Common Client Concerns When Retaining An Attorney For An Auto-Accident Claim
Interviewer: What kind of expectations do people have when they come to see you? Do they think that they’re going to get all of this money for their accident or do they just want to pay their medical bills?
Ira Perlman: People have many different expectations because people receive advice from other people and people have heard stories involving others. Most people are under a misconception of what they’re entitled to following an accident. There are some people that just simply want to have their medical bills covered because they are simply unaware of all their rights. Other people are under the misconception that they are automatically entitled to lots of money solely on the basis that they were involved in an accident. The good thing about the law in New York is that irrespective of whether you bring a lawsuit or not, once there is a motor vehicle accident and there has been medical care and treatment or there is going to be necessary medical care and treatment and doctors are going to be involved or hospitals are going to be involved it is mandatory that the insurance carrier for the vehicle that you were a passenger in, driving or struck by, has to step in and pay for these inevitable expenses. I’m talking about bills for medical care and treatment and any other reasonable expenses that flow from the accident, and that is called No- Fault. Additionally, No-Fault will cover lost wages to a degree. This has nothing to do with suing. If there are serious injuries resulting in permanent loss then the damages resulting from these injuries such as pain, suffering, permanent injury and the resulting loss of enjoyment in one’s life, can be recovered through a separate lawsuit in court because those harms and losses have nothing to do with No-Fault benefits which are always recoverable immediately after an accident regardless of whether somebody sues or not.
In New York, The Insurance Company that Covers the Car Involved in an Accident is Liable to Pay Damages
It doesn’t matter whose fault the accident is, once you’re in a car as a passenger or you’re driving that car or you even struck as a pedestrian by that car, the insurance company that insures that car is responsible for paying you medical bills under No- Fault Law. That has nothing to do with suing for pain and suffering and what we also refer to as non-economic loss. So, if you have an expectation of just wanting to receive payment for your medical expenses, that will take place and that coverage will be afforded to you under the law but if you want to receive money for your pain and suffering outside of just medical bills, well then you have to comply with the law and prove under the law that you sustained a serious injury which is something that is defined in a New York statute.
People Are Now Trying to Abuse the Privilege of Being Able to Sue for Pain and Suffering
Interviewer: How hard is it nowadays to get a settlement that really adequately covers any pain and suffering and damages you’ve suffered or is it really tough nowadays?
Ira Perlman: It’s becoming harder and harder because unfortunately there are some people that have abused the privilege of being able to sue for pain and suffering ,and unfortunately, people have come into court claiming a serious injury under the law when in fact some may not have a serious injury. The court system including juries have to filter out the vast majority of honest people from those few bad apples who attempt to abuse the system. The problem arises when those who have the power to decide cases cannot be impartial because of their own personal views and opinions which cannot be overcome. A lot of people responsible for rendering decisions in the court system have become jaded and they have seen people abuse and try to take advantage of the judicial system in a way that is plainly wrong. This has made it more difficult for all of the honest and deserving victims of accidents because the court is scrutinizing a lot of motor vehicle cases more than they used to in terms of injuries and what is a serious injury under the law. I’m referring to many of the neck and back injuries that people claim as a serious injury under the law. Neck and back injuries may be very debilitating but there is also much more scrutiny because so many people claim these injuries and objectively there may be limited evidence to show these injuries unlike a broken bone which stares you in the face on an x-ray. It is sad to see this happening when you know good and honest people who have lifelong neck and back injuries are often suffering more than someone who has a proven broken bone also known as a fracture.
The Strategies Utilized to Ensure that an Individual is Adequately Compensated for Damages
Interviewer: What are some of the strategies you can employ to make sure that somebody gets compensation they are entitled to? What do you have to do that’s different nowadays?
Ira Perlman: What you have to do is make sure that the court as well as any jury that has to decide these things realizes the true nature and extent of someone’s injuries whether it is a neck, back or other type of injury. The way to really impress upon people the true nature and extent of an injury is to have full documentation of the care and treatment that somebody went through as well have the necessary medical experts and providers available in court to explain what somebody has gone through in terms of his or her injuries even though there may not exist readily available objective proof that is easily seen. However, when there is objective evidence, technology has given us the ability to explain injuries as well as the human body in a way that was never available before. We have animations and we have the ability to blow up X-rays, Cat Scans, MRIs and utilize them in Court in a way we never could do so in the past. These things cost money but you do what you have to do to prove what you need to prove under the law and that’s what we do.