FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS – ANSWERED BY OUR KINGSTON, NY PERSONAL INJURY LAWYERS
Personal Injury FAQ
There is no fee to speak to Basch & Keegan. In fact, we prepare many insurance forms and other documents on behalf of people without regard to fee. The only time there will ever be a fee for Basch & Keegan’s legal services, is when we have a case that we represent you on that we’ve successfully completed.
In the event there is no case – there is no charge for advice. We are just here to help people. We would be glad to speak to anybody about an accident or injury and help them.
Knowing if you have a personal injury claim requires thorough investigation and research into the circumstances of an accident. If the facts show that another person’s negligence, recklessness, or wrongful conduct caused or contributed to the accident which resulted in your injury or damages, you may just have a claim.
In order to conduct a meticulous and flawless investigation, it’s very helpful to have photos of the accident scene(s), witness contact information, copies of police reports, as well as detailed records of property damage, physical injuries, mental anguish, and any medical treatment you may have received after the accident. With all of this information, we can assess whether or not you have a claim against another party.
If you or a loved one has been hurt in an automobile accident, the advice and counsel of an experienced personal injury accident attorney can greatly ease the stress of dealing with insurance companies and at-fault parties. It can also help ensure that you receive maximum compensation for your damages.
Even interacting with your own insurance company can be challenging, as insurance plans have coverage limits that may not cover the full costs of your required medical treatment – especially if your injuries are severe or permanent. At a minimum, an accident attorney can determine the value of your insurance claim so that you can receive the benefits to which you are entitled.
If you feel absolutely fine after a car accident , it’s probably not necessary to go talk to a doctor. However, if you have any problems whatsoever, you should call and at least get checked out.
Many injuries don’t become more severe and symptomatic until a day or two after. It’s very, very important to put on record any complaints or problems you have immediately.
Sometimes it’s a long tail to the injuries, and by reporting it close to the event, it makes it a lot easier later to connect the dots between your problems physically, and the accident that caused them.
Medical Malpractice FAQ
A medical malpractice claim is often difficult to prove because of the many complications which can arise during a procedure or treatment that cannot be blamed on the negligence or mistake of a health care provider. However, if a medical professional’s oversight or error caused you harm, the difficulty of making a case should not allow the lapse in care or judgment to go unchecked!
That said, to prove a medical malpractice claim, you must show that:
- The health care provider owed you a duty to provide medical services
- There was a breach of duty because the health care provider did not act according to the standards of the medical profession
- The breach of duty caused your injury
- You sustained actual damages as a result of the injury
Legally in New York State, to institute a medical malpractice case, you need to confirm that the patient has suffered a “deviation” from good and accepted practice. And, I use the word “deviation” with quotes around it, because that means that a doctor of the same caliber of the same practice would not have done what this doctor did. The doctor who committed the malpractice fell below the standard of care.
In order to initiate a medical malpractice litigation in New York State, it is required that the attorney contact a doctor who does the same specialty, whatever it is, and have the file reviewed by them. Have the medical records reviewed, and understand what happened.
We are not permitted to sue a medial malpractice case in New York State without having that expert opinion advising us that they also believe that there was a deviation from good and accepted practice.
It’s a fairly high standard and not all states require it. New York State does require it, and they’ve required it for over thirty years now.
Hiring a medical malpractice attorney requires that you speak with somebody who specializes in doing this type of work. They are not easy cases to initiate.
You don’t have to have any one special problem, but if you have your medical records and you come to a lawyer with a problem, they can evaluate it with you and give you their opinion. The litigation can not be initiated until you have the expert report confirming that there was malpractice.
To speak to a medical malpractice attorney, such as our office at Basch & Keegan, there is no fee to have a conversation or consultation.
Our firm would not get compensated in any medical malpractice case until the successful conclusion of the case.
If for some reason there is not a successful conclusion, we would not be compensated, which is we try very carefully to take cases that are good cases.
Medical records are not a requirement to be brought to the attorney’s office for evaluation in a medical malpractice case, but they do make it easier for an attorney to evaluate the case.
It is very difficult to evaluate a malpractice case by what people tell you. We need the hard records in order to make a determination.
Medical malpractice cases can take a significant period of time. They are complex, they require extensive review, and numerous depositions are typically held.
We consult with experts (sometimes several of them) and we re-consult with them during the pendency of the case to explain to them what information we’ve received from the defendant or the defendant’s witnesses.
In short, a typical medical malpractice case can take at least two to three years.
Doctors, nurses, and hospitals all have an obligation to ensure that patients understands the benefits, risks, and alternatives to any medical treatment. If a medication or treatment may have dangerous side effects, healthcare providers must make this known to their patients.
