plea for following too closely is required to pay a state surcharge of $88 or $93 depending on where the driver received the ticket. 

How many points is tailgating in NY?

The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) employs a point system. The DMV’s point system adds points to your license based on the seriousness of the offense for which you are found guilty in court. That means, after a traffic ticket conviction, you will receive points on your license.

Just like any other traffic violation, when a tailgating driver receives a ticket, points are added to their driver’s record. For every tailgating ticket drivers receive 4 points. If you receive 11 points in an 18-month period, you will get your license suspended.

It is also important to mention that if you receive 6 points or more you will have to pay a Driver Responsibility Assessment (DRA) fee. This fee is $300 if you have six points, every additional point costs $75. That means that if you receive two tickets for tailgating in 18 months, 8 points will be added to your license and you will have to pay $450 ($300 for the DRA and $150 for the seventh and eighth point).

Finally, if you commit three violations in 18 months, your license will be suspended regardless of whether you have 11 points. 

Why does the Law Require You to Leave Space?

Leaving a safe distance between the car in front of us is one of the most basic driving rules. Actually, following too closely is the second cause of automotive accidents in the state of New York, only behind distracted driving. It is easy to understand why tailgating is forbidden by the law. If we are following another car too closely and that car suddenly stops, it is very likely that it will end in a rear-end accident.

Tailgating is not a proper driving habit, normally, inexperienced drivers and careless drivers are the ones that tend to do this, putting themselves and other people in dangerous situations. 

If Another Driver Is Tailgating You, What Should You Do?

If you notice that another driver is tailgating you, they are probably trying to pass you or they are not realizing that they are following too closely or that is just how they drive. Regardless of the reason why they are doing that, the best thing to do is to change lanes, especially if you are driving on the left lane.

Switching to the slow lane will allow them to pass you, even if they go over the speed limit, and you will be out of danger. Another good tactic is to slowly reduce speed, which may alert them that they are getting too close to you. 

What Are Common Injuries in a Rear-End Collision?

Tailgating may result in a rear-end accident. Even if most accidents caused by tailgating do not end up in fatalities, it is possible to get injured in a rear-end collision. These are some of the most common injuries caused by this kind of accident:

How Can A New York Attorney Help?

If you were injured in a car accident because of another driver who was tailgating you and ended up crashing with you, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries, lost wages, and other out-of-pocket expenses.

Getting fair compensation is not always easy. In most cases, insurance companies strive to pay as little as possible. Additionally, if your case can not be resolved with the insurance company, you might see yourself forced to file a personal injury lawsuit.

Lawsuits can be a long and exhausting process that can be difficult to handle on your own. An experienced personal attorney can help you in a tough situation like a car accident. 

If you want to get the best possible legal representation, do not hesitate to contact Greenberg & Stein P.C. Our prestigious firm has represented numerous clients who have been involved in all kinds of car accidents and have helped them receive the compensation they deserve. Contact us at 888-761-4137 to schedule a free consultation with a member of our legal team to review your case.

Related Articles:

Blog > Accident Lawyer > Categories > 10 Questions To Ask Your Personal Injury Lawyer

10 Questions To Ask Your Personal Injury Lawyer

Seeking legal counsel after an injury is one of the most crucial things to do following such an unfortunate event. Choosing an attorney to handle your case is not so simple. You must ensure that the person you choose has the necessary qualifications and that you will be comfortable working with them.

That is why, before hiring an attorney, it is best to interview at least three different candidates and ask them about their expertise and methods. Their responses will most likely provide you with a better understanding of how they work and whether they are appropriate for you.

Here are 10 important questions to ask your personal injury attorneys:

1. What problems or challenges do you perceive in my case?

Because each type of case is unique, you and your lawyer will face a variety of challenges along the way. Some of these challenges are predictable, while others are not. After providing all of the case data to an experienced attorney, they should have a good notion of the challenges they will encounter to win the case. They should also provide you with several remedies to these problems.

what questions to ask a personal injury lawyer
What Questions To Ask A Personal Injury Lawyer?Contact Us To Get Help

2. What is my personal injury case worth?

It is difficult to determine the value of your case at first glance. However, with the initial evidence and documentation that you present to the attorney, they should be able to provide you with a rough estimate of the value of your case. If the attorney you are working with has previous experience handling cases similar to yours, their knowledge will assist them in determining the value of your case.

3. What information do you require before and during my case?

Keep in mind that the attorney will not be able to win the case without your assistance. Winning a case requires you and your attorney to work together as a team. One of the most crucial tasks of the client is to give any documents, bills, and other proof that the attorney may request in order to build a good case.

Fortunately, your attorney should be able to assist you in acquiring documentation and proof, such as police reports or medical reports. It is critical to maintain open lines of contact with your attorney; to ensure that your schedule coincides with their time availability. You will then be able to give them everything they require as soon as feasible.

questions to ask when hiring a personal injury lawyer 1
Questions To Ask When Hiring A Personal Injury Lawyer | Greenberg & Stein | Contact Us To Get Help

4. What is your preferred method of communication?

A good working relationship with your attorney will help both you and the attorney win the case. You will also want to get updates on your case on a regular basis. Inquiring with your lawyer about the best approach to reach them will make communication much easier.

