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Personal Injury

The Significance of Recording Your Injuries and Costs in a Personal Injury Lawsuit

By Personal Injury

When dealing with a personal injury lawsuit, maintaining a comprehensive record of your injuries and associated expenses holds significant importance. The presence of solid evidence and substantiated records of your injuries greatly enhances the strength and success of your legal case. Our team of personal injury attorneys at Losi & Gangi can help walk you through the process, and inform you on what you need to know.

Three Key Reasons Why Comprehensive Medical Documentation Holds Crucial Importance in a Personal Injury Lawsuit:

Establishing Injury Existence and Attributes: Thorough medical documentation serves to confirm the occurrence, nature, severity, and origin of your injuries. This documentation forms the bedrock of your case, enabling you to establish a direct causal link between the accident and the injuries sustained due to the defendant’s actions or negligence

Addressing Pre-existing Conditions: Medical documentation is instrumental in two facets concerning pre-existing health conditions. It can validate that the plaintiff had no previous health concerns related to the injury prior to the accident. Conversely, it can also assist plaintiffs with pre-existing conditions in proving that their injuries are indeed fresh and are a result of the accident.

Determining Appropriate Compensation: Medical records play a pivotal role in determining the fitting amount for settlement or judgment. This encompasses not only quantifiable economic damages but also intangible non-economic damages like psychological distress or persistent pain.

In essence, the abundance of medical documentation amassed by you and your legal representative significantly bolsters your position. Legal professionals utilize these medical records to calculate a suitable compensation figure that adequately addresses your pain and suffering.

Types of Medical Records to Gather:Your medical records should encompass a range of items, such as:

  • Official diagnosis from medical professionals
  • Detailed itemized medical bills
  • Elaborate notes from medical appointments

Important to Keep in Mind: During the process of gathering medical records, it’s advisable to include any material even remotely relevant to your case.

Inclusive List of Bills and Expenses: Your documentation should encompass various expenses, including but not limited to:

  • Costs incurred for surgical procedures
  • Fees associated with ambulance services
  • Expenses related to blood tests or scans
  • Medical consultations and appointments
  • Expenditures for physical therapy and rehabilitation
  • Outlays for prescribed medications
  • Charges linked to diagnostic imaging like X-rays or CT scans

Moreover, don’t overlook out-of-pocket expenses. The aftermath of a severe injury involves a protracted and often costly recovery journey. These out-of-pocket expenses can rapidly accumulate, heightening the financial strain on the victim. Keep meticulous track of expenditures like medication, medical supplies, healthcare services, and requests for medical documents.

Capturing Injuries Through Photography:

Harnessing the power of visual evidence, photographs hold remarkable sway within your personal injury case. Snap images of any visible injuries—bruises, fractures, cuts—and remember to regularly update these pictures as your injuries progress toward recovery.

A combination of bills, thorough medical documentation, and photographic evidence collectively shapes the foundation for a compelling personal injury case. If you’re seeking assistance, our team of personal injury attorneys at Losi & Gangi can help guide you through the process. Contact us today for a free consultation.


First Five Steps to Take After a Motor Vehicle Accident

By Personal Injury

Motor vehicle accidents happen in a split second and leave people feeling in a state of shock. It is important to act fast and know what steps to take immediately after a crash. This will not only ensure the safety of everyone involved in the crash, but it can also make a big impact on your legal case. Follow these five critical steps below.

1. Make Sure Everyone is Safe 

The very first thing you should do is check to make sure if anyone was hurt. If anyone suffered injuries and is in need of medical assistance, call 911 immediately. Next, it is important to make sure to pull your car over to the side of the road. If the accident happened in a busy area or during rush hour traffic, it is very likely additional accidents can occur. It is also in your best interest to turn on your hazards to alert the other drivers of the scene.

2. Contact the Police

Contact law enforcement and inform them of the scene. Police can create a report of the accident, which you can request a copy of for insurance purposes. 

3. Assess the Scene and Exchange Information

Exchange contact and auto information with the other drivers involved in the accident. The following items should be collected or insurance claims:

  • Name and contact information
  • Insurance company and policy number
  • Driver’s license and license plate number
  • Type, color, and model of vehicle
  • Location of accident

In addition, be sure to take pictures of the scene. You do not have to be a professional photographer, but there are some things you will want to keep in mind while snapping photos. Below are 5 tips for taking photos of the scene of the accident: 

  • Take photos on your own phone – This way, you know you have documentation and don’t need to worry about other people sending you over the photos. 
  • Take pictures from multiple angles – Capture all sides of the cars involved in the accident. Be sure your photos capture all corners of each car.
  • Take pictures of your injuries – If you are able to, take photos of any injuries you may have sustained from the crash. This will come in handy later on if you plan on filing a personal injury claim
  • Take pictures of car interior – If the interior of your car faced any damages, such as deployed airbags or shattered windshield, take photos of this as well. 
  • Take photos of the surrounding area – Take photos of the street where the accident occurred – including any traffic signals, street signs, etc. Also, if there were any contributing factors that lead to the accident such as potholes or road construction, be sure to take photos of this as well. 

