Syracuse Personal Injury Attorney
108 West Jefferson Street,
Syracuse, NY 13202
Syracuse is a strategical location for commerce, with around 136 million people living in a 750-mile radius of the city, in places like Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Toronto. Two major interstate routes run through the city: the New York Thruway (Interstate 90) going east-west and Interstate 81 going north-south. More than 20,000 students attend Syracuse University, and the city’s airport stays busy, with around 250 daily flights provided by seven major carriers.
Unfortunately, for all of the positives offered in Syracuse, there are many ways that someone’s negligence can cause injuries to another person.
If an accident in Syracuse injured you, an experienced Syracuse personal injury lawyer from Finkelstein & Partners can tell you more about our firm and how we can seek compensation for your injury.
Finkelstein & Partners has assisted the injured of New York in obtaining the compensation they need for more than 60 years.
Some of our recent results include:
- A $9.25 million settlement for a client who suffered catastrophic injuries due to a company failing to have a policy for its employees regarding distracted driving. This policy failure resulted in a sales employee texting their manager while driving, which caused a multi-vehicle accident.
- A $7.5 million verdict for the family of a man who drowned when the owner of the Airbnb they were rented deceptively advertised a “safe” pond adjacent to the property and provided kayaks for renters to use. The pond featured power turbines that churned the water and made kayaking dangerous. Further, the Airbnb owner failed to provide personal floatation devices and advertised water recreation at the pond despite “No Swimming” signs posted nearby.
- A $6.8 million jury award for a client who suffered severe injuries after a company’s truck driver was tailgating in a construction zone and caused a four-car pileup.
We cannot guarantee results, but we are ready to listen to your case and help you pursue the best possible outcome. Contact us today to see what we can do for you and your case.
Determining the Liable Party After a Syracuse Accident
Whether you were hit by a truck at Buckley Road and Russell Avenue (one of the most dangerous intersections in Syracuse) or you fell and suffered serious injuries due to a safety hazard in a bar, restaurant, or hotel, bringing a personal injury claim can help you obtain compensation for your injuries.
A personal injury claim starts by identifying the parties responsible for the accident that you can hold liable for damages—i.e., legally responsible for paying compensation to a victim. At Finkelstein & Partners, we start with a comprehensive evaluation of prospective clients’ cases to determine who may have caused or contributed to an accident.
In general, establishing liability requires showing that a party:
- Had a duty of care to the victim at the time of the accident. In a premises liability claim, for example, the owner of the premises owes patrons a duty to keep the premises safe and warn of safety hazards.
- Violated their duty of care. In the premises liability example, that violation of the duty of care may present as a failure to take care of maintenance tasks, such as cleaning up a spill, that could have prevented the injury-causing accident. But what constitutes a violation will depend on the purpose of the premises. For example, a venue owner may violate their duty of care by failing to provide adequate security for a venue or event. A store might violate its duty of care by failing to clean up a spill or fix a pothole in the parking lot.
- Caused the victim’s injuries because of the duty of care violation. Even if a premises owner violated their duty of care, the violation must cause the victim’s injuries.
Determining these elements depends upon all of the unique facts in a given case. Finkelstein & Partners evaluate all evidence related to a claim, from witness statements or video testimony to the scene of the accident itself, to determine who may be held liable in a Syracuse personal injury case.
If you sustained severe injuries in an accident due to someone else’s wrongdoing, you may seek compensation through a personal injury claim.
Personal injury claims and injuries vary widely. Some common injuries in Syracuse personal injury cases include:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Workers’ Compensation claims
- Catastrophic injury
- Pedestrian accidents
- Child injury
- Construction accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Premises liability
- Slip and fall accidents
- Uber accidents
- Social Security disability claims
- Wrongful death
- Traumatic brain injury
- Nursing home abuse
- Spinal cord injury
- Broken bones
- Dog bite injuries, including puncture wounds or rabies treatment
Victims of such severe injuries are typically taken off guard by the event, and may not know where to turn for the compensation they deserve. If you’ve been injured in Syracuse and want to pursue compensation, you should wait no longer to contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Finkelstein & Partners. In the meantime, read on for more information about personal injury claims, our success in representing Syracuse personal injury victims, and for answers to some of the most frequently asked questions we receive about personal injury cases.
