Medical Malpractice, Insurance & Injury Law FAQs
Since 1955, the law firm of Shayne, Dachs, Sauer & Dachs, LLP has put the interests of its clients first. In an effort to help injured victims find answers to their questions, we present answers to the following frequently asked questions:
How do I know if I need an attorney?
If you have been seriously injured in an accident, or as the result of medical malpractice, or if you have a dispute with an insurance company over coverage, an experienced personal injury attorney should always be consulted as soon after your injury as possible and before you give any statements or sign any papers of any kind. In a serious injury case, you are better off hiring an attorney as soon as possible. A statute of limitations requires you to file a lawsuit within a specific period of time, depending upon the circumstances of your case, or else you will be prohibited from obtaining any compensation for your injuries. A Shayne, Dachs, Sauer & Dachs, LLP lawyer will be able to ensure that your claim is timely filed within the applicable statute of limitations, and properly prosecuted.
Should I deal with the insurance company on my own?
No. It is very important for you to have legal representation when you deal with an insurance company in order to avoid mistakes that could cost you your claim. Insurance company employees or lawyers are usually very experienced in handling matters such as yours and they know when and where you or your claim might be vulnerable. You need someone with similar (or better) experience and expertise to assist you in avoiding pitfalls and preserving your claim. The lawyers at Shayne, Dachs, Sauer & Dachs, LLP know to speak the insurance company’s language and will look out for your best interests.
How do I know if I have a personal injury case?
In order to prevail in a personal injury lawsuit in New York, you must be able to demonstrate that you have been injured. This may be a physical injury or it may, under certain circumstances, be an emotional injury. In addition, you must be able to show that someone else (the defendant) is at fault for your injury under a negligence, strict liability, or intentional misconduct theory. By consulting with a Shayne, Dachs, Sauer & Dachs, LLP attorney, you will be in a better position to determine whether or not you have a case to pursue.
How do I know if I have a medical malpractice case?
You need three key elements to have a viable medical malpractice case:
- Proof there was wrongdoing, that is, a departure from standard medical care
- Proof that the wrongdoing or egregious error was the direct cause of your injuries
- Proof that your injuries are serious, catastrophic, and in many cases, permanent
How do I know if I have an insurance case?
If you have made a claim against an insurance company either for insurance benefits or for insurance coverage, which has been denied or disclaimed, and that denial or disclaimer is erroneous, improper or untimely, you may have a valid claim against the insurance company. In certain circumstances, a claim may also exist against an insurance agent or broker. By consulting with a Shayne, Dachs, Sauer & Dachs, LLP attorney, you will be in a better position to determine whether or not to pursue such claims.
What is a contingency fee?
A contingency fee is a fee arrangement that is used by lawyers in most injury cases. It is a fee that is conditioned upon the attorney’s successful resolution of your case. A contingent fee is paid as a percentage of your monetary recovery. A contingent fee is what is meant when you hear the phrase, “no fee unless we recover.” The client is generally responsible for the out-of-pocket costs of litigation. Contingency fees are usually one-third of what you win from the case. The percentages are slightly different in medical malpractice cases, and are governed by statute. In insurance matters, our fee may be charged on an hourly rate, a contingency fee, or a combination of the two, depending upon our agreement with you.
What is a statute of limitations?
A statute of limitations is a time frame in which you must file a claim. In New York, you generally have three years from the date of a personal injury to file a lawsuit against the responsible party. For a medical malpractice claim, you have two and one-half years. Wrongful death claims must be filed within two years of the death. You must file libel and slander claims within one year of the incident.
If you fail to file your claim before these dates, you can no longer seek compensation for your injuries
What financial compensation can I recover in a personal injury/medical malpractice claim?
Accident victims are entitled to recover money damages for all losses and expenses they incur as a result of an accident. Depending upon the particular circumstances of your case, damages may include recovery for any of the following:
- Pain and suffering—past and future
- Medical bills
- Lost wages, including overtime
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Physical disability
- Mental disability
- Emotional trauma
- Loss of enjoyment, love, and affection
- Property damage
- All out-of-pocket expenses
- Transportation charges
- House cleaning
- Grass cutting
A Shayne, Dachs, Sauer & Dachs, LLP attorney can help you determine the amount for which to sue. Contact the law firm today for experienced legal representation.
Must I go to court?
Most cases in New York are settled out of court between opposing lawyers or by the insurance company. If a case does go to trial, you most likely will have to appear so that your testimony can be heard.
If you or someone you know in Nassau County, Suffolk County, or the New York Metropolitan area needs the assistance of an experienced personal injury, medical malpractice, or insurance lawyer, contact the law firm of Shayne, Dachs, Sauer & Dachs, LLP for a free consultation. We can be reached at (516) 747-1100 or toll-free at (800) 353-7918, or via our convenient contact form. Allow us to put our experience and expertise to work for you!