After you finish taking photos of the scene, you should also try to get pictures of the following three items:

  • License Plates – Take photos of every license plate involved in the accident. 
  • Insurance Documents – Ask permission of the other driver to take a photo of their insurance card. If they agree, make sure to capture the company and the policy number. 
  • Police Report –  If police come to the scene and write a crash report, snap a picture of this. This can help speed up the process with your insurance company. 

4. Contact your Insurance Company

Contact your insurance company as soon as possible after an accident. It is important you collect the information listed above. Insurance companies will specifically be looking for details of the accident such as whether or not a police report was filed, if there were witnesses, and any other information that is relevant to the accident. 

5. File a Personal Injury Claim

The injuries you suffer from a car accident can result long pain and suffering. Losi & Gangi Attorneys treat every individual case with the specific attention all personal injury cases deserve, and with unique care tailored to its needs. Our attorneys are experienced professionals who are dedicated to the needs of our clients. If you suffered an injury, we can help you through this process from the start of your case until you receive your settlement. To learn more about Personal Injury and get started with a free consultation, click here.

If you have been hurt in a motor vehicle accident, do not hesitate to get the workers compensation you are entitled to and deserve. Our experienced attorneys at Losi and Gangi will make sure you are represented fairly throughout every step of your case. Call us today at 716-854-1446 for a free consultation. 

Article adapted from:

Guide to Filing a Personal Injury Claim

By Personal Injury

Once you have been involved in an accident that you weren’t at fault for, you are legally entitled to file a personal injury claim to seek compensation for the pain and suffering you endured. The process of seeking a settlement is complicated, which is why having a personal injury attorney on your side is in your best interest. Our attorneys at Losi and Gangi are highly skilled, and will help get you the compensation you are entitled to and deserve. Follow along for a step-by-step guide on what to do when filing a personal injury claim. 

1. Seek Medical Care

Your health and safety is the number one priority. It’s important to seek medical attention immediately after you have been involved in an accident. Even if you think the injuries you suffered are not significant, it is still important you get examined. There is a possibility that you may have internal injuries.

Be sure to listen to your doctor and follow along with the treatment they recommend for you. Regular checkups are a good idea to make sure that your injury is healing properly. Also, do not throw away any medical documents – these may serve as a benefit to you later on when filing your personal injury case. 

2. Prepare Evidence

For any legitimate case filed, there’s always a need to prove the liability or negligence of the party liable for the accident. Start by gathering any evidence connected to the incident that caused your injury. Make sure you are storing these in a safe space where you will not lose them. Invoices for your treatments, medical records, therapy, and all relevant documents will help make a stronger case. Another effective way to prove evidence is through photos and videos. If possible, snap some photos or videos of the injury you sustained. This will help better illustrate and depict the damages you suffered.

3. Stay off Social Media

By posting one photo on social media, you can ruin your entire case. Posting a photo of yourself enjoying vacation when you are in the process of filing a personal injury case comes across as suspicious. Even if the photo was taken from awhile ago, the opponent will find ways to use it against you. It’s best to keep a low profile and avoid posting for awhile until things are settled. 

4. Contact a Personal Injury Attorney 

As mentioned earlier, a personal injury attorney will increase your chances of getting the compensation you deserve. You need highly skilled lawyers on your side to make a stronger case and to avoid manipulation from insurance adjusters. 

Our experienced personal injury attorneys at Losi and Gangi will make sure you are represented fairly throughout every step of your case. If you have recently suffered a personal injury, please contact Losi and Gangi at 716-854-1446 for a free consultation.

Article Adapted from:  

Who is at Fault in a Car vs. Bike Collision?

By Personal Injury

After a long winter, the snow is finally melting and things are looking brighter. We have waited a very long time to be able to enjoy some warmer weather. You may notice more people are out taking walks or choosing to ride their bike to get to their destinations. With more people and bicyclists on the road, more safety precautions is crucial.

In the event of an accident, the following question, “Who is at fault when bikes and vehicles collide?” Is complicated. 

It seems like an obvious answer that the car is at fault in a bicycle-versus-car accident. Cars are bigger, stronger, and much more forceful. A car can seriously injure someone who is riding on their bicycle with no protection around them.

Yet, cars and motor vehicles are not always to blame. Bicyclists happen to be at fault for collisions more often than one would think. A common cause for bicyclists creating accidents is they don’t always follow the rules of the road. By law, bicyclists must follow the same rules of the road as other vehicle operators. This means, they must yield to pedestrians, obey all traffic signals, and avoid unsafe lane changes. 

