Personal Injury

Personal Injury Attorney Long Island:

If you or one of your loved ones is injured in an accident, you need an experienced lawyer like Lisa S. Fine who understands the practice of personal injury law in the New York Court system. Injuries sustained in an automobile, trip and fall or other type of accident must be documented by medical professionals. There are certain deadlines and timelines that must be followed in these situations to sustain your claim and insure coverage, and finding the right personal injury attorney right away is crucial. Insurance companies will try to undervalue settlements and claim that their insured was not at fault. The accident attorney must know how to value a personal injury claim, and guide the claimant in obtaining the right treatment and gathering the right evidence to support a claim for injuries in New York courts.

The principal of our firm, Lisa S. Fine, has been practicing in the field of personal injury law for over 15 years. She has handled hundreds of car accident, trip and fall and other types of cases against municipalities, including the City of New York, and has successfully tried and settled cases against major insurance companies including Allstate, Geico, Hartford, Progressive, State Farm and Liberty Mutual. Her experience, empathy and passion have led to success in guiding injured clients through the process, ensuring they receive proper medical care and coverage for that care, and have resulted in many successful negotiations and trial verdicts.

Negligence Defined:

In order to establish a claim for the Tort of Negligence or “Personal Injury” in New York the claimant must prove that the person or party responsible, the “tortfeasor” had a duty of care to the claimant, that the tortfeasor breached that duty of care, and that the breach of duty led to the claimant sustaining an injury. The standard for determining whether the tortfeasor breached the duty of care falls on what a “reasonably prudent person” would have done under the circumstances. A breach can occur through the actions, or sometimes the non-actions of a party. For example, a party who knows about a defective condition on his or her property, but fails to repair that defective condition within a certain amount of time could be held responsible if someone is injured as a result of that defect. The party’s non-actions in failing to repair the defect can lead to that party’s accountability in Court for the injury of the claimant. Causation is important to establish as well in Personal Injury actions. An injured party is required to show that but for the negligence of the tortfeasor, the injured party would not have become injured. Our firm can help you determine if your injury was the fault of another party, and therefore actionable, under New York law.

Automobile or Car Accident Cases:

Our firm is fully familiar with the New York No Fault threshold statute, and can assist out clients in ensuring that their car accident claim will not be dismissed summarily by the Court. No Fault medical coverage, sometimes known as PIP, can be tricky to navigate in New York, and our firm understands the way the insurance companies evaluate the accident victims’ injuries through independent medical examinations by their hired doctors. Failure to attend an independent medical examination or “IME” can result in cancellation of benefits. Our staff can assist you with any questions you have about these examinations, and will assist you with scheduling or rescheduling your appointments.

Many firms will reject cases if the injured party sustained what is known as “soft tissue” injuries. These type of injuries are more commonly known as whiplash and often involve disc injuries to the neck and back. Our firm has extensive experience dealing with soft tissue injuries, and understands the pain and suffering associated with these injuries. The no fault statute in New York delineates what constitutes a serious injury. Ms. Fine has had success in sustaining claims for soft tissue injuries in conjunction with the stringent requirements of the threshold statutes. We view these cases as challenging, but welcome as we understand what needs to be done and can guide you through the process, making sure the proper evidence is documented in order to prove your case.

SUM/UM Motor Vehicle Accident Cases:

Sometimes the party responsible for your car accident leaves the scene undocumented by police and without providing any information without which it becomes impossible to sustain an accident case against that party. Our firm has a great deal of experience handling Uninsured Motorist or “UM” claims. This type of claim is filed against the insurance company for the vehicle in which the injured party was situated at the time of the accident. It is different procedurally, as it stems from a contract based relationship between the insurance company and the insured. The claim is generally heard by an arbitrator, rather than a jury, and requires an attorney who understands what it takes to persuade an experienced arbitrator to award money to an accident victim. Another type of first party claim is a Supplementary Underinsured claim or “SUM”. This arises when the tortfeasor has only limited coverage, and tenders the full amount of that policy to the injured party. It is important that you hire an attorney who understands the ins and outs of sustaining a proper SUM claim. Lisa S. Fine has been successful in assisting clients in getting clients access to SUM benefits to compensate them for their personal injuries.

Trip and Fall Accident Cases:

Trip and fall cases can be especially tricky, and have their own statutory guidelines and timeframes that must be strictly adhered to. Our attorney has extensive experience dealing with municipalities and property owners in these challenging matters. Claims against municipalities must be filed with the municipality by way of Notice of Claim within 90 days of the occurrence. Ms. Fine has attended hundreds of 50H hearings with the city and city agencies, and local municipalities, and has had successful settlements and trials against municipalities in trip and fall cases.

Burns and Scarring:

When someone suffers a disfigurement such as a burn or gash wound that becomes a scar, they suffer not only from the pain of the injury, but from the emotional pain of living with scarring at the injury site. The emotional injury of a scar or disfigurement can be worse than the actual physical pain and the injured party is entitled to compensation for both. Our office has successfully reached settlements and verdicts in cases involving broken glass from a windshield breaking during a car accident, dog bite scars, burn scars, and scars caused by trip and fall accidents. We do so with sensitivity, compassion and experience.

Children and Minor Accident Victims:

Our firm has a great deal of experience representing minors who are injured due to the negligence of others. Children’s claims must be handled differently than adults’. There are different statutes of limitations and more stringent requirements involved in the settlement of these matters. An attorney handling personal injury claims for a minor claimant must be aware that children under a certain age are automatically non sui juris, which means the child is not responsible for his or her own actions in contributing to the accident. This is important as it means that a settlement or verdict should not be reduced to account for the contributory negligence of the child. It takes a special type of firm to handle children’s cases and children relate to our staff and to our attorney who is, herself a mother, and who makes even the most shy and frightened injured child feel comfortable describing the incident that caused him or her pain. Ms. Fine understands the challenges inherent in representing a child who may be the only witness to their own accident, and will work with the child to patiently piece together the happenings of their unfortunate incident.