Goshen Accident and Injury Attorneys Answer Frequently Asked Questions About New York Personal Injury Law
If you have been injured in a car accident in New York, you probably have many questions about receiving compensation for the damages done to you. Below are answers to some of the questions most frequently encountered by the personal injury attorneys at Dupée & Monroe as we help victims of car accidents in Goshen, Orange County and throughout the Hudson Valley. If you have other questions about your car, truck or motorcycle accident, or any other injury caused by the negligence or misconduct of another, contact our office for a free consultation about how we can help you recover compensation for your injuries.
How much does it cost to hire a lawyer? What if I can’t afford an attorney?
Most personal injury attorneys are willing to take your case on a contingency fee basis, meaning that we do not charge a fee unless and until we obtain a recovery for you. No recovery, no fee. If we are successful, our fee will be a percentage of the amount we recover for you. We know that personal injury litigation can be expensive, and not everybody can afford to front the costs of the case. The contingency fee allows everyone to have access to high-quality representation and the chance to recover a full and fair amount of compensation for their injuries. We can also advance all the costs of the litigation, such as filing fees, expert witness fees, deposition fees, and more.
I was going a little over the speed limit when another car blew through a stop sign and hit me? Will I be able to recover compensation, even if I was speeding?
Sometime the jury decides that both parties were negligent and contributed to the car accident. If this happens to you, the rule in New York is that you can still recover compensation for the damages done to you, but your award will be reduced in proportion to the amount of negligence assigned to you. For instance, if your damages are $100,000, but you are found to be 10% at fault, you would only recover $90,000. Even if you were considered to be 90% to blame, you could still recover $10,000 of the $100,000.
Insurance companies will often try to shift as much of the blame as possible off their client and onto you, and juries may be inclined to “compromise” and assign some of the fault to both parties. At Dupée & Monroe, our attorneys work hard to prove the facts of the case and make sure our clients are not unfairly saddled with any of the blame for an accident that was not their fault.
Can I get punitive damages against the driver of the car who hit me?
Punitive or exemplary damages are sometimes appropriate to punish the defendant for particularly bad behavior and set an example to deter others from engaging in similar egregious conduct. Punitive damages in New York is a complicated area of the law that may be applied differently depending upon the court and the type of case. In many instances, punitive damage awards are held to a higher standard of proof, so even when they are applicable, it can be more difficult to successfully prove punitive damages than other parts of the case. Despite the added difficulty, the lawyers at Dupée & Monroe pursue punitive damage awards in appropriate cases to maximize the compensation for our clients and help ensure that justice is done in the case. Appropriate cases may include instances where the defendant acted intentionally to harm another, was willfully negligent, or acted with a reckless disregard for the safety of others.
Will I have to go to court?
While it is often necessary to file a lawsuit in order to get the maximum amount of compensation from the insurance company, the great majority of personal injury cases settle without the need for an actual trial. It may be necessary to have you give a deposition under oath stating the facts about the accident or your injuries, but this is usually done in an office with only the lawyers and a court reporter present, not in a courtroom in front of a judge or jury. Whether you are giving a deposition or testifying in court, we will prepare you for your appearance so you will know what to expect, and we will always be with you to make sure your rights are respected and that you are treated fairly.
At Dupée & Monroe, we try cases and are frequently in court. We don’t cave in to pressure from the insurance companies and settle a case for less than it is worth; instead we always do what is best for you. All serious settlement offers will always be communicated to you, and the decision whether to accept or reject any offer is up to you. Of course, you can rely on us to advise you on your options based on our years of experience handling cases like yours and getting results for people like you.