Category: Uncategorized

New York, NY

Finding a Good Personal Injury Lawyer in NYC – A Step-by-Step Guide

If you’ve been injured in an accident in New York City, going to court can feel like a tremendous burden has been dropped into your lap. There is paperwork to file, strict rules to follow, and a great deal of uncertainty about whether or not you will be fully compensated.

For that reason, it’s important to have a qualified attorney on your side that will work hard to get you the money you deserve. But, as you may have noticed, there are thousands of law firms and personal injury lawyers to choose from in New York City. With that in mind, here are a few tips to help the process seem less overwhelming.


Do an Online Search

Perhaps the easiest place to start looking for an attorney is by doing an online search. Now, this can turn up hundreds of results. However, you can begin to narrow your research by selecting only a few relevant law firms or solo attorneys that have personal injury law listed as one of their specialties.

Spending some time on a lawyer’s website can give you an indication as to whether or not you might be a good match for each other. Firms often have blogs you can read and testimonials from clients that may be helpful. If you find an attorney that you like, write down his or her contact information and compile a list of those that you wish to follow up with. 

Ask for Referrals

When it comes to finding quality professional services, word of mouth is an extremely useful method. According to Michele Mirman, a personal injury lawyer in New York City, “If you have friends, family, or a colleague that has hired a personal injury attorney in the past, they might be able to recommend someone.” Additionally, they may be able to alert you about a potential issue they had with a particular attorney in the past.  

However, keep in mind that not all attorneys have experience in personal injury law. This means that if a referral is based on prior dealings with an attorney in another practice area, the advice might not be helpful. An example would be if your friend recommended the lawyer that helped him close on the purchase of a house. 

That said, attorneys often have strong professional networks and can connect you with a lawyer that would be qualified to handle your case. For that reason, it couldn’t hurt to ask.

Conduct a Background Check

Now, attorneys often get a bad rap in the media. While much of this may be undeserved, it is always a good idea to do some sort of background check to make sure that the person you may be working with is honest and trustworthy.

In fact, the New York State Unified Court System makes this process easy through its website. You can use the search function to see whether an attorney is licensed in New York and whether he or she has a disciplinary record. When looking at this information, pay particularly close attention to any ethical violations against clients.   

Create a List of Questions

Before reaching out to a potential attorney, it can be helpful to prepare a list of questions to ask. The goal in your initial meeting is to ascertain whether the attorney is qualified to handle your case and determine whether you will work well together.

Questions you might consider asking the attorney include:

  • What experience do you have in personal injury? 
  • Do you have a track record of success? 
  • What is your current caseload like? 
  • Do you have support staff or paralegals? 
  • How do you prefer to communicate – email, phone, etc.? 
  • How will you get paid, and what expenses are the client responsible for? 

The answers to these questions – and any others that you might have – can be really helpful in guiding your decision.

Schedule Meetings with Attorneys

Note that many attorneys offer a free initial meeting, often referred to as a consultation. However, this is not always the case, so you should consider asking before scheduling the meeting.

In most cases, meetings may be done over the phone or at the attorney’s office. Be prepared to explain your case and to ask any questions you have. 

Contact a Legal Referral Service

If you are unsuccessful in finding a lawyer through recommendations or your own research, you might consider using the Bar Association’s attorney referral program. The service is free and the staff will help connect you with a qualified attorney.

Note that consultations with the lawyer may be up to 30 minutes, and the attorney is allowed to charge you a maximum of $35. 

Make Your Decision

Now, after conducting your research and meeting with one or more attorneys, the final step would be to decide whether or not you would like to work with any of them. This process can take time and, unfortunately, it’s not always possible to know which lawyer would produce the best outcome for your case. 

At the end of the day, this is your decision and the lawyer you hire should be someone that you feel comfortable with and is courteous to you. 

What Are the 100 Deadliest Days?

The 100 deadliest days are upon us. The 100 deadliest days refer to the time between Memorial Day and Labor Day when rates of car accidents for teen drivers go up. Over the past five years, nearly 3,500 people have been killed in crashes involving teen drivers during those three months. Two-thirds of the people injured or killed in accidents involving a teen driver are people other than the teen behind the wheel.

These accidents increase during summer months because teens are out of school and are out on the road more. An average of about 700 people a year die in accidents involving a teen driver.

Contributing to these high rates of accidents are reckless behaviors that teens tend toward at higher rates. Reckless behaviors such as drinking and driving, speeding, and driving while distracted (texting) all contribute to the higher rates of accidents for teens drivers in the summer.

What Causes Teens to Get into Accidents?

Speeding. Speeding increases the severity of the crash as well as the frequency. 30% of teen drivers admit to speeding on residential streets and almost 40 percent admit to speeding on highways in the past thirty days. 

Drinking and driving. Drinking is illegal for teens in all 50 states. Unfortunately, that is not enough to deter teens from drinking and driving. One in sixteen drivers involved in fatal accidents tested positive for alcohol.

