When To Sue For Personal Injury

Personal injury is a collective term that covers a wide variety of wrongs and damages done to a person, and / or his or her property, rights or reputation. If you have suffered loss, accident, injury or other misfortune due to other people’s negligence, malpractice, intentional error or someone else's act or failure to act, you might be entitled to compensation and correction. Of course, no amount of money can truly compensate for your injuries and suffering, but a fair settlement can cover medical expenses, lost wages or damage from emotional distress.

Typical personal injury cases that Personal Injury Lawyers sue for damages are:

  • Medical Malpractice
  • Construction Accidents
  • Crane Accidents
  • Birth Injury
  • Defective Products
  • Defective Drugs
  • Defective Medical Devices
  • Automobile, Bus and Truck Accidents
  • Motorcycle Accidents
  • Brain Damage
  • Bicycle Accidents
  • Boat Accidents
  • Lead Poisoning
  • Train Accidents
  • Toxic Exposure
  • Serious Burn Accidents
  • Slip, Trip and Fall Accidents
  • Factory Explosions
  • On the Job Injury

If you have suffered from a personal injury, there are two things that you are strongly advised to do before you contemplate settling – know your rights and don’t settle before you get legal counsel from a personal injury attorney. Personal injury attorneys will not only protect your rights and ensure that you are properly compensated, but they will also protect you from victimization from insurance companies, big business and even the legal system. Work accidents are a typical example of what personal injury attorneys are able to help you with. You could be even entitled to receive damages for loss of enjoyment if your personal injury keeps you from enjoying your hobbies, pursuits and daily activities. Dog bites, slip and fall, dental malpractice, and automobile accidents are also cases for which you will need the services of an experienced, professional and trustworthy Personal Injury Lawyer.

Most of you are probably wondering what your cases are really worth and what is an appropriate compensation for your injury. Personal Injury Attorneys will assist you with that too and give you a genuine assessment of your case.

Additionally, they will inform you of the statute of limitations or the time in which a victim should file a lawsuit. In the state of New York the general statute of limitations is three years since the date of the accident, but, for instance, if you are filing a notice of claim that involves NY City authorities, then the statute of limitation is only 90 days. For wrongful death cases, this deadline is two years since the date of death while in the case of medical malpractice, the statute of limitations stands at two years and six months. Because there are so many aspects of claiming a compensation for personal injury, having a proper legal counsel is a must.

While we are on the topic of compensations, the statistics have shown that about 95% of pending personal injury lawsuits end in pre-trial settlements which can be substantial.

To corroborate this claim, here are a few examples of New York personal injury settlements:

- Ernest Lewis was awarded $6.78 million in a verdict in the case against the New York City Transit Authorities after he had been run over by the BX19 bus. The settlement included $2.5 million for past pain and suffering, $4 million over a ten-year-period for future pain and suffering and $283,202 for incurred medical expenses.

- An 11-year-old boy was awarded $950,000 after an accident left him with facial scarring which consequentially made him turn to a life of crime. He and a group of young boys were playing stick ball on a Bronx street when the ball rolled into a large pothole. The boy got down to retrieve it. On the other side of the pothole, there was a wooden horse preventing vehicles from falling into it. As the boy was trying to get the ball, a car passed by, hit the horse which then flew into the boy’s head causing a serious skull fracture. The jury found the electric company, which work had caused the roadway to collapse forming a huge pothole, guilty. Unfortunately, by the time the case was tried, the boy, now adult, had committed two robberies which a psychologist attributed to his facial scarring and his peers mockingly calling him ‘scar face’ (in reference to the famous gangster).


For nearly 40 years, Gurfein Douglas Attorneys have been fighting for the rights of individuals in personal injury cases. These dedicated lawyers handle cases involving catastrophic injuries from construction accidents, product failures and medical errors. The firm continues to be the one other lawyers turn to with their significant injury cases.

Attorneys at Gurfein Douglas offer their clients extensive knowledge, passion and commitment to each case. Richard Gurfein holds a degree in Engineering and Preston Douglas holds a degree in Biochemistry. They both lecture locally and nationally to bar groups on topics ranging from Medical Malpractice to Courtroom Evidence and Law Office Technology. During his tenure as President of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association (NYSTLA), Gurfein was instrumental in changing jury selection laws to end bias against the injured victim. Douglas has contributed multiple articles to various law publications and is currently the Editor in Chief of the NYSTLA’s New York Litigation Review.

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