If patients are not given an accurate picture of the benefits, risks, and alternatives, they are not given a proper informed consent. That’s what the law requires, and there’s a special statute on it.
To ensure that a patient gets proper informed consent, doctors typically will have patients sign forms, but that’s only the first step. Healthcare providers need to make sure that patients truly understand what the benefit of having surgery or treatment is, what the risks are, and what are the alternatives.
If you think a doctor or any other healthcare provider failed to fully inform you of your options and the risks you might face when considering treatment or surgery, come to our office and have a consultation.
You can file a medical malpractice case against a medical professional that is not an MD if they meet the same criteria of the deviation from good and accepted practice.
If your chiropractor, podiatrist, nurse practitioner, or any other healthcare provider deviated from the accepted best practices and you were injured, you may be able to sue them.
Construction Site Injuries FAQ
The party or parties that are responsible for ensuring that construction workers have a safe environment to work in are generally the general contractors or the owner of the property.
Most contractors or laborers, or any construction worker, will come to us with injuries and they’ll ask us who can we go after – if anyone. You are not allowed to sue your own employer in New York State for an on-the-job injury, and so that is why the law will allow you to go after the general contractor for the project or the property owner.
If there was not a general contractor, the law imposes the burden of maintaining a safe property or safe workplace upon the owner of the property – even if the contractor doesn’t work for the owner of the property, or even know who the owner is.
The law imposes a strict burden on the property owner to keep construction workers safe.
The most common hazards at a construction site deals with injuries or accidents that might result from working at elevated heights – and so New York State designed a very strict and heavy burden on general contractors or property owners to protect construction workers from elevation-related risks, so that is why construction workers who work on scaffolds, or roofs, or on top of ladders -they are protected by the law.
These are arguably the most complex types of cases that a personal injury lawyer could handle – cases that require one or more expert witnesses with respect to construction site safety. The law itself is very complex. It’s changing and evolving, and you should absolutely contact a lawyer – but make sure that lawyer is an expert in construction and labor law accidents.
If you are partially at fault for your injury while working at a construction site, you may still be able to recover against the property owner or the general contractor.
The law in New York imposes a very strict burden on property owners – on general contractors to keep construction workers safe from risks associated with elevated work places. That means the construction worker should be protected from falling, or the construction worker should be protected from falling objects.
The law imposes, in some situations, strict liability against the property owner or the general contractor. And strict liability means that even if you are partially at fault, the general contractor or the property owner must maintain one hundred percent liability if they fail to provide you with adequate safety devices.
There are some situations where strict liability doesn’t apply. So for if example, the construction worker fails to utilize safety equipment that were supplied to him or her. If that happens, there can be an offset with comparative negligence. So if the construction worker failed to attach their harness to a scaffold or fixed object, and the scaffold itself wasn’t safe, then the contractor or the property owner should share in some level of liability.
Premises Liability FAQ
If you are not a construction worker, but were injured while walking past a construction site, that becomes a regular premises liability case. The property owner – or the person or the party who is in control of that property – has a responsibility to maintain the property in a reasonably safe condition.
We recently had a case come in where a woman was staying at a hotel that was under construction. She tripped and fell on a roll of plaster tape. And, in that situation, the contractor was responsible to her because they basically kept a sloppy workplace.
But, there are situations where you might walk past a construction site and tripped on a sidewalk – and in that situation – the property owner would be responsible to you.
If you were injured as a result of slipping on ice, you probably have a case. The property owner has a non-delegable duty under the law to keep their property in a reasonably safe condition. We generally say, if there is ice on your property, it’s not safe. That accident shouldn’t have happened – that accident was avoidable.
Typically, the client would come into our office, we would take steps to identify the property owner…maybe we’ll pull the property deed, do an internet search, identify the business – something like that. We will then contact that property owner, put them on notice that our client was injured, that we are investigating a potential claim, and that they should notify their insurance company because we intend to prove that the property owner failed to satisfy their legal burden to keep their property safe.
Product Liability FAQs
How Do I Know if I Have a Product Liability Claim?
A product liability claim can generally be divided into three categories: a negligence claim, a strict liability claim, and a breach of warranty claim.
For negligence cases, you must show that a manufacturer or retailer was aware, or should have been aware, of a potentially dangerous product defect based on known or available information.
Strict liability means that you do not have to prove that the producer was negligent or that there was a manufacturing or design defect. Instead, you just have to show that you were injured because the product was unreasonably dangerous.
In breach of warranty actions, the producer of a product had guaranteed its performance or characteristics, but one of those qualities had failed, resulting in your injuries.
An experienced product liability lawyer can categorize your case, and determine your best means of recovering compensation. If you think you may have a product liability claim, contact us online or call us today for a free consultation!