Driving while distracted. In the age of smartphones and social media, the contributing factor of distracted driving is on the rise. More than half of teen drivers reported to reading a text or email while driving. 40 percent of teen drivers even reported sending a text or an email.

After an accident, it is difficult for law enforcement to determine if a teen was texting while driving. If law enforcement decides to investigate the circumstances that led to an accident, they have legal means to obtain phone records and determine if a driver was on the phone or texting. Witnesses might also report seeing the driver using their phone.

If law enforcement decides to investigate the circumstances that led to an accident, they have legal means to obtain phone records and determine if a driver was on the phone or texting. Witnesses might also report seeing the driver using their phone.

What Can a Worried Parent Do?

Parents must talk to teens about all the factors mentioned above that lead to accidents. Even if you think your teen doesn’t drink there is always a first time. Parents can set a good example. Don’t drink and drive. Don’t pick up your phone while driving. Drive at the speed limit. Be a model for safe, responsible driving.

Make sure your teen gets lots of hours driving with you in the car so that they get more comfortable and you can see where their weaknesses may be. You can gradually ease up on the supervision as you see your teen gaining more confidence and skill behind the wheel. 

Summer should be fun and enjoyable for teens. The freedom that comes with gaining the right to drive also comes with serious responsibilities. As a parent, you can be a model of good driving behavior and have tough discussions with your teen driver that need to be had no matter how uncomfortable.

Talk to your teen about the consequences if they are caught drinking and driving or driving while texting. You can even write up a contract that you both discuss and sign. Make this a safe and fun summer for everyone. If you have been injured, then check out our guide on how to find a good personal injury lawyer.

Proton Pump Inhibitor Lawsuits

Millions of Americans suffer from heartburn, ulcers, and acid reflux. Medications like Prilosec, Prevacid, and Nexium are commonly prescribed and taken to prevent these painful health conditions. Unfortunately, these medications, known as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), may do more harm than good. A recent study out of San Diego reveals that PPIs are linked to higher rates of kidney disease.

Despite this information, pharmaceutical companies have continued to market and sell their best-selling medications. As a result, 10 percent of American adults may be at risk of developing an avoidable and potentially life-threatening health condition.

Pharmaceutical Companies Aggressively Market Dangerous Drugs

For decades, people suffering from heartburn have turned to proton pump inhibitors for help. PPIs gained a lot of popularity, in part, due to an aggressive marketing campaign. It’s hard to turn on your TV or pass a billboard without seeing Larry the Cable guy gushing about the benefits of Prilosec.

Nexium, another popular PPI, has been marketed as the “purple pill.” Medications pushed by a goofy comic or referred to in such a lighthearted manner couldn’t possibly be dangerous, right? Wrong.

Decades of studies have revealed that long-term PPI use is associated with a host of health issues. Patients taking a PPI have reported a variety of adverse health events, including:

  • Kidney injuries
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Liver damage
  • Infection
  • Dementia, and
  • Cancer.

These studies haven’t stopped AstraZeneca and other pharmaceutical companies from pouring millions of dollars into advertising campaigns. However, these campaigns failed to mention these possible health risks.

Heartburn Patients Are Suing Pharmaceutical Companies

Pharmaceutical companies have a responsibility to design, create, and sell safe drugs. If a company knows that a medication may be dangerous, it has an obligation to warn consumers. When a company fails to warn patients and doctors about known health risks, it can be liable for injuries and harm.

Thousands of heartburn patients are suing pharmaceutical companies over PPI-related injuries. The proton pump inhibitor lawsuits accuse the companies of:

  • Manufacturing and marketing a dangerous drug, and
  • Failing to warn patients about health risks associated with the use of PPIs.

Plaintiffs claim that they could have opted for a different treatment and avoided injury if they’d known the risks associated with taking a PPI.

While some PPI injury lawsuits have been settled, many are still pending in state and federal courts across the country.

What Damages Can Injured Proton Pump Inhibitor Patients Recover?

In California, plaintiffs in product liability lawsuits are entitled to ask for economic and non-economic damages.

Economic damages are awarded to offset the financial costs of an unexpected injury. An award of economic damages should help to put a victim back in the financial position they were in before they were injured. Examples of economic damages include:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Disability, and
  • Reduced earning capacity.

Non-economic damages are awarded to compensate for injuries that are difficult to value in terms of dollars and cents. These awards are very subjective and often vary significantly from one case to another. Examples of non-economic damages include:

  • Emotional distress
  • Pain and suffering, and
  • Loss of enjoyment of life.

In some cases, a court may approve an award of punitive damages. Punitive damages are appropriate when a defendant acts fraudulently or intends to cause harm. Juries may be inclined to award punitive damages in PPI injury cases if they believe that pharmaceutical companies intentionally hid health risks from patients.

Do not hesitate to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer if you believe that you’ve developed health issues while taking a PPI. You may have the right to file a lawsuit and recover compensation for your injuries.