I Fell in a Parking Lot. Who Pays my Medical Bills?

Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb, Green & Bagley, P.C.Slip And Fall Injuries

By one estimate, approximately 11,000 pedestrians are injured in parking lots every year. Many of those injuries are the result of automobile collisions, but others happen due to unsafe conditions that cause pedestrians to fall. The New York City slip and fall lawyers at Manhattan’s Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb, Green & Bagley, P.C. help accident victims to recover payments for medical bills when a parking lot owner’s negligence creates dangerous conditions that lead to injuries from falling.

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Determine who owns or manages the parking lot.

This can be a difficult task for parking lots at commercial shopping centers that serve many different tenants. These lots are generally managed by a contractor or property manager that will be responsible for repairing potholes, clearing ice and snow, and removing dangerous debris. Parking facilities owned by state or local governments pose a different challenge. If you fall in a public lot, you may be required to provide a prompt and preliminary notice to the appropriate government entity as a condition to filing a lawsuit to recover compensation for your medical expenses. An experienced slip and fall attorney is best able to analyze your accident and to determine which party is responsible for eliminating the dangerous parking lot conditions where you fell.

Record all information about the conditions that caused the parking lot fall.

Take pictures of the conditions that caused you to trip. If your fall occurred in the evening, check if all outdoor lighting is working properly. Note the exact location of your fall and how far you were from your destination when you fell. That information can be used as evidence to allocate responsibility to the party that will be responsible for your medical bills.

Get a prompt medical exam after your fall, even if you are not sure of who will pay the medical bills.

A prompt medical exam after you have fallen in a parking lot will establish an objective record of your injuries. If you wait several days or weeks to have a medical exam, the party that is ultimately responsible to pay compensation for your injuries might argue that intervening causes (e.g. other falls or accidents) are responsible for those injuries.

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If you were on the job when you fell, you may have a worker’s compensation claim.

Your employer’s workers compensation insurance will cover medical expenses for injuries that you incur while you are on the job and performing work-related tasks.  If you are on the job when you fall in a parking lot, take careful note of what tasks you are handling and verify that those tasks are job-related.

Call Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb, Green & Bagley, P.C. To Recover Damages for Injuries from Parking Lot Falls in New York

The accident lawyers in the Manhattan offices of Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb, Green & Bagley will fight for the compensation you need to pay your medical bills after a parking lot fall and to cover for lost wages when you are unable to work, among other expenses. We represent individuals that have suffered injuries in slip and fall accidents in Manhattan, Bronx, Brooklyn, and throughout NYC and Long Island. Please us today to schedule a no-cost case review with one of our knowledgeable and experienced slip and fall accident attorneys.

How Long Do You Have to Report a Slip and Fall?

Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb, Green & Bagley, P.C.Slip And Fall Injuries

When a slip and fall leads to serious injuries, it may be necessary to file a lawsuit to recover full compensation. However, your ability to take legal action requires meeting strict time lines – missing a deadline can completely prevent you from seeking compensation.

For filing a civil lawsuit, the state statute of limitations applies. However, this statute does not apply to filing municipal claims rather than lawsuits. The statute of limitations can also be modified in certain circumstances. It is important to speak with a qualified attorney as soon as possible to understand what deadlines apply to your case.

New York statute of limitations for slip and fall cases

In general, an injured party has three years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. This time may seem generous but filing earlier is advantageous because there are more options to preserve evidence. For example, if you pursue a claim soon, witnesses’ memories are fresher, conditions causing the defective condition may still be present and documentable, and camera footage may still be available.

If you have ongoing medical concerns related to the fall, it may seem to make sense to hold off on filing a lawsuit until you know your final damages. However, it is more important to establish your right to recover by filing a lawsuit first. An experienced slip and fall lawyer can help you calculate damages and work with your doctors to estimate future anticipated medical expenses.

Even if your claim is going to be paid by the other party’s insurance company, it is important to not let the statute of limitations run out. It is your leverage to make sure the insurance company pays. If you are negotiating with an insurance company, speak with a lawyer about ways to protect your right to sue if necessary.

In some cases, the statute of limitations can be extended or “tolled.” If the plaintiff is a minor or is mentally incompetent, or if the defendant is undergoing a bankruptcy, the time to file the lawsuit may be put on hold. It is never safe to guess about this; instead, discuss you case with legal counsel who understands the intricacies of this area.

