Each year, nearly 100 million Americans visit the emergency department for an unintentional injury. In many situations, these injuries were simply bad luck, and no one is to blame for what happened. In other cases, however, another person’s carelessness was the cause of the accident.
If you suffered an injury because of something that someone else did – or failed to do – then you may be able to file a claim against the at-fault party. Through a personal injury lawsuit, you can recover financial compensation for your losses. This may include everything from property damage to medical bills to pain and suffering.
At the Law Offices of Thomas L. Gallivan, PLLC, we advocate for injury victims throughout Long Island. If you have been hurt in an accident, our Riverhead NY personal injury attorneys will fight for your rights. Reach out today to schedule a free initial consultation with a member of our team.
Types of Cases We Handle
Personal injury law is a broad category that covers many different types of claims. Broadly speaking, personal injury claims arise when one or more people suffer harm from an accident or injury, and another person or entity is legally responsible for what happened.
Our law firm has broad experience in all types of personal injury matters, including:
- Car accidents
- Pedestrian knock-downs
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle crashes
- Bicycle accidents
- Falls from scaffolding
- Construction site accidents
- Slip, trips, and falls (premises liability)
- Bicycle accidents
- Bus, subway, and/or train accidents
We also handle cases where an individual died as a result of an accident, representing loved ones in a wrongful death claim.
Personal injury claims often involve serious and catastrophic injuries, such as spinal cord injuries and paralysis, traumatic brain injury (TBI), broken bones, internal organ damage, whiplash, and soft tissue injuries. In each case, we work hard to put together the strongest possible case for damages. Our goal is to help our clients recover maximum compensation as quickly as possible.
Personal Injury Claim Timeline
While each personal injury case is unique, they typically start with a free consultation with a personal injury law firm. During this appointment, you will get a chance to tell your story and ask questions. Your attorney will then give you legal advice on your rights and options for pursuing legal action.
If you decide to hire a Riverhead personal injury lawyer, they will get to work right away with an investigation. This may include requesting accident reports, interviewing witnesses, reviewing medical records, and locating photos and videos of the scene. At the same time, they will conduct legal research to prove that the other person is responsible for the accident.
Next, your lawyer will write what is known as a demand letter to the at-fault party’s insurance company. This letter will set out the facts of the case, the legal reasons why their insured is responsible for what happened, and then make a demand for damages (compensation). In most cases, the insurance company will respond with a counteroffer and the negotiation process will begin.
The majority – 97% – of personal injury cases are resolved outside of court. Whenever possible, your attorney will negotiate a settlement on your behalf. However, if the insurance company refuses to offer you fair compensation, then it may be necessary to file a personal injury lawsuit.
Filing a lawsuit does not mean that your case will go to court. Instead, it preserves your legal rights while your lawyer continues to negotiate. Even if a lawsuit is filed, your case will probably not go to trial. As the parties learn more information through discovery and settle legal issues through motions, it is often easier to negotiate a settlement.
If your case does go to court, then your lawyer will make arguments, question witnesses, and introduce evidence. The at-fault party (defendant) will also have an opportunity to do the same. At the end of the trial, your attorney will ask the jury to return a verdict in your favor. If the verdict is not what you expected, it may be possible to file an appeal.
One of the best ways to ensure that you get maximum compensation for your losses is by working with an experienced Riverhead, NY personal injury lawyer. When the insurance company knows that you are ready, willing, and able to go to trial, they are more likely to offer a fair settlement. Having skilled attorneys with significant trial experience on your side can increase the likelihood of getting the best possible recovery as quickly as possible.
Compensation in a New York Personal Injury Case
In any personal injury case, you may be entitled to two types of damages: compensatory and punitive damages. Compensatory damages include both economic and non-economic damages, which are meant to compensate you for your losses. Punitive damages are designed to penalize someone who acted intentionally or recklessly.
Economic damages cover direct financial losses, such as property damage, lost wages, reduced earning capacity, medical bills, and future medical treatment. For example, if you were injured and your car was totaled in an automobile accident, then your economic damages would include money for a new vehicle, for the time that you took off of work, and any medical expenses that you have or will have. These damages often are relatively easy to prove with bills, invoices, pay stubs, and estimates.
By contrast, non-economic damages compensate injury victims for intangible losses. It can be harder to prove these losses, which may include emotional distress, scarring, disfigurement, loss of enjoyment of life, and pain and suffering. However, a seasoned Riverhead, NY personal injury attorney will use their knowledge of similar cases and work with expert witnesses to put together a claim for damages.
Finally, punitive damages are available in rare cases where a person acted intentionally or recklessly. Most personal injury cases involve negligence or carelessness, so punitive damages are not awarded. There are situations – such as drunk driving accidents – where punitive damages may be appropriate.
How Our Law Firm Can Help
If you have been hurt in an accident in or around Riverhead, you may be unsure of what to do. You may have even been approached by an insurance adjuster who offered you a settlement. In this situation, your best option is to not give a statement or sign anything until you have had a chance to talk to a lawyer.
The Law Offices of Thomas L. Gallivan, PLLC, is dedicated to helping injury victims get top dollar for their injuries. We will take on the big insurance companies for you, and will never charge a fee unless we recover money for you. To learn more or to schedule a free initial consultation with a Riverhead, NY personal injury attorney, give us a call at 914-825-5855 or fill out our online contact form.
12 1st St
Riverhead, NY 11901
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Phone: (855) 228-7369
Fax: (516) 394-4229