Understanding the Law 

New York State follows a No-Fault law. This system is set up to compensate injured persons whose crashes arise out of the “use and operation of a motor vehicle”. Therefore, the liability is generally allocated to the driver of the car and not the bicyclist. However, there are instances when a bicyclists is the one at fault for accidents. 

Determining Who is Liable 

In court, various factors determine liability for a motor vehicle and bicycle accidents. Motor-vehicle drivers and bicyclists both need to follow the rules of the road. Motor vehicle drivers should give reasonable room to bicyclists on the roadway and give an adequate warning before making a right turn. 

It is critical that drivers don’t make the reckless decision to drive distracted. Talking on the phone, texting, eating, etc. can all contribute to a serious accident. Drivers are at a much higher risk of not seeing a bicyclist when trying to multi-task behind the wheel.

The same principle applies to bicyclists when it comes to practicing safety on the roads. If a bicyclist decides to swing onto a street out of nowhere, someone driving a car may not have enough time to stop or slow down. If bicyclists are not wearing a helmet, they are at much higher risk from suffering a severe head injury. There are countless examples of how a bicyclist is at risk for injury if not being cautious.

Other circumstances where accidents are a bicyclist’s fault include:

  • The bicyclists ignores traffic signals
  • The bicyclist is on the wrong side of the street
  • The bicyclist rides against the flow of traffic
  • The bicyclist makes a sudden turn with no warning
  • The bicyclist fails to yield
  • The bicyclist does not come to a complete stop at a stop sign
  • The bicyclist ignores traffic signals

Injury and death is a serious concern when it comes to motor vehicle and bicycle accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 846 Bicyclists were killed in traffic crashes in 2019 in the United States. It’s crucial that both motor vehicle drivers and bicyclists adhere to the rules of the road and use extra caution.

If you have recently suffered injuries from a motor vehicle and bicycle collision, contact Losi and Gangi at 716-854-1446 for a free consultation. Our experienced personal injury attorneys will make sure you are represented fairly throughout every step of your case. 

Article adapted from :

Injured Workers Returning Back to Work

By Personal Injury

Individuals may experience some fear and anxiety when anticipating their return back to work after a long leave of absence. Due to the pandemic, many employees grew comfortable working from home and have no desire to go back to working in person. The same can be said for injured workers and returning back to work. Research shows that the longer employees are out, the less likely they are to come back to work. According to the Workers’ Compensation Board of New York State, 50% of employees will return to work after a six-month absence and only 1% after a two-year absence. 

Returning to work is different for everyone, especially depending on the type of injury one sustained. In the best case scenario, workers will fully heal from their work-related injury and return to their same job once they are cleared by their medical provider. After they are cleared, they will be able to pick up where they left off and perform their job duties with no restrictions. 

Other cases are not quite as simple and certain injuries can create many complications with what you can and cannot do again. Also, the healing process is dependent on how badly you were injured. For a bad injury, the healing process can be long and slow, but It’s important to remain patient and not rush to get better. Your body needs time to recover from the injury it sustained and attempting to speed up the process can just make things worse. 

Dealing with the new limits an injury places on an individual can be very hard to come to terms with. Just like how when a sports player returns after a bad injury and isn’t playing the way they used to, a worker may not be able to fully recover and perform the same tasks that they once were great at doing.

 So, how does one cope with this?

One solution is to switch to lighter duties at work that will accommodate for new medical restrictions. Unfortunately, some jobs don’t have lighter duty work that employees can do and in this case, employees will need to search for a different job better suited to their current abilities.  

The following is important to know : If you return to work and your injury or illness causes you to earn less than before, you may be eligible for certain benefits  

You may be entitled to “reduce earnings” benefits if you return to work at a lower pay rate because your disability prevents you from working at your pre-injury level. Reduced earnings benefits pay up to two-thirds of the difference of your wages and after your work injury. 

If you return to work, but are occasionally absent due to your work-related injury (whether treating ongoing or related issues) you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits for the time you are out. This is called intermittent lost time. In order to get it, you must have proof of medical evidence supporting your claim that your absence was due to you work-related injury. Therefore, it’s recommended to keep careful records of your lost time as well as your pay stubs. 

Use the following checklist :

Frequently Asked Questions : 

1) When I go back to work, can I still claim workers’ compensation for the time when I was hurt and could not work ? 

The answer is yes. You have up to two years after your workplace injury or illness to file a workers compensation claim.

2) Does my employer have to keep my job when I am out due to a workplace injury? 

Unfortunately, no. The Workers’ Compensation Law does not require your employer to keep your job for you. Most of the time, employers will keep your job open for you until you can return back to work, but it is not a guarantee. The best thing you can do if you are worried about losing your job is to keep regular contact with your employer about your job status. 