Limited time to report a NYC slip and fall claim

If you suffered an injury on property owned by the City of New York, or any government, school district or public authority, like a school or subway station, there is a special process to follow in order to obtain compensation and it includes a very limited timeline to report the injury. In New York, an injured party only has 90 days to report a slip and fall-related injury. If there is any chance that your injury may involve municipal property or employees, speak with a NYC slip and fall accident lawyer as soon as possible to make sure your claim is filed on time.

If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, the law firm of Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green has the experience and resources to advocate on your behalf. We serve clients throughout Manhattan, Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, Long Island, Westchester, Rockland and the Hudson Valley. Consultations are always free.

Additional slip and fall resources:
1. NYCourts.gov, Statute of Limitations, https://www.nycourts.gov/courthelp/GoingToCourt/SOLchart.shtml
2. NYCourts.gov, New York State Consolidated Laws: Court of Claims Act, https://www.nycourts.gov/COURTS/nyscourtofclaims/claimsact.shtml
3. NYC.gov, File Claim Against the City, https://www1.nyc.gov/nyc-resources/service/1654/file-claim-against-the-city

Can I Sue for Falling on Ice?

Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb, Green & Bagley, P.C.Slip And Fall Injuries

The January snowstorms that swept through the central and northeast states left an inevitable aftermath of ice, snow, and other hazards. Those hazards raise the risk for falling on ice. If you are injured in a fall and incur medical expenses and other costs as a result, you may have an opportunity to recover compensation for your injuries from the property owners or businesses that failed to make their premises safe.

The negligence and accident attorneys at Manhattan’s Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green have prepared this guide to help you determine whether you can sue to recover compensation for your injuries for falling on ice.

Did you collect and preserve the evidence of the fall and your injuries

Every slip and fall accident case turns on the facts and evidence surrounding the fall and any resulting injuries. If you do slip and fall on ice, you can improve your chances of your recovering compensation for your injuries if you document all of the details of the accident. Take photographs of the ice that you fell on. Note the time of day and the weather and lighting conditions. Get contact information from any witnesses who saw you fall. Seek medical assistance immediately if you believe you are injured, and save all medical bills and receipts for treatment of your injuries.

Why were you on the property at the time of the accident

If you were invited onto the premises or the owner consented to your presence on the property, the owner bears a greater burden to clear snow and ice and to take reasonable precautions to prevent foreseeable falls. On the other hand, if you were trespassing, the owner has no implied promises to you to take those reasonable precautions.

Did you fall on private, commercial, or government property

Falls on private or commercial property are treated differently than falls on government property. Federal, state, and local government entities frequently claim sovereign immunity as a defense to liability. Where that defense is not available, government entities often have special procedures for injury lawsuits, including very short notice requirements and statutes of limitations. If you fall on ice or snow and are injured on a government-owned property, you should retain legal counsel and start any legal actions as quickly as is possible in order to avoid missing any short deadlines.

What efforts did the owners make to clear ice and snow

Although property owners are generally charged with taking reasonable precautions to keep their premises safe, in New York State a private property owner has no obligation to clear snow that naturally accumulates on sidewalks that are adjacent to property. There are, however, several exceptions to this rule. Many municipalities, including the City of New York, have ordinances that impose tort liability on a property owner that fails to clear snow and ice from abutting walkways. Further, if the owner’s efforts to remove snow and ice only make the situation worse, that owner may be liable for your injuries if you fall on snow or ice on the property.

Do you bear any responsibility for your injuries

Under New York State law, slip and fall lawsuits are analyzed according to a pure comparative negligence standard. If you are injured in a fall on snow or ice, your own negligence will not completely prevent you from recovering damages for your injuries, but your damages award will be reduced in proportion to your own negligence. If you were running or wearing shoes that were inappropriate for the conditions, for example, those actions may be held up as evidence of your own responsibility for falling on snow or ice.

What damages can you recover

If a property owner’s negligence is deemed to be the proximate cause of your injuries, you may be entitled to recover compensation for your medical costs and expenses, costs of future medical care and rehabilitation therapy, your lost wages if you are unable to work while recuperating, and the cost of personal property that was damaged or lost in the fall. Other damages may be available as a function of the specific facts of your case.

Call Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb, Green & Bagley, P.C. if you have been injured as a result of falling on snow or ice

Every situation in which a person suffers injuries as a result of a fall on snow or ice is specific to its facts. For a specific answer to the question of whether you can sue after you have suffered an injury after falling on ice in New York, including Manhattan, the Bronx, Long Island, and Brooklyn, please call our Manhattan offices to speak directly with one of our negligence and accident attorneys.

