Middletown Personal Injury Attorney
If you or a loved one has suffered personal injury in Middletown or adjacent areas, you may feel overwhelmed and stressed. You may suffer from injuries and even psychological trauma. Doctor’s bills may mount up and add to the anxiety—plus, if your injuries rendered you unable to work, whether for a short time or a lengthier period, you may find paying difficult.
There is a solution. Contact the personal injury lawyers at Finkelstein & Partners in Middletown. We have fought for justice on behalf of injured parties since 1959. During that 60 years, we have provided service dedicated to making sure that injured folks receive fair compensation for their injuries. Our first free case evaluation is always free. You can reach us any time of the day or night at 1-800-526-2676.
The results we have fought for show our commitment to dedicated legal representation. Recently, for example, one of our clients received a $13.5 million settlement for extensive injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident. The victim was 16 and suffered multiple broken bones when a car left the road. The severity of the injuries caused her to miss most of her sophomore year of high school.
Each case is different, and past results do not guarantee the results in future cases. But we can guarantee you that our personal injury lawyers will fight for justice for all our clients at all times.
What Is Personal Injury Law?
Personal injury law is the branch of the legal profession you turn to when you suffer injuries or other harm from another party, whether it is a person or an organization, such as a company, a nonprofit, or the state.
Personal injury law rests on a concept known as negligence. Each individual is owed a duty of care by other parties. We may not walk around thinking with the term “duty of care” uppermost in our minds, but we know implicitly what it is.
Let’s take a common example. Vehicle drivers must drive safely and not cause accidents. They should follow the law and exhibit prudent behavior. That, in a nutshell, is the duty of care for all drivers on the road.
Negligence occurs when someone violates the duty of care. Negligent parties become liable for the injuries they have caused. Liability means financial responsibility.
In other words, if you suffer injuries or harm because of the negligence of another, they may owe you financial compensation for those injuries. Legally, this financial compensation is known as damages.
Although we have used a vehicle accident as an example, the concepts of negligence, liability, and damages are common to all personal injury laws. Companies, for example, are expected to manufacture and sell safe products. If their products are unsafe, they have violated the duty of care.
Owners of premises open to the public, such as store owners, must keep their premises safe. If they do not, they may have violated the duty of care. Landlords must keep their properties stay safe for their renters. Doctors and other medical personnel owe a reasonable standard of care to their patients. Nursing homes owe a reasonable standard of care in all areas to their residents.
Violations of duty of care in any of these areas is negligence, and with negligence comes liability.
Personal injury lawyers also handle instances where people do not receive fair treatment. Workers’ compensation, for example, can pay a portion of income to injured individuals. But it is all too common for workers’ compensation to deny claims or for recipients to receive fewer benefits than they deserve. Personal injury lawyers can appeal denials and negotiate to optimize benefits.
Social Security disability insurance all too frequently denies or reduces the benefits people deserve. Often, denials can undergo appeal by simply filling out and filing all the complex paperwork correctly.
In short, personal injury lawyers handle any area in which individuals suffered injuries or harm when another entity is responsible.
Here is a brief overview of the areas we handle in Middletown.
- Vehicle accidents, including
- Car accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Bus accidents
- Truck accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Defective products
- Premises liability (injuries or harm on someone else’s premises)
- Slip and fall cases
- Dog bites
- Medical malpractice
- Nursing home abuse
- Worker’s compensation
- Social Security insurance disability
- Veterans services group
Types of Damage Compensation
Generally, damage compensation is paid in specific categories:
- Medical bills, both current and future – For medical treatment related to the injuries and harm, including doctor’s visits, hospitalization, surgery, diagnostic tests, prescription medication, assistive devices, physical therapy, and more.
- Wages lost from work, both current and future – For time lost from work due to the injuries.
- Lifetime value of earnings – If the victim cannot work at a former occupation.
- Property damage – For personal property damaged or lost due to the at-fault party’s negligence.
- Pain and suffering – For physical, mental, and emotional pain and suffering.
Obtaining Damage Compensation
The purpose of personal injury lawsuits is to obtain financial compensation for injured and harmed people. Financial compensation is often called damage compensation.
In general, damage compensation comes from sending the at-fault party a damage claim. Injured folks can either approach the insurance company or the at-fault party themselves.
Let’s say your child is injured when a toy explodes. In that case, the product manufacturer is arguably negligent for manufacturing an unsafe product. You could approach the product manufacturer’s insurance company with an insurance claim for your damages.
You could also file a personal injury lawsuit in civil court for the damages. Personal injury lawsuits can be filed against the at-fault party directly or against insurance companies who either will not settle a claim at all or will not settle for a fair amount. Insurance companies do not often want to go to court, so the threat of a lawsuit might also serve as a negotiating tactic for a recalcitrant insurance carrier.