3) Can a new employer refuse to give me a job because I have a workers’ compensation case?

No. Legally, employers are not allowed to ask if you have a workers’ compensation claim and cannot deny you a job for filing a past claim. The Workers’ Compensation Board cannot share any information about your workers’ compensation case with another employer. 

Returning to work after being out for awhile can be a very difficult thing to do. It’s important you know your rights and the certain benefits you may be entitled to. If you have recently suffered a bad injury at work or any other work-related injury, please contact Losi and Gangi at 716-854-1446 for a free consultation. We will make sure you are represented fairly throughout every step of your case.

Article Adapted from :

How Do You Prove Liability for a Vehicle Accident?

By Personal Injury

A car accident can happen on a highway, or country road and can be a head on collision or you can be hit on the side from someone leaving a parking lot.  One of the most common types of collision is getting rear ended from behind.  Most of the time people think that rear-end car accidents are always the fault of the driver who rear ended the car in front but this is not always the case.

Negligence is the failure to use reasonable care, resulting in damage or injury to another.  You are considered negligent if your actions fall short of what a reasonable person would or would have not done under the circumstances that led to the accident.  To prove that one of the drivers were negligent in a car accident, you have to prove that a duty existed.  All drivers owe one another a duty to exercise care when they are behind the wheel of a motor vehicle.  You must prove the other driver breached their duty by:

  • Failing to pay attention to the road and look out for hazards
  • Failing to stop within a reasonable time
  • Failing to drive at a reasonable speed
  • Failing to maintain control of the vehicle
  • Failing to yield the right of way
  • Failing to use turn signals
  • Failing to follow at a safe distance

Third, you must prove the other driver’s breach of duty was the cause of the accident and you must establish that you were left with actual damages either to your body or the vehicle as a result of the accident.

The driver of the car that rear-ends another vehicle will almost always be considered at least partially negligent.  Every driver has a duty to follow other vehicles at a safe distance.  This is due to the driver sometimes suddenly slow down or come to quick stop to avoid a hazard in the road or heavy traffic.  You are expected to have enough distance between you and the car in front of you to prevent a collision in case an unexpected stop may occur.

It is possible for the driver of the car that gets rear-ended to be negligent as well if any of these scenarios happen to take place:

  • A driver reverses suddenly
  • A driver stoops suddenly to make a turn and fails to execute the turn
  • The driver’s brake lights do not function
  • A driver gets a flat tire but does not pull over or turn on the hazard lights

New York is a pure comparative fault state.  This means each defendant is only liable for his or her percentage of fault and allows a damaged party to recover even if it is 99% at fault.  Recovery is reduced by the damaged party’s degree of fault.  Accident victims can recover some compensation for their injuries no matter how negligent they were even if their degree of fault is higher than the defendant’s.

If you have recently been involved in a car accident and have been injured call the attorneys at Losi & Gangi at 716-854-1446 for a free consultation and review of your case.

Article adapted from:

How Social Media Can Affect Your Personal Injury Case

By Personal Injury

Social Media has become part of our every day life.  Nearly everyone has an account on one of the many social media platforms.  We wake up and scroll through our feeds, check Twitter as our first news source and upload pictures of our meals, family and amazing sunsets we’ve seen. Sometimes we even press send before we have even had a minute to think about what we have posted!  Our phones are never more than 2 inches from our hands often times with our computers and tablets close by.  Social media is accessible at every month, date and time but did you know, nothing you post is ever really private? 

If you have recently been injured in an accident and are pursuing a personal injury claim, social media can be your worst enemy.  Shared posts, videos and photos on any social network may negatively impact your case.  You may think that sharing the details of your injury or accident is harmless but on the contrary, could have an adverse reaction.  If you are tagged in photos that document you out with friends or on vacation this could contradict your injury claim that you are unable to work. 

Photos that show that you are able to leave the house, dine out or go to the gym can also effect your injury claim.  Insurance companies can find these posts and use them against you.  This could result in a reduced settlement or to the extreme of no settlement at all.  The insurance company is trying to minimize your injuries and shift the blame to you for the accident so going to find evidence on your social media accounts isn’t out of the question.  When in doubt, stay silent online and don’t post!  If you must be on social media, try and limit your presence until your case is completely resolved. 

Every social media platform has their own privacy settings, where the user can limit who sees their profile and what they post.  Many people are unaware of these settings or realize that their profiles are public for all to view.  By changing your privacy settings, it can protect you from anyone looking at your page.  Even privately posted information on social media platforms can be used in a personal injury case.   When you adjust your privacy settings, don’t allow access to your pages by people outside of your own connections and do not allow your friends to share your posts and information.  After an accident or when you file your claim, avoid friending additional connections, as they could be representatives of the insurance company or opposing counsel.  Do not only rely on the privacy settings, cover yourself and don’t post anything.

