When someone is injured, their life is impacted in more ways than just physical pain. Medical bills are often the cause of extreme stress and anxiety. Plus, if a person is unable to work due to the injury, the financial burden and vulnerability are greatly intensified.
There are laws in place to protect those who have suffered physical and emotional trauma at the hands of another’s negligence or wrongdoing. So, if you have been a victim, you may benefit from filing a personal injury claim.
From bicycle accidents to medical malpractice, there are many different types of incidents that lead to personal injuries. In 2020 alone, there were more than 15,000 personal injury claims in the state of New York. The average personal injury claimant was awarded $86,952. If you have suffered as a result of someone else’s negligence, you could be due payment for the hardships you faced in the aftermath.
If you can prove someone else is responsible for your injuries, the justice system will award compensation for the suffering caused by those injuries. Here are some incidents that often lead to personal injury claims:
- Sidewalk accidents – Cyclists and pedestrians are often victims of injuries caused by reckless drivers and poorly maintained roads and sidewalks.
- Motor vehicle accidents – Car accidents are the number one cause of injuries that lead to claims in New York, making up 26% of all personal injury claims in 2020.
- Police action – When police officers conduct themselves inappropriately, people get hurt. Police action led to 15% of New York personal injury claims in 2020.
- Medical negligence or malpractice – Medical professionals are sometimes found responsible for failure to diagnose or provide adequate care for an illness. They might also commit an egregious error that leads to serious injury in patients.
Steps to Filing a Personal Injury Claim
First, make sure you are okay. The most important thing is your health, so take care of yourself first and foremost.
Then, find out if the person responsible has insurance. If you believe another person is responsible for the injuries you suffered, you should find out if that person carries an insurance policy that may cover your damages. You should do this as soon as possible to increase the chances of the insurance company paying for the damages.
Next, gather as much evidence as you can. Common pieces of evidence that can prove responsibility are pictures, eye-witness statements, security camera footage, conversation transcripts such as text messages and emails, and other similar corroborating proof of negligence or wrongdoing.
What Will Insurance Cover?
Most insurance companies will compensate personal injury victims for:
- Medical expenses – The medical bill is just the beginning. Medical records also serve as proof of physical and emotional pain and suffering.
- Time spent out of work – Insurance companies pay victims’ lost wages and other economic damages.
- Emotional damages – Common examples of emotional damage that occur in response to circumstances created by injuries are stress, anxiety, depression, and PTSD.
- Negative impacts on relationships – Sometimes, a victim’s relationships can suffer as a result of an injury. Injuries often lead to circumstances that affect relationships between parents and their children, employees and their employers, as well as bonds between spouses.
Statute of Limitations & Notice of Claim
A notice of claim should be filed within 90 days of the injury. Once you’ve submitted the notice of claim, be sure to get the ball rolling on your claim as soon as possible. The New York statute of limitations requires victims to file claims within three years of their injury.