Some lawyers prefer phone calls, while others prefer email, and still, others prefer a combination of the two. Some people even desire to visit the attorney’s office on occasion. If you deal with a large law firm, your initial contact maybe with one of the senior lawyers, but this does not guarantee that they will handle your case directly.

It is very likely that another attorney will be in charge of your case. If this is true, inquire as to how you might establish direct contact with this person. 

5. Are you willing to go to trial, if necessary?

Most cases are settled out of court rather than going to trial. However, if you and the insurance company are unable to reach an arrangement, your only choice for recovering adequate compensation for your damages is to file a personal injury claim.

As a result, it is critical that you ask your attorney if they are willing to go to trial if no settlement offer is reached. If they say yes, ask them if their fees will change. If the matter proceeds to court, some attorneys charge a greater percentage of the payout for the legal representation.

questions to ask personal injury lawyer
Questions To Ask Personal Injury LawyerGreenberg & Stein | Contact Us To Get Help

6. How often will you update me on my case?

As previously stated, communication plays a crucial role in hiring a personal injury lawyer. Some people like to be updated on the progress of their case very often, while others prefer to step away and be notified less frequently. Just like every client is different, every attorney is different as well.

Make sure that you and your attorney are on the same page when it comes to communicating updates. Your attorney may not have daily updates so it does not make sense if you call them every day. Similarly, some clients do not want to receive calls from their attorney every day if it is not something important about their personal injury lawsuit. 

7. What are your fees and how will they be calculated?

When it comes to personal injury law, the majority of attorneys in this field are on a “contingency basis” and “contingency fee”. This means that they will take a share of the money recovered. Typically, this number ranges between 20 and 40%. For example, if you win the case and recover $50,000 in damages, and you agreed to pay the attorney 30% of the amount recovered, they will receive $15,000. 

questions to ask a personal injury lawyer before hiring 1
Questions To Ask A Personal Injury Lawyer Before Hiring | Greenberg & Stein | Contact Us To Get Help

8. What happens if the case is lost?

Working with an attorney increases your chances of collecting compensation for your losses, but it does not ensure that you will win the case. A lot of people are concerned about what may happen if they lose the case.

Since most attorneys work on a contingency basis, they get a percentage of the money recovered. That means that if nothing is recovered, nothing is paid to them. Nonetheless, use caution and thoroughly review the contract you sign with the attorney. Check for hidden costs and make sure you understand all terms and conditions.

9. Do I have to cover the upfront costs if we lose?

Even if the attorney you hired works on a contingency basis and does not get paid for their legal fees, they may still charge for other legal costs incurred. If the case is lost, the agreement between the attorney and you should specify who is accountable for these costs.

10. How many client cases do you handle at a time?

Attorneys typically work with multiple clients at the same time. Make sure to inquire about how many other clients they work with simultaneously. A competent attorney should be aware of their limitations; if they take on more clients than they can handle, they will be unable to work on each case adequately. If you believe your current attorney is not giving your case the attention it deserves, you should consider hiring someone else.

questions to ask a personal injury lawyer
Questions To Ask A Personal Injury Lawyer | Greenberg & Stein | Contact Us To Get Help

Our Personal Injury Lawyer Answers Common Questions

Greenberg & Stein P.C. is one of New York’s most prestigious law firms. Some of the greatest attorneys in the state can be found here. Please contact us if you desire to pursue legal action following an accident.

Our legal experts will address any queries you may have regarding using our legal services. Contact us at 212-681-2535 to schedule a free initial consultation to review your case and answer any questions you may have. 

Related Articles:

Blog > Accident Lawyer > Categories > Can You See Your Own Doctor On Workers’ Comp?

Can You See Your Own Doctor On Workers’ Comp?

Suffering an injury at work can be a very stressful and problematic situation. Most injured workers not only have to put up with the injuries and the recovery process, but they also worry about the financial burden that medical bills may cause.

However, if you suffer a workplace injury, you have the right to file a workers’ comp claim to pay for your medical treatment, lost wages, and physical therapy if necessary.

A lot of people wonder if they can see their own primary care physician on workers’ comp, especially if they have a pre-existing medical condition that has been treated by their doctor for a long time. 

Every state has different rules and regulations when it comes to switching doctors or medical providers while on workers’ comp.

In New York, for example, it is possible to see your medical practitioner only if the chair of the NY Workers’ Compensation Board approves it. Generally, after filing a workers’ comp claim, your employer or your employer’s insurance company will provide you with a list of doctors, hospitals, or medical providers approved by them.

The state of New York requires all employers or their insurance carriers to provide injured workers with at least two options in each medical specialty and two hospitals to visit for the injured worker to choose from. Even if you want to see your own doctor, you will be required to start the treatment with one of the medical providers pre-approved by the insurance company.