In either case, a personal injury lawyer can prove very helpful, by negotiating with insurance companies and prosecuting a personal injury case.
New York State Law and Vehicle Accidents
As you likely know, New York State is a no-fault state for vehicle accidents. No-fault means that injured people must turn first to their own personal injury protection (PIP) insurance to pay medical bills and a portion of lost income. Registered drivers in the state must carry PIP for that purpose. The theory is, settling injury claims without reference to who or what bears fault for the accident is more streamlined.
Because of PIP, vehicle accidents can form an exception to personal injury claims.
But the PIP coverage New York requires, $50,000, will not go far if you suffer severe injury. Thus, New York law allows severely injured individuals to step outside of no-fault if they sustain one of the injuries listed below. When you step outside of no-fault, you can either approach the at-fault party’s insurance carrier to pay your damages or bring a lawsuit against the at-fault party.
New York defines severe injury as.
- Broken bone
- Significant disfigurement
- Permanent limitation of use of a body organ or member
- Significant limitation of a body function or system
- Substantially full disability for 90 days
How Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Help Clients?
The most obvious way in which personal injury lawyers help their clients is the one we’ve all seen on television: prepare and bring a legal case, arguing in court on behalf of their clients.
But in fact, personal injury lawyers do much more. Many work with extensive investigation teams to investigate causes of accidents and other injury-causing events.
Why do lawyers work hand in hand with investigators? Because unfortunately, not everyone is truthful. At-fault parties and their insurance companies may try to get out of paying damage compensation to injured parties. One of the most common is to claim that the at-fault party was not at fault.
To that end, they can claim that the accident did not happen at all, that someone else was at fault, or that the injuries were not what you allege. Investigations can counter all of these claims.
Lawyers can also help you negotiate with insurance companies and at-fault parties to receive a fair settlement. Insurance companies are skilled at using certain facts to lessen or deny your claim unfairly. If you were in an auto accident and did not visit a doctor afterward, for example, they can use that fact to deny or minimize your claim. After all, how badly could you have been hurt if you did not go to a doctor?
Believe it or not, one of the most common strategies is simply to not communicate—to not return calls and give out no information. Insurance companies may hope that victims will forget or give up.
Lawyers are familiar with all these strategies and can counter them effectively.
Finally, lawyers can help victims compile evidence for their claims. Injured and traumatized people may face difficulty in getting evidence together, even for such things as doctor’s visits and billing. A law office can help.
The Cost of Personal Injury Lawyers
People sometimes hesitate to contact lawyers because, after all, lawyers have a reputation for being high-priced. That can pose a particularly high hurdle if your injuries have resulted in high bills or you cannot work due to them.
Well, you can put your mind at rest. Hiring a personal injury lawyer is more affordable for several reasons.
First, we charge attorneys’ fees only if we win your case. If you are envisioning paying large amounts every month, don’t. Personal injury lawyers get a contingency fee from any successful settlement of your case, whether it is an insurance payout or a jury award. We may charge other fees, such as photocopying records or other amounts, but not the high attorney rates that often deter victims from obtaining our representation.
Second, we always offer a free initial consultation to discuss your case. The reason is simple. Because of the contingency fee structure, lawyers need to know whether they believe a personal injury case has merit and seems reasonably winnable. To know that, they need information on what happened, who you believe caused the injury, what the repercussions of your injuries have been, and so on. All of that can be discussed in the free initial case evaluation.
Bring evidence of both what caused your injuries and the injuries themselves, if you have it.
Evidence can include, but is not limited to:
- Crash reports (for vehicle accidents)
- Pictures or videos of the accident or injury-causing event (or accident site)
- Pictures of videos of your injuries
- Medical records (appointments, bills, diagnoses)
- Names and contact information for eyewitnesses
- Your notes on the injuries and what caused them
The free case evaluation is no obligation. After it, both you and the attorney can decide if you want to work together. Choose a lawyer with whom you feel comfortable.
Insurance company tactics and the difficulties of suing at-fault parties can end up costing you the money you otherwise would have deserved. Do not minimize your claim by not engaging lawyers. We can help you pursue the justice you deserve.
If You Need a Local Middletown Personal Injury Lawyer
Finkelstein & Partners have spent more than 60 years fighting for justice on behalf of the residents of Orange County. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury or other harm in Middletown, contact our local office to discuss your case with us.
We are conveniently located in Middletown, NY. We are dedicated to providing unsurpassed legal representation to those in the Middletown community and surrounding areas.
Reach out by phone at (845) 344-4855, 24/7, or by contacting us via our website.
726 East Main St.
Middletown, NY 10940