It is your personal injury attorney’s job to accurately describe the extent of your injury including how the injury has had a negative impact in your daily routine and how the defendant and their actions caused the injury.  Any details about your injury that you post on social media could be mis represented and conflict with the story that your legal team is trying to present in court.  Sometimes witnesses will be called in to give testimony on your behalf and you wouldn’t want to contradict any information that they will be providing. 

The defense team will attempt to use your own words and photos against you if it contradicts what your legal counsel is claiming in court.  If your lawyer has claimed you have suffered physical injuries and mental distress from an auto accident and there are photos of you online contradicting your injuries (dancing, boating, skiing, etc.) your claim may be thrown out.  To protect your self and your personal injury case follow these steps:

  • Tell your friends and family to avoid posting about your accident and injury
  • Limit your social media presence until your case is resolved
  • If you must post on social media, be aware of what you are posting before you share with the public
  • Before posting, change your privacy settings to ensure that nobody outside of your connections can see your posts and photos
  • Avoid friending or adding any new contacts that you don’t recognize
  • Do not post any angry comments about the defendant or your case

If you have been recently injured and would like to speak to a lawyer, call the attorneys at Losi & Gangi at 716-854-1446 for a free consultation.  We achieve real results for our injured clients and make sure you are represented fairly in your case. 

Article Adapted from:

Which Parties Can Be Held Liable in a Car Accident?

By Personal Injury

You have recently been in a car accident.  Everything happened in a split second.  Was it a multi car pile up or did someone rear end you at a stop light?  After trying to piece apart everything that occurred how do you determine who was at fault?

Fault for causing an accident is either created by law or defined by common law.  Common law recognizes four basic levels of fault: 

  • Negligence 
  • Recklessness (wanton conduct)
  • Intentional misconduct 
  • Strict liability (regardless of fault) 

Negligence means careless or inadvertent conduct that results in harm or damage.  One can be negligent by failing to yield the right of way or actively doing something like running a stop sign.  

Reckless or wanton conduct is when there is a willful disregard for the safety and welfare of others.  Strict liability may be imposed, even in the absence of fault for accidents involving certain defective product or extra hazardous activities.  

Under common law, individuals who have caused a car accident have committed a tort, a private wrong against another.  If you have committed a tort you are referred to as a “tortfeasor”.  Many car insurance policies refer to people who are at least partly at fault for an accident. If the driver has engaged in intentional or reckless misconduct such as drunk driving there is no question who would be at fault.  When there has been a car accident it can be harder to determine who is at fault.  Sometimes more than one motorist may be found responsible in the case of an accident and multiple tortfeasors will become part of the case.  The state will have to determine who must pay for the damage to the property and individuals who were involved in the accident.   

Every state has different laws on how vehicles can operate on the road.  Many of these statues are versions of the common law while others are the result of legislative initiatives.  Any violation of these statutes may lead you to be considered negligent in the case of your accident or fault may be established by citing a statute that has been violated.  The easiest way to apply proximate cause for an automobile accident is to see whether the accident would or would have not have occurred if there were no violations in congruent with the accident.  

The police don’t always come to the scene of an accident but if they do they usually make an accident report especially if there was any sort of injury.  Make sure to get a copy of the accident report from the police officer after it is filed.  These reports are the observations that the police officer has made at the scene of the accident.  If any tickets were issued they will be documented in the report and it will contain evidence of any liability.  This report may be key evidence for your insurance company.  If there is an error in the police report, it can be fixed especially if there is a factual error.  If you feel the error has to do with who is at fault you should contact a personal injury attorney immediately to represent you in your case.  

State traffic laws, otherwise known as vehicle code are often put together in easier terms as rules of the road.  You can find these at your local DMV or online when you research vehicle codes.  Have the exact wording of the code so you can relay it to your insurance company.  When no fault car accident liability is involved the insurance company will try to settle immediately since the accident will be one driver’s fault.   

Rear end collisions are the most common type of car accident.  When a car hits you from behind it is almost never your fault even if you were stopped at a traffic light or stop sign.  According to basic driving rules, is that you are supposed to leave enough room in front of your car to stop if the car the car in front of you stops abruptly.  When the damage on the car is at the rear end of one and the front end of the other you will clearly be able to see who was at fault.  But what if the driver that rear ended you said someone pushed into them from behind causing the chain reaction? This doesn’t affect their liability for the damage done to your car.  Although usually the other driver is at fault, if you were negligent by having your brake lights on or a flat tire you could partially be at fault as well.  This is known as comparative negligence and could reduce your monetary compensation.  

Left turn collisions are almost always at fault of the driver who is making the left hand turn.  Cars coming straight into the intersection most always have the right of way.  If the car going straight through the intersection is speeding or runs a red light, this may shift some of the liability away from the car that is turning left.  If the car started to turn left while it was still safe but was forced to stop because of some unforeseen circumstance, the liability may be shifted.  