If you still want to continue to seek medical treatment with your own doctor, you can do it 30 days after starting the treatment with the medical provider assigned by the insurance company. Keep in mind that your doctor needs to be approved by the chair of the New York Workers’ Compensation Board first. 

How To File A Workers Comp Claim | Contact Us To Get Help
Can I See My Own Dr. For Workers Comp? Contact Us To Get Help

What happens if I don’t see an approved doctor when my state requires it?

If you decide to visit a doctor that is not approved by your employer or their insurance company, they may dispute your workers’ compensation claim.

If, in the end, your case is denied because you visited another doctor, you will have the financial responsibility to pay for your medical treatment. Depending on the severity of your injuries, your medical bills could be enormous. For that reason, if you want to choose your own doctor for treatment, you should speak to an experienced compensation attorney.

Since every state has different laws and procedures, speaking to someone who has experience in the field is the best decision you can make.

Should I see a doctor or talk to a lawyer first after getting hurt at work? 

Immediately after an accident, you should go to the emergency room to receive medical care as soon as possible. Some workplace injuries can be life-threatening, therefore, going to the ER is crucial.

Once you are in the emergency room, you or someone who is with you need to notify the doctor in charge that you suffered a work-related injury. This is a very important step because this will open your workers’ comp claim.

Additionally, when you specify that the injury you suffered was at work, the doctors in the emergency room will have to include that information in the medical report. That way, your visit to the emergency room will be covered by your workers’ compensation benefits.

After your visit to the ER, you will most likely need medical treatment to fully recover from your injury or illness. If your doctor is not on the list of pre-approved medical providers, you should contact a lawyer first.

A workers’ compensation lawyer will explain how to use a doctor outside the insurance company’s network of medical providers.

Nevertheless, before making any decisions, you should consult with your medical physician. Not all doctors or clinics accept workers’ compensation patients. Medical providers that treat injured workers must adhere to certain limits and criteria.

Filing A Workers Comp Claim | Greenberg & Stein | Contact Us To Get Help
Can I See A Workers Compensation Doctor From My Own Medical Provider Network? | Greenberg & Stein | Contact Us To Get Help

How to best deal with doctors who treat you for your injury?

If you are being treated by a doctor who is part of your employer’s insurance company’s network of approved medical providers, you should be aware that they have a business relationship with the insurance carrier.

That means, they will offer the medical care you require while also attempting to limit expenses in order to keep the commercial partnership. For that reason, you need to carefully document everything that the doctor tells you in every appointment.

You also have to express any concerns that you may have about the treatment that is being provided. Make sure that the doctors also include in your medical records everything that you tell them or any symptoms that you feel.

In case you feel that your medical treatment is not working and you want to see another doctor, you will have evidence that you have been reporting every concern to the treating doctor and you require a second opinion. 

Do I have to see the business’s doctor for medical treatment?

In most cases, you will be required to receive medical treatment from the company doctor or the doctor provided by their insurance company at least for the initial treatment.

After a certain period of time, you may be able to see a different doctor if your state’s workers’ comp commission approves it. This does not only apply to the primary care provider, this can also be the case if you request alternative care such as chiropractic care or acupuncture.

Just make sure to seek legal counseling with a workers’ compensation attorney before making any decisions that may compromise your claim. 

Workers Comp Claims | Greenberg & Stein | Contact Us To Get Help
Workers Compensation Insurance Company | Greenberg & Stein | Contact Us To Get Help

Will an injury sustained at work be covered by my insurance?

You should not use your own health insurance to pay for your medical treatment if you suffered a workplace injury. It is your employer’s responsibility to pay for your medical treatment, lost wages, and other out-of-pocket expenses caused by the injury you suffered while working.

Furthermore, using your own health insurance may cause you to pay very high deductible fees that you should not be paying. Some health insurance carriers may pay for your medical treatment, but they will ask you to sign a document where you agree to pay them back if you receive a settlement. 

What not to do while on workers’ comp:

If you are on workers’ comp avoid doing the following:

  • Missing medical appointments with the doctor who is treating you.
  • Not following every indication given by your medical provider. 
  • Missing physical therapy sessions.
  • Seeing other doctors who have not been approved by your state’s workers’ comp commission. 

If you start doing any of the things listed above, your workers’ compensation case can be compromised.

The insurance company will have grounds to deny your claim by alleging that your injuries were not as serious as you claimed or that you are fully recovered. 

What else do I need to know in order to protect my workers’ comp claim?

Since every state has a different set of rules and regulations it is important to seek legal advice from a workers’ compensation lawyer that has vast knowledge about your state’s laws. 

Greenberg & Stein P.C. can help you if you were injured at work in New York City. We are a respected law company with some of the state’s best attorneys. Our legal team has represented numerous people who have been injured at work.

We can assist you in fighting for your right to fair compensation. Do not hesitate to contact our law firm. Call our law offices at 212-681-2535 to schedule a free case consultation with a member of our legal team. 

Related Articles: