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After being in a vehicle accident, what should I do?

If you or a passenger has been injured, seek immediate medical attention as soon as possible. It is also important that you obtain information about the other driver(s) involved, including contact information, insurance information, and driver’s license information. If the driver is not the owner of the vehicle, you will also need to obtain the name of the vehicle owner and their insurance and contact information. If there were any witnesses to the accident, you will want to obtain their name(s) and contact information. If you suspect that any laws have been broken, or if you suspect the other driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs or otherwise impaired, contact law enforcement.

In order to determine fault, establish liability, and document your damages, it is helpful to take photographs of all damage and personal injuries, and note any pertinent information from the accident scene (such as the position of the cars before and after impact, weather conditions, etc.) that may be helpful in establishing your case.  You will need to contact your insurance carrier and inform them of the accident.

The other step you should take, if you or a loved one has been seriously injured or has died in an accident, is to seek the advice of an experienced personal injury attorney, who will explain your rights and options and help you receive the recovery you are entitled to. To schedule a consultation with an experienced New York personal injury attorney, contact the Law Offices of Leandros A. Vrionedes, P.C.

It is also recommended that you avoid speaking to anyone other than your attorney about your case. Parties without your interests in mind often attempt to speak to accident victims, so it is best to avoid such contact without consulting your attorney’s advice prior to the contact. For example, an insurance company may contact you in an attempt to settle. Prior to agreeing to any settlement offer, you should seek the advice of knowledgeable attorney.

How is my attorney compensated?

Personal injury attorneys largely work on a contingency basis. This means that an attorney only receives a portion of the money collected if your case is successful, either through settlement or verdict. Under this fee arrangement, an attorney only receives payment when he or she obtains a successful recovery on your case. Typically, the attorney fee in a personal injury case is one-third (33 1/3%) of the total settlement or judgment.

The fee for medical malpractice cases is based on a sliding scale as mandated by the state of New York. The New York State Bar Association provides some information on fee arrangement guidelines with which attorneys must comply.

How long do I have to bring a case?

Every case must be filed within the statute of limitations, which is a fixed period of time after an incident during which a case must be filed. Victims lose the ability to recover for their injuries if they do not file their case within the statute of limitations. For instance, many injury cases have a three year statute of limitations, which may be subject to certain exceptions. However, for actions against a municipality in New York, a notice of claim usually must be filed within 90 days of an injury.

To determine the statute of limitations in your case, contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible after an accident. A knowledgeable attorney will be able to determine the applicable statute of limitations and provide advice on how you should proceed.

I did not think I was injured in an accident, but some time has passed and I think I might be suffering from an injury. What should I do?

In many instances, accident related injuries can take time to appear. Any discomfort you might feel after an accident, even if it is minor, could be the sign of a more serious injury.  Consequently, it is best to seek medical treatment to document the problem and start treating it as soon as possible. You should also notify both your health and automobile insurance so that you can recover any expenses you have incurred if the accident was not your fault. If you do seek treatment in connection with an accident, it is also recommended that you contact a personal injury attorney to determine how to protect your legal rights. To schedule a consultation with an experienced attorney, contact the Law Offices of Leandros A. Vrionedes, P.C.

I may be partly at fault for an accident, but I was also injured in the accident. Do I still have a case?

Even if you may have had a role in causing an accident, you still may be able to recover for your injuries. Based on the New York Civil Practice Law and Rules Code, New York’s comparative negligence rules allow an injured party to recover even if he or she were partially to blame for an accident. Since these cases are typically very fact specific, you should consult with a lawyer to determine whether you have a case. Contact the Law Offices of Leandros A. Vrionedes, P.C. to receive expert advice regarding your injury case.

Should I seek the opinion of another attorney if one attorney believes that I do not have a case?

You should seek the advice of another attorney, even if the first attorney you speak with does not think that you have a case. Multiple attorneys can easily view a single case differently, based on varying understandings of the law, different practice experiences, or because of other considerations, such as the amount of damages involved in the case. Contact the Law Offices of Leandros A. Vrionedes, P.C. for a consultation regarding your case.

Can I ever change lawyers?

Every client has the right to change lawyers. For example, this might arise if a client is not happy with the support provided by their attorney. Clients should keep in mind that a former attorney is often entitled to payment for services rendered up to the time of dismissal. In many case, the former attorney will be paid from the fee earned at the conclusion of the case. More information on the applicable rules can be found on the New York State Bar Association website.

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