Accidents That Can Result in Syracuse Personal Injury Claims
Personal injury law is an arena of different types of claims that generally involve negligence, defined as a failure to take proper care in a given set of circumstances. Here are some of the most common accidents that can result in a Syracuse personal injury claim.
Motor Vehicle Accidents
More than 150 motor carriers and package carriers service the Syracuse area, arriving in and traveling out of the area on its major interstates. This means that Syracuse traffic often features commercial trucks, which have longer stopping distances, significant blind spots, and a propensity to roll over due to high centers of gravity.
Because of the size discrepancy between these trucks and other vehicles on the roadway, those most often injured in accidents involving commercial trucks are the passengers of other vehicles.
In addition to truck traffic, Syracuse roadways often see more traffic involving passenger cars in the months between August and May, when students return to classes at Syracuse University. Many of these students are new to the city, making them unfamiliar with the roadways. Syracuse frequently sees accidents resulting from roadway unfamiliarity, relatively inexperienced drivers, and alcohol-impaired drivers.
The legal team at Finkelstein & Partners regularly assists clients injured in Syracuse motor vehicle accidents involving cars, commercial trucks, taxis or rideshares, motorcycles, bicycles, and pedestrians.
Nursing Home Abuse
Nearly two dozen nursing homes in or near Syracuse, including Iroquois Nursing Home (called Syracuse’s deadliest nursing home) and the Syracuse Home Association, offer an array of services for its residents.
All nursing homes in the area legally must treat the resident with dignity and respect, keep them free from abuse, neglect, or chemical restraint, and sufficiently staff the facility to meet the health, social, and psychological needs of its residents.
Facility understaffing is one of the most common issues leading to a resident becoming injured due to abuse or neglect by a nursing home. Insufficient staffing leaves residents without the assistance they need when standing or walking. Understaffed nursing homes leave incontinent residents to sit in soiled clothing. They make under- or overmedication errors. Residents may wander away from the facility.
The companies managing these facilities are more likely to improperly vet new hires to ensure they have the education, experience, and training needed to properly perform their jobs. High staff turnover is another problem that leads to new and overworked employees.
Medical malpractice occurs when a health care provider makes an error resulting in a patient’s injury.
Some of the most common types of incidents that can lead to a medical malpractice claim at St. Joseph’s Health, Upstate University Hospital, or any of the other medical facilities in or near Syracuse include:
- Diagnosis errors, including delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis.
- Medication errors include providing the wrong medication for the patient or the wrong dose.
- Surgery errors include errors in the administration of anesthesia, wrong-site surgery, wrong-patient surgery, or even the leaving of a surgical tool, sponge, or towel in the body cavity after surgery.
- Birth injuries, such as those caused by a doctor failing to diagnose and adequately treat a medical condition that compromised the health of the mother or infant, failing to perform a timely C-section when indicated, or failing to properly monitor the infant for medical concerns after birth.
- Failure to provide adequate follow-up care for patients after a surgery or a new medication.
- Failure to adequately explain the known risks and complications of a recommended procedure when the patient may have requested an alternative treatment option if they had all the pertinent information.
Premises Liability Accidents
Premises liability refers to the responsibility of property owners or managers to keep the property free of hazards that can cause injuries to guests. With heavy winter snow, a common type of premises liability claim in Syracuse is a slip and fall accident resulting from wet or icy walkways or wet floors in retail buildings and restaurants.
In addition to slip and fall accidents, some of the other types of premises liability matters that can result in a personal injury claim include:
- Swimming pool accidents
- Injuries caused by fires and floods in buildings
- Elevator and escalator accidents
- Failure of the property owner to provide adequate security
- Dog bites, which the dog owner’s homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy usually pays for
Construction Accidents and Other Workplace Injuries
Construction projects involving roadways and buildings frequently occur in Syracuse, and the construction industry accounts for about 4 percent of total employment in the city. Construction is routinely the most dangerous workplace industry, with risks that include falling, electrocution, objects striking them, hazardous equipment and vehicles, or being caught in equipment.
Workplace injuries are usually not compensated through the personal injury claims process but rather by New York worker’s compensation. Worker’s compensation is a type of no-fault insurance policy that most employers in the state are required to provide for their employees. It provides medical treatment, wage replacement, and even survivor benefits if a worker dies of injuries sustained on the job.