Slip and Fall Hazards in New York: Winter Weather

Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb, Green & Bagley, P.C.Slip And Fall Injuries

slip and fall snow stairs premises liability

Winters in New York can be unpredictable. The temperatures might turn mild for a little while, before Mother Nature throws a massive snowstorm at the state. Naturally, wintry weather brings unique hazards. In addition to the poor driving conditions, winter can cause difficulties for pedestrians. Take precautions to avoid slipping and falling on the snow and ice. And if you do fall, be advised of the next steps to take to determine if you could recover compensation for your injuries.

Preventing winter weather-related slip and falls

While it’s impossible to guarantee your safety, there are a number of things you can do to reduce your risk of slipping and falling on the snow or ice this winter. First, upgrade your footwear. You’ll need sturdy snowboots with non-skid soles. Another option is to get a pair of traction cleats, also called ice grips. These are simple, unobtrusive contraptions that you can pull over any pair of shoes to help grip the ground better. You can take them off when you reach your destination.

Keep an eye on the ground in front of you as you walk, and use handrails whenever available. Take small steps and move slowly. Wear gloves to keep your hands warm. Avoid sticking your hands in your pockets, since this affects your center of gravity. If you do feel yourself falling, you might be able to react quickly enough to either pull yourself out of the fall or to control the fall. You can control it by bending your knees and dropping straight downward.

What to do when a fall occurs

Your health and safety are your top priorities. After slipping and falling, your injuries might be severe enough to warrant a call to 911. Even if you think you’re only mildly injured, you should seek medical help. Your injuries might be more severe than they initially appear. Plus, your medical records will substantiate a legal claim.

You should also document the scene of the accident. If you have a smartphone with you, take close-up photos of the area and pictures that put the immediate area into context so that its exact location can be determined. If anyone witnessed the accident, you should politely ask for their names and contact information. They may be asked to provide a witness statement later.

Next, report the accident to the property owner or manager as soon as possible. You should have the details of the incident in writing. Ask the manager to provide you with a written report, or to read and sign your own written report.

Where to go for legal help in NYC, New York

For over 50 years, the personal injury lawyers of Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green have been providing vigorous legal representation to the residents of Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens, Staten Island and Long Island. Call our trilingual staff today at 800-969-5389 any time of the day or night to discuss your situation and request a consultation. We may be able to secure compensation for your injuries without filing a lawsuit. Request your free case review with an experienced NYC slip and fall lawyer today.

Additional resources on winter weather safety:

  1. Michigan.gov, Winter Fall Prevention & Safety Tips, https://www.michigan.gov/documents/mdch/Winter_Fall_Prevention_494521_7.pdf
  2. Iowa State University, Walk Safe this Winter, https://www.ehs.iastate.edu/news/walk-safe-winter

How Much Is My Slip and Fall Case Worth?

Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb, Green & Bagley, P.C.Premises Liability, Slip And Fall Injuries

gavel and money: personal injury settlementThe rules for premises liability accidents in New York State are well established. If you suffer an injury when you are lawfully on another person’s property, the property owner is liable if his or her negligence caused the injury. Negligence and liability can be established, for example, by showing that the owner was aware of a defect or dangerous condition on the property and did nothing about it. The more critical element of a slip and fall lawsuit is determining the monetary damages that are owed to the injured party.

The slip and fall accident attorneys at Manhattan’s Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green rely on our many years of experience to recover the largest possible damages awards for our clients who are injured on another person’s property in Manhattan and throughout New York City and Long Island. We have negotiated with countless insurance companies to force them to consider all of the financial losses suffered by an injured party. When those insurance companies persist with unreasonable settlement offers, we take our client’s cases to trial to fight for the full amount of compensation that they are owed to help them recover from their injuries.

Common Financial Damages in a Slip and Fall Accident Case

Your slip and fall accident can lead to injuries and financial losses that go well beyond your immediate medical expenses.