While most accidents can be resolved at the scene by exchanging insurance information sometimes injuries can show up at a later time.  If you have recently been in a car accident and have been injured call us today at 716-854-1446 and we can make sure you get fair representation in your case.  

Article adapted from:

What To Do After a Slip and Fall Accident?

By Personal Injury

“Slip and fall” is the term used in a personal injury case where a person slips or trips and is injured on someone else’s property.  This usually falls under a premises liability claim.  Slip and fall accidents usually occur on property owned or maintained by another person. The property owner may be held legally responsible in the case of your accident. Many dangerous conditions include poor lighting, a wet floor, changes in flooring and cracked public sidewalks.  A slip and fall cause might occur when someone slips and falls outside when there is ice, rain or snow or falls into a hidden pothole or drain hole.  

When a person gets injured in a slip and fall on someone else’s property, they must prove that the cause of the accident was a dangerous condition and that the owner knew of this condition previously.  A dangerous condition must present an unreasonable risk to a person on the property and it must have been a condition that the injured party should not have anticipated under the circumstances.  

In order to show that a property owner knew of a dangerous condition it must be proven that: 

  • The owner created the condition 
  • The owner knew the condition existed and negligently failed to fix it 
  • The condition existed for a length of time that the owner should have found and corrected it prior to the slip and fall incident 

For the property owner to be held liable, it must have been foreseeable that his negligence would create the danger that is at question.  There must be a responsible party whose negligence caused the injury.  

To be legally responsible for the injuries someone suffered from slipping, or falling on someone else’s property, the owner of a store, restaurant or other business must have caused the spill, worn spot, or dangerous surface or item.  They should have known of the dangerous surface because a “reasonable” person would have repaired if upon discovery or on the opposite end, they knew about the dangerous surface but did nothing about it.  If a slip and fall happens on a commercial property, there are often a number of people and entities that may be held responsible for the injuries.  

In a residential property, landlords may be held liable to tenants or third parties for slip and fall injuries on rental properties.  To hold a landlord responsible for an injury the tenant must show that the landlord had control over the situation that caused the slip and fall, repairing the condition would not have been unreasonably expensive or difficult, a serious injury was the foreseeable consequence of not fixing the condition and the landlord’s failure to take reasonable steps to avoid an accident cause the tenant’s slip and fall injury.  

Special rules apply when a slip and fall injury occurs on a property owned by a local, state or federal government entity.  There are very specific and stringent notice requirements and broad immunity provisions that sometimes guard government objects from liability for injuries that occur on their property.  If you are injured on government property, call your attorney immediately so they can give you the proper information you may need for your lawsuit. 

Slip and fall accidents can be very pricey and if the fall was caused by another person or business, filing a lawsuit may be the only way you can recover medical expenses, loss wages and money for pain and suffering.  Call your attorney as soon as possible since there are time limits where you can file a personal injury lawsuit.  

What You Should Do Immediately After a Slip and Fall Accident? 

  • Get medical attention as soon as possible – This is important because some symptoms do not show up right away after the accident.  By getting a thorough exam from a medical professional you will be able to have your diagnosis in writing for any future legal matters.  If you have a broken bone, cuts or any other type of wound that was caused by the slip and fall document 
  • Inspect the area where you fell – Look around for the potential cause of the fall (weather conditions, uneven flooring or concrete, etc.) Write down what happened as soon as possible because it will help you in your case. 
  • Identify witnesses – Write down names, addresses and phone numbers of anyone in the area where the incident occurs (those who saw you fall and others who were around after the incident).  Even if someone did not see you fall, they might be able to describe your pain and the conditions of the floor, lighting, etc. after you fell. 
  • Follow necessary procedure – If the incident happened in a store or place of business you may need to fill out an accident report or notify a manager.  Make sure the store and manager knows about your accident immediately.  If anyone employed by the store makes a comment saying that your accident did not happen in the store or suggesting that this occurred before, take notes especially the name of person of who made the comment.  
  • Take photos as soon as possible – Try to take pictures of the scene immediately after the accident especially if conditions start to change.  If you do not get photos, you may be at the mercy of the property owner’s version of how they thought the slip and fall accident occurred.  Even if the condition that caused your fall is permanent or semi permanent (ice on the sidewalk, cracks in the concrete) take photos of the area as soon as possible to that you have a record.  
  • Stay at the scene to fill out an accident report and keep talk to a minimum especially about how the fall happened. 

After you submit your slip and fall claim, an attorney or insurance adjusters from the property owner or responsible party may approach you.  Be careful what you say especially since these people work for the opposing party and their insurance companies and they will pay you as little as possible in your case.  Don’t make simple mistakes by saying too much.  