There are certain occasions when the personal injury claims process would be the appropriate avenue for compensating an injured worker. This type of accident generally involves negligence from a third party, which is someone who is not a coworker or employer of the injured person.
One example would be a construction worker injured in a work zone due to a negligent driver passing through the zone.
The legal team at Finkelstein & Partners can help injured workers with worker’s compensation claims and personal injury claims.
The Personal Injury Claims Process in Syracuse
The personal injury claims process in Syracuse often begins when the injured party hires an experienced personal injury lawyer to assist them with their claim. The lawyer will look carefully at the case details to determine who is liable for the accident and what insurance resources are available to compensate the claimant.
Once the claimant has reached maximum medical improvement, the lawyer will also establish a value to the claim based on the expenses their client has incurred as a result of the accident, the severity of their injuries, the amount of insurance available, and several other factors.
After we evaluate the claim, the attorney will submit a demand to the at-fault party’s insurance provider.
The insurance provider will assign a claims adjuster to evaluate the claim, and that adjuster can respond to the demand in one of three ways:
- They can accept the demand and process the claim for payment.
- They can deny the claim and notify the claimant of the reason for the denial.
- They can offer to settle the claim out-of-court for less than its established value.
If the insurance provider fails to compensate the claim, it can be filed as a Syracuse personal injury lawsuit for the court to determine liability and compensation. The statute of limitations for personal injury claims in New York is three years from the accident’s date.
If you fail to file the claim within this statutory deadline, you will lose the right to seek compensation. Because the potential of costly litigation is why insurance companies offer settlements, letting the statute of limitations will usually result in the insurance provider refusing to settle the claim.
To have a successful resolution to your Syracuse personal injury claim, you must be able to show that someone else was responsible for causing the accident that injured you.
Proving liability requires the following elements in your claim:
- Duty: The at-fault party had a duty in a given circumstance to take reasonable actions to avoid causing physical harm or property damage to others.
- Breach: The at-fault party breached the duty when they took reckless actions or failed to act in a way that would avoid harming others.
- Cause: The breach in the at-fault party’s duty caused an accident that injured you.
The Compensation Available
Syracuse personal injury claimants can seek compensation for the expenses incurred due to the accident. This is known as economic damages. Some expenses commonly included in economic damage claims include medical expenses, wage loss, loss of future earning capacity, and property damage sustained in the accident.
Claimants can also seek compensation for the psychological impacts the accident had on their lives. This is known as non-economic damages.
In a personal injury claim, you can seek compensation for physical pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life.
Syracuse Personal Injury Common Questions
You suffered serious injuries in Syracuse due to the negligence of another party—now what? Do you have the right to compensation? How much compensation do you really deserve?
At Finkelstein & Partners, we get these questions all the time in Syracuse personal injury cases. You should contact our firm with questions about your specific case. But, meanwhile, read below for answers to some of the most common general questions we receive from our Syracuse personal injury clients.
1. How can I recover after a Syracuse accident due to someone else’s negligence?
If you suffered serious injuries in Syracuse due to another’s fault, you should first focus on seeking medical attention for your injuries. Many people fear going to the hospital after a serious accident because they worry about the cost of medical care.
Going to the doctor, however, will help establish exactly when your injuries took place and what injuries you suffered, helping to establish the connection between the accident and your injuries. You will need this for any claim you eventually bring, and you can demand the cost of the medical care as part of your compensation. Furthermore, your doctor can recommend a course of treatment that will prevent you from inadvertently worsening your injuries, which could leave you liable for part of the losses you face.
Next, get in touch with an experienced Syracuse personal injury attorney as soon after your accident as possible. An attorney can help you identify your options for recovering compensation, and go on to represent you in court proceedings and settlement negotiations so that you can have the best chance of recovering compensation to cover all your expenses and harms.
2. What should I do if the liable party’s insurance company offers me a settlement after my accident?
You may find yourself tempted to take a settlement offer as soon as one appears. Immediately after your accident, you may have substantial financial worries. You may lose your income even as your medical bills continue to rise.
Often, insurance companies will prey on such financial worries. They may even send out a settlement offer immediately after an accident, when a victim has had a chance to realize their potential financial losses but not down to a specific dollar figure, particularly in the long-term. Thus, victims may end up accepting low settlement offers that fail to reflect the compensation victims really deserve. If you accept an offer, it may prevent you from seeking future compensation for your injuries and leave you in a more difficult financial position.