Those losses might include:

  • Past, present, and future medical bills. You might need physical therapy or multiple surgeries to remediate injuries you suffered in your slip and fall accident, or your injuries might flare up after you thought you were recovered. Our experienced slip and fall accident attorneys have a thorough understanding of the entire scope and ramifications of slip and fall injuries and the future medical costs you are likely to incur.
  • Lost wages and earning power. If you are unable to work for an extended period of time because of your injuries, you can lose substantial amounts of regular income and be passed over for promotions and greater income opportunities.
  • Extra expenses. Your transportation expenses might go up as you shuttle back and forth to doctors and therapists. You might have higher medication and other costs that you would not have incurred but for your injuries. We factor all of these costs and expenses and more into your case.
  • Non-economic “pain and suffering” damages. New York State does not place a cap on these damages, but the State’s laws will reduce damages awards in proportion to an injured party’s own responsibility for the accident and injuries. The pain and suffering damages that you are entitled to will depend upon the specific facts of your case.
  • Other lost value. Beyond your immediate pain and suffering, your slip and fall injuries can interfere with your relationship with your spouse and family, and your social life and the physical activities you enjoy. This lost value should also factor in to the slip and fall accident compensation that you are entitled to.

Calculation of Slip and Fall Compensation in New York

Once premises liability is established, the calculation of your compensation for your slip and fall injuries will be a fact-specific exercise. You will improve your chances of receiving a larger damages award if you have objective proof of the relevant facts.

  • Your actual medical expenses are easily verified with bills from doctors and hospitals. Keep receipts for prescription medications and medical devices that you need to help you recover. Compensation for anticipated future medical expenses will be determined by your general health and the nature of your injuries. Damages for some types of injuries, such as broken bones, are easier to prove than for soft tissue injuries.
  • You should retain all of your pay stubs, employment records, and tax returns to show a pattern of the wages and wage increases that you received.
  • If possible, keep a diary of your interactions with your spouse, family, and friends. That diary may show how your social and physical life has been adversely affected by your slip and fall injuries. Carefully record your real-time observations of pain and discomfort that you nay be experiencing.
  • Pay close attention to how your life has changed from before you suffered your slip and fall accident. Your testimony regarding the reduction of your activities as a result of your injuries may be beneficial in proving your pain and suffering.

Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb, Green & Bagley, P.C.: Attorneys for Slip and Fall Accident Victims

The Manhattan-based lawyers at Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb, Green & Bagley, P.C. understand how your life can change in an instant when you suffer a slip and fall accident injury. For more than fifty years, we have helped slip and fall accident victims in Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Long Island to collect compensation that can help them to recover their lifestyles and abilities.

Please see our website for more information about premises liability, damages for slip and fall injuries and other information about our legal services, or call us to speak with one of our experienced slip and fall accident lawyers about how we can help you to recover damages for your injuries. Do not hesitate to contact us, as delays in beginning the process of recovering your damages may hurt your opportunity for a larger damages award.

Additional Resources:

  1. United HealthCare, Cost Estimator, https://www.uhc.com/understanding-health-insurance/understanding-health-insurance-costs/manage-your-health-care-costs
  2. wikihow.com: How to Calculate Bodily Injury Settlements. https://www.wikihow.com/Calculate-Bodily-Injury-Settlements

Top 3 Liability Issues in Slip and Fall Negligence Cases

Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb, Green & Bagley, P.C.Slip And Fall Injuries

Slip and fall injury report on a table.In New York State, property owners have an obligation to exercise a reasonable amount of care to maintain safe conditions on their property and to prevent injuries to persons who are expected to visit that property. This obligation is the starting point for determining a property owner’s liability and to compensate someone who is injured as a result of a slip and fall accident on the property. Although this obligation seems relatively straightforward, the resolution of a slip and fall accident case is rarely simple.

The personal injury attorneys at Manhattan’s Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green have successfully represented individuals in slip and fall accident cases for more than fifty years. We have seen some form of the following three liability issues in almost every slip and fall negligence case we have worked on.

Was the Injured Party a Guest or a Trespasser on the Property?

Property owners make an implied promise to guests and other persons who are invited or expected to visit their premises that the owners have taken reasonable steps to assure that the property is safe. Those steps include clearing away snow or ice, fixing cracks in walkways, and removing debris that can cause a visitor to trip and suffer an injury. Persons who are trespassing on a property do not receive this implied promise. In determining whether a property owner is liable for a slip and fall injury, determining whether the injured person was an authorized or expected guest, or was a trespasser, will be a critical issue.

Was the Injured Party Partially Responsible for His or Her Slip and Fall Injuries?

New York State applies pure comparative negligence rules to apportion liability in slip and fall cases. The damages that a property owner or its insurer owe to an injured party will be reduced in direct proportion to the injured party’s own responsibility for the accident. If, for example, the injured party was intoxicated, or was paying more attention to a mobile phone than to the property’s terrain, that party might lose a portion of the total damages that he or she might otherwise have recovered in a slip and fall lawsuit.