Speak with an attorney as soon as possible.  They will know how to handle the insurance companies and the other party’s lawyers.  The attorneys at Losi & Gangi are experienced in slip and fall injury on property cases.  Call for a free for a free consultation and review of your case at 716-854-1446. 

Article adapted from:

10 Critical Steps After a Car Accident in New York State

By Personal Injury

Even though the safety features in vehicles has become more advanced over the past few years, there were still over 2 million people injured on the US roadways in 2019.  Over 140,000 people were treated in hospital emergency rooms for injuries stemming from car accidents.  Car accidents often happen in a split second and there are a lot of factors that need to be put  into place after it occurs.  By knowing what to do and who to contact can help you build your case for a personal injury claim.  Here are 10 steps you can follow after you have been in a car accident:

Step 1 – Stop, Check for Injuries and Call 911

New York law requires drivers that are involved in an accident to immediately stop at the scene or as close as possible to see if anyone has been injured.  Call 911 and report the accident to the police.  The 911 dispatcher needs specific information to determine whether police, paramedics or tow trucks will need to arrive on the scene.  The dispatcher will need to know the location of the accident, read nearby street signs, give landmarks and describe what the scene looks like.  If anyone is complaining of pain, discomfort or is noticeably injured or if the accident is blocking traffic an ambulance and police will be sent. 

You are required to give the other driver your name and address, vehicle registration, drivers license information, insurance and license plate number.  If you are the one injured in the car accident do not refuse medical assistance.  Let the EMTs examine you and decide if you should go to the hospital for further tests and observation.  Seeking prompt medical attention after the accident can be crucial to the success of your personal injury claim.  The longer you wait to seek medical attention the greater the chance the insurance company will deny your claim.  If you have been injured and are physically unable to immediately contact the police you can wait until you are able to report the accident.  New York State does not require drivers involved in car accidents to assist those who may be injured.  Anyone who “voluntarily and without expectation of monetary compensation” gives first aid to the injured victim under the Good Samaritan law will not be held liable for the help given. 

If you hit an animal or a car that was unattended you should report the accident to the police.  For the unattended car, even though it is not required by law, you should leave a note with your name and contact information and a brief description of how the accident occurred.  If the animal was a dog or cat see if the animal is ok or needs help and try and locate the owner.  If the car accident resulted in injuries to any person or damage to property is $1,000 or more, you must file a report with the NYS Department of Motor Vehicles within 10 days.  If the police came to the scene of the accident, they are required to file an accident report.  To obtain a copy of a police report, contact the local police precinct who investigated the accident. 

Step 2 – Preserve Evidence from the Accident Scene

The actions you take in the minutes following an accident are crucial for developing your vehicle damage and personal injury claim.  This damage can include: car repairs, medical bills including X-rays and MRIs, out of pocket expenses for prescriptions, wheelchairs and costs of travel to treatment, lost wages and pain and suffering.  Take photos if you have a phone or camera available.  This will help determine who was at fault if intoxication was involved and will capture potholes, road obstructions and street signs that were nearby.  Get the registration information, VIN number and make, model, year and license plate number of the other vehicle.  Record the weather conditions and time of day the accident occurred and ask the other driver for their license number, and contact information.  If a witness is present and willing to talk record their statement and make sure they sign off on the information they are giving with their name, address and signature. 

Step 3 – The Role of Police at Accident Scenes

When police arrive at the accident scene they have several different tasks they need to take care of:

  • Arrange care for the insured
  • Secure the accident scene with flares, pylons, tape, etc.
  • Search for physical evidence, including skid marks, obstructions, debris in the road, etc.
  • Question drivers, passengers and witnesses to get information about the accident
  • Conduct field sobriety tests
  • Run warrant checks
  • Issue traffic tickets
  • Give drivers a “case” or “service number” so they can obtain the police report

Wait until the officer is done investigating the accident to speak to them. If the officer is asking you to identify yourself and provide information you must comply but if you are being questioned about the possession of drugs or any other criminal activity, you have the right to remain silent.  If the police officer decides that you violate New York’s traffic laws, you may be issued a traffic ticket.  By signing the ticket it becomes an agreement that you will appear in court at a later date, not necessarily that you are guilty.  At this time you may enter a plea of not guilty to challenge the ticket. 

Step 4 – Call Your Insurance Company and Report the Accident

Call your insurance company as soon as you are able to.  They will open an investigation and a claims adjuster will contact you.  Most insurance policies have a Cooperation and Notice of Occurrence clause that refers to the contractual obligations between the driver, the insured, and the insurance company, the insurer.  This clause requires the insured to notify the insurers of the accident, regardless of fault and to cooperate throughout the investigation.  You should contact your insurance company even if the accident wasn’t your fault.  This is an important step because the other driver might tell their insurance company that you were the one at fault when in fact they caused the accident.  The investigation may show the other driver is fully or partially at fault for the accident due to texting, speeding or engaging in some other form of negligent behavior. 

