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New York Personal Injury FAQ

What are the steps I should take immediately after a car crash?

If able, the first priority would be to check and see if anyone was hurt. If you or anyone else sustained an injury, do not try to move on your own. Wait until emergency personnel arrive and evaluate you. Make sure that your account of the car accident gets into the police report. Never admit fault for the incident. Do not make any statements at the scene. But try to collect as much pertinent information as possible. If you have been involved in an accident, be sure to stop immediately and remain at the scene regardless of whether anyone has been injured or whose fault the accident may have been.

What information should I gather?

Every detail of the accident may prove useful if you choose to file a claim later. Here is some of the information from the crash scene that could prove valuable:
  • The location, date and time of the accident
  • Names and contact information for all parties involved, including any witnesses to the accident
  • Description of the vehicles involved, including the make and model of each vehicle
  • Insurance information for other drivers involved in the accident
  • Take photographs to document the incident. If you have your cell phone with a camera, use it. Photograph your injuries, the position of the vehicles, the damage to the vehicles, and other evidence at the scene.

Will I need to call my insurance company?

The best thing to do is to call an experienced personal injury lawyer right after the accident so that the lawyer can contact your insurance company and the other person's insurance company for you.

Do I need to go to the hospital or get medical attention?

If you only have pain and no apparent injuries, you may feel as if you do not need medical attention. The truth is that many soft tissue injuries, such as whiplash, get worse if not properly treated and symptoms may not even surface until days after the incident. If you have been injured do not decline medical attention at the scene. In addition go to the hospital to get a checkup. Head injuries such as concussions need immediate attention. Your visit to the hospital will not only create a record of your injuries, but also help put you on the road to recovery.

What does the term “negligence” mean in car accident cases?

Negligence refers to careless or reckless behavior on the part of another individual and/or company. A person can be negligent by having done something or by failing to do something that he or she should have done. Common examples of driver negligence include:
  • Exceeding the speed limit or driving at an unsafe speed given the traffic, weather and roadway conditions
  • Making an unsafe lane change
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs
  • Failure to follow the rules of the road such as running a red light or stop sign or failing to yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian
  • Distracted driving, such as talking on the cell phone or texting while driving
  • Failure to maintain one's vehicle properly

What type of compensation am I entitled to receive?

The type and amount of compensation to which you are entitled usually depends on the nature of the accident and the extent of your injuries. You could seek compensation for damages including, but not limited to:
  • Medical expenses, hospitalization, surgery, emergency room fees and cost of medications and medical devices
  • Loss of wages and loss of earning capacity due to time missed at work
  • Cost of rehabilitation and physical therapy
  • Permanent injuries
  • Disabilities or disfigurement
  • Past and future pain and suffering
  • Emotional injury
  • Out-of-pocket expenses
  • Loss of services of a spouse or child
  • Loss of benefits, etc.

Will I be able to seek compensation even if I am at fault?

If you have been injured in a car accident that you believe may have been your fault, you