Was the Property Owner Aware of the Unsafe Condition that Caused the Slip and Fall Accident?

Property owners are generally responsible for staying aware of the conditions of their premises to confirm that no unsafe conditions are present, but there are limits on those responsibilities. A property owner is charged with repairing or warning of dangerous conditions that can be reasonably foreseen, for example, but the owner has a lesser obligation with respect to unforeseeable dangers. In almost every slip and fall negligence case, the specific circumstances of the dangerous condition will be a critical element in assessing a property owner’s liability for an injured party’s damages.

Other Slip and Fall Accident Case Issues

Slip and fall accident cases are not limited to these three liability issues. Other matters for consideration include:

  • A slip and fall lawsuit case must be filed within three years of the incident that caused the injury to meet the deadline requirements of New York State’s statute of limitations.
  • If the property owner is a landlord that leased the premises to another party, the landlord will generally not be liable for a tenant’s or other person’s injuries that are caused by a property condition unless the landlord was aware of the unsafe condition or maintained some level of control over the property.
  • Property owners owe a special duty to children under “attractive nuisance” considerations.
  • Owners and visitors are charged with using the property in an appropriate manner at the time of the accident.

Contact the Experienced Slip and Fall Accident Lawyers at Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green

If you have suffered injuries in a slip and fall accident in Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, or Long Island, do not hesitate to call the experienced slip and fall accident attorneys at the law offices of Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb, Green & Bagley, P.C. We will analyze all of the liability issues that surround your accident and we will fight to get you the largest available damages award to compensate you for your injuries.

Additional Resources:

  1. FindLaw, New York Consolidated Laws, General Obligations Law – GOB § 9-103. No duty to keep premises safe for certain uses;  responsibility for acts of such users, https://codes.findlaw.com/ny/general-obligations-law/gob-sect-9-103.html
  2. NY State Bar Association, https://nysba.org/products/premises-liability-2019/

Hurt at the Mall? What You Should Do Now

Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb, Green & Bagley, P.C.Slip And Fall Injuries

Modern shopping mall interiorSchool is out and temperatures are rising, bringing many people to shopping malls. Shopping centers offer a convenient opportunity to browse dozens of stores, restaurants, and attractions in one stop, but the hustle and bustle can lead to slips, falls, and other personal injuries.

The good news is that if you are injured on someone else’s property, the law provides a remedy – but you have the burden of proving someone else was at fault. Here are some of the things the slip and fall lawyers at Friedman Levy look for when we represent New York clients in shopping mall personal injuries sustained in Brooklyn, the Bronx, and throughout New York City.

Liability for a shopping mall fall

Shopping malls, individual retailers, those hired to clean or maintain the location, and others may have a legal responsibility to ensure the location is safe for customers and anyone else invited onto the premises. When it can be shown that a defendant failed to take reasonable steps to keep the location safe, the defendant may be liable for the plaintiff’s injuries.

For example, if a customer trips on a box that a store employee left in an aisle, the retailer may be liable for the customer’s injuries. If someone is injured on a malfunctioning escalator, the mall owner and a company hired to maintain the escalator may be liable. In each instance, though, there must be evidence that the potentially liable party either did in fact know, or reasonably should have known, of the hazard but failed to fix it or warn others that it was there.

Compensation for mall injuries

If you trip on an uneven parking lot surface, slip on a wet floor, or suffer some other mall injury, and if the mall owner or some other party is liable, then compensation may be available to restore your losses.

The amount of compensation available depends on the circumstances of the case, including the severity of the injury, prognosis for recovery, and whether you bear any of the fault for the injury. Being partly to blame does not prevent recovery, but it can reduce it.

Compensation for mall injuries can include:

  • Reimbursement for medical expenses – both those already incurred and those reasonably anticipated because of the injury
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Disability
  • Loss of consortium of a spouse

What to do after a mall injury

Time is of the essence, so if you are injured in a shopping mall, speak with a premises liability lawyer as soon as possible.

Under NY state law, a slip and fall lawsuit must be filed within three years of the injury. That may seem like a long time but it can pass quickly when you are dealing with the recovery from an injury. Also, it is important to preserve evidence before it is destroyed or key witnesses are no longer available.