Even if no one was injured you should still report the accident to your insurance company.  Some injuries such as neck or back pain can take hours or days to appear when you originally thought that you were fine.  The other driver may not have car insurance and that can affect your outcome.  Get as much information from them as possible and let the insurance companies handle your claim.  Sometimes at the scene of the accident, the other driver or passengers may say that they are not injured but at a later date they will file false claims saying they have whiplash to receive compensation from the accident. 

When the car accident is reported to your insurance company, a claim number will be assigned.  Make sure you keep this claim number handy because you will need it throughout the process.  You are not required to give a recorded statement to the claims adjuster but once you do what you say becomes permanent even if you later change your mind about what happened at the accident scene. 

Step 5 – New York’s No-Fault Insurance Law

New York State relies on a no-fault car insurance system also known as Personal Injury Protection (PPI) coverage.  No-fault is designed to cover medical bills, out of pocket expenses and lost wages if you get into an accident.  PIP does not give compensation for pain and suffering.  PIP covers bodily injury expenses regardless of who caused the accident.  This means you don’t have to sue the other party’s insurance company, just contact your own carrier and file a clim. 

You can pursue your injury claim against the at-fault driver and their insurance company if you are seriously injured.  A serious injury happens when your medical expenses exceed $50,000 and can include death, loss of a fetus, bone fracture, permanent loss of the use of a body organ and a medically determined injury or impairment that is not permanent but keeps you from performing your normal routine for at least 90 days.  If you have been seriously injured in the car accident, file a personal injury claim with your own insurance company (first party claim), file a personal injury claim with the at fault driver’s insurance company (third party claim) and file a lawsuit against the at fault driver. 

Step 6 – New York Auto Insurance Requirements

The minimum auto insurance liability coverage required by New York law is

  • $25,000 for bodily injury and $50,000 for death of one person in one accident
  • $50,000 for body injury and $100,000 for death of two or more people in one accident
  • $10,000 for property damage in one accident

New York required no fault of at least $50,000 to pay medical expenses, lost earnings and other necessary expenses within a reasonable doubt related to injuries suffered in an auto accident.  Auto insurance policies issued in New York State must also provide uninsured motorist coverage for bodily injuries in an amount equal to the policy’s liability limits for bodily injury coverage. 

Step 7 – New York’s Pre Comparative Negligence Law

Pure comparative negligence law occurs when an accident that occurred in New York State results in injury damages that exceed the no fault requirements.  The victim in an accident can still seek compensation from the negligent driver even if the victim shared some responsibility for the accident.  The amount of compensation the victim receives will be lessened by the percentage of their own contributing negligence to the accident. 

Step 8 – Retain an Attorney or Represent Yourself

Some personal injury claims can be handled without legal representation while others require an attorney.  Two types of injuries that occur from car accidents are soft tissue and hard injuries.  Soft tissue injuries include strains and sprains to tendons or muscles, minor bruises, first degree burns and whiplash.  Soft tissue injuries usually don’t result in substantial medical bills and since they don’t involve complex issues of law, a victim can usually negotiate their own injury claim with the insurance company.  Hard injuries are more series and include head trauma, fractures, gashes that require stitches and other injuries that require extensive medical care.  Hard injury claims often require filing a lawsuit. Compensation for a serious injury claim can be substantial and by representing yourself, you won’t be as effective as an experienced personal injury attorney. 

Step 9 – When to Consider Filing a Small Claims Court Lawsuit

If you are unable to settle your injury claim, you may want to file a lawsuit in Small Claims Court.  Small claims can be filed in city courts that may not exceed $5,000 and under $3,000 in town or village court.  Here is why you should file in small claims court:

  • The at fault driver was uninsured or under insured
  • Your car or other personal property was damaged and the cost to repair it is under the small claims limit
  • The insurance company refuses to offer fair compensation in the settlement
  • The insurance company denies your claim
  • You can’t find an attorney who will accept your case 

Step 10 – Know the Statute of Limitations

Whether you handle your own personal injury claim or have an attorney represent you, New York’s Statute of Limitations will apply.  A Statute of Limitations is the time period in which you have to either settle your claim or file a lawsuit.  If the statute of limitations expires (3 years) you forever lose your legal right to pursue compensation from the at fault driver or their insurance company.  If the statute of limitations is about to expire and you haven’t settled your claim, you must file a lawsuit to stop the statute from running out.  This makes your case exempt from the statute of limitations expiration date. 

The injuries that occur from a car accident could mean life long pain and suffering.  If you were recently involved in a car accident and need legal representation call Losi & Gangi at 716-854-1446.  We will represent you throughout every step of your case and make sure you get the compensation that you deserve. 

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