Instead, it’s in your best interest to contact an experienced Syracuse personal injury attorney before accepting an offer. Your attorney can discuss your right to compensation and help you make an informed decision about when to accept a settlement offer and when to continue to negotiate.
3. How long do I have to file a Syracuse personal injury claim?
In Syracuse, victims generally have three years from the date of an accident to file a personal injury claim before the statute of limitations prevents further action. However, there are exceptions to the statute of limitations, which may give you more time to file. Contact an attorney as soon as possible to learn more about how and when to file your claim.
4. How long does it take to get compensation in a personal injury claim in Syracuse?
You should expect it to take several months, and possibly years, to receive the compensation you deserve following a serious Syracuse accident. Your claim will go through several stages as you work with your attorney to file for and seek the compensation you deserve after serious injuries.
Investigation. Your attorney will need time to investigate your claim and determine what factors may have contributed to your accident and who all the liable parties may be.
Depending on what type of accident you suffered and the injuries you sustained, your attorney may need to look at:
- The scene of the accident
- Any video footage of the accident, including security camera, dashcam, or traffic camera footage
- Witness statements
- Your medical records, including your doctor’s account of your injuries and the limitations you suffered because of the accident
In some cases, your attorney may need to bring in expert witnesses to analyze the cause of your accident and to distill all of the factors that contributed to your injuries. For example, after a car accident, your attorney might have an expert look over the damage to your vehicle and the other driver’s vehicle, which could prove instrumental in reconstructing the accident and demonstrating which driver was responsible.
Healing. Knowing how much compensation you deserve depends in part on how well you heal. Sometimes, only time can tell. For some injuries, a doctor can give a relatively accurate view of your future prognosis early on. Other injuries, however, may make it more difficult to predict your recovery. An incomplete spinal cord injury, for example, can take a doctor up to six months to predict how much mobility you will eventually recover. If you suffer a traumatic brain injury, your recovery could take many months, and it may be some time before your doctor can fully identify the challenges and expenses you will face in the future.
Until your doctor can give you an accurate assessment of your future prognosis and what your long-term medical bills will look like, you may not want to move forward with your personal injury claim. Your attorney may recommend waiting until you can make a complete compensation demand.
Negotiation. You want to maximize the compensation you can receive for your injuries. The insurance company covering the liable party, or in some cases the liable party itself, wants to minimize the amount it has to pay out. Both parties usually want to settle, rather than take a case all the way through to trial, so that they can better control the results. You may go through several rounds of negotiation before you arrive at a reasonable agreement on the compensation you will receive. The more there is for the defendant to lose, the more negotiation and time it takes to settle your case.
Court, if necessary. If you cannot settle your personal injury claim through negotiation with the defendants, you may need to take your claim to court. Going to court may substantially extend the process, as there are many stages—for example, pretrial motions, discovery, etc.—and as you will need to wait for a court date for the final trial.
5. Will my Syracuse personal injury claim have to go to court?
Most of the time, defendants want to settle out of court, if they can. Going to court may significantly increase the liable party’s legal expenses, and most of the time, insurance companies want to avoid that as much as possible. However, some personal injury cases do have to go to court. If your claim needs to go to court, having an experienced personal injury attorney on your side can prove crucial in helping you make a successful case.
6. Do I have to talk to the insurance company?
The insurance company that covers the liable party will want to take a statement from you about the accident. The insurance company may want to know what led to the accident, what injuries you suffered, and information about your medical bills and activities.
Contact an attorney before speaking to the insurance company or giving a statement. Often, insurance companies will try to use your statement against you to minimize the compensation you receive for your injuries. An attorney can represent you in any interactions with the insurance company. An attorney can also take over negotiations and other interactions with the insurance company for you.
Injured In an Accident? Contact Our Syracuse Personal Injury Lawyers
A personal injury claim is complex and many individuals who attempt to navigate this process independently wind up overwhelmed. Finkelstein & Partners prides itself on being a big enough firm to handle even the most high-powered insurance companies while retaining the small firm feel through personalized services and guidance. Each client receives a legal team led by an experienced attorney that works together to efficiently gather the information and evidence needed to prove your claim.
Let a Syracuse personal injury lawyer answer the many questions you likely have about your case and tell you more about our services. For your free case evaluation, contact us online or by calling (315) 453-3053.