If you have been injured in a shopping mall in New York, help yourself by calling the slip and fall attorneys at Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green right away. We can help you determine whether someone else is liable and if so, take action to preserve the evidence you will need to secure a full settlement.

Injured in a Slip and Fall Accident

Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb, Green & Bagley, P.C.Slip And Fall Injuries

slip and fall illustration

How do I know if I have a slip and fall case?

A person who slips or trips on another person’s property may be entitled to damages for resultant injuries. In order for a slip and fall to be compensable, there must have been an unsafe condition on the property. Unsafe conditions include icy accumulation, wet or slippery floors, badly damaged sidewalks and debris underfoot, among many others.

In addition to the existence of unsafe conditions, in order for the injury to be compensable, the owner must have known that the dangerous condition existed and allowed it to persist.This is the most difficult element for a victim in a slip and fall case to prove. Sometimes, the owner of the property causes the dangerous condition, such as when the floors of a department store are freshly mopped and slippery. At other times, the danger is not caused by the owner, but is obviously apparent, as is the case after a snowstorm. The owner of the property is entitled to a grace period to correct dangerous conditions. But, while the problem is being fixed, the owner should put up a notice to warn individuals of the possible danger. Yellow boards are commonly used to warn of wet floors, and orange cones are often used to warn of ongoing construction.

If the dangerous condition is obvious enough to a casual observer, it may not be compensable since an individual has a duty to use a reasonable degree of care for his or her own safety. Even if the owner is at fault, if the injury is no more severe than a bruise or a slight sprain, a lawsuit is probably not the best course of action. Lawsuits are usually reserved for more serious injuries like broken bones or spinal damage. Only an experienced attorney can advise the individual involved in a slip and fall incident as to whether the case is strong enough to warrant a claim.

A Few Steps to Follow When You Are Injured or in an Accident

Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb, Green & Bagley, P.C.Slip And Fall Injuries

Slip and Fall AccidentThe legal process involved in filing a personal injury lawsuit may deter some people from seeking damages regardless of the severity of their injury, but, having an idea of what you can expect at each stage of the process can help you determine if legal action is the appropriate route to take in your particular situation. An experienced personal injury attorney can counsel you as your case develops, and fight for your rights in the courtroom if necessary in order to achieve the outcome that’s most favorable to you.

Regardless of how you were injured, there are certain steps that everyone who is in an accident or has been injured in some other way should take if they think they may have a personal injury lawsuit. The tips below provide an outline of what to keep in mind in the days, weeks and even months following your injury to ensure your potential personal injury claim is on solid legal ground.

A variety of situations can lead to injury, such as a slip/trip and fall, a car accident, a defective product, or a dog bite, among many others things. Following the suggestions below can help protect your right to file a claim for your injury in the near future, and will likely allow the filing process to run more smoothly than if you do not take these early preparations.

Put everything in writing

Take notes on all the details of your injury. These don’t have to be formal statements, just jotting down everything you can remember about the circumstances immediately before, during and after your injury can be a big help when it comes to filing your claim and jogging your memory. This sort of anticipatory preparation could mean the difference between your claim being invalid and you collecting all of the benefits to which you are entitled. It’s even important to write down the conversations you had with others who may have been involved in the accident or injury claim, even if they were just a witness. Make sure that your physician or the hospital you visit for your injury notes the circumstances surrounding your injury in their records.

Take photographs

If possible, take pictures of your injuries and the scene of the accident as soon as you can following an accident or injury. Focus on any visible cuts, bruises, burns, swelling or other marks on your body. Don’t just take one picture, make sure you capture the injury and the scene from a variety of angles. This approach will hopefully result in some detailed pictures you can later present to the insurance company as evidence supporting your claim.

Obtain copies of your medical records

Medical records can be an integral part of your claim, and have the power to make or break your case. Whether your medical records just serve to help you seek medical treatment from a specialist or if you need them to support your claim that your injuries were in fact caused by this accident and not a pre-existing condition, it is important to contact your physician and get copies of all records that may be pertinent to your case.

Ensure that you meet your deadlines

Anyone who wishes to commence a civil lawsuit against New York State, your local government
(county, city, town, village) or most government agencies for damages because of certain alleged conduct or negligence must first file with the State or municipal government agency a document known as a Notice of Claim and must do so within a fixed deadline after the accident or event. This is vital. Failure to file on time may result in dismissal of the case. It is imperative that you contact a seasoned personal injury attorney who can help you to better understand what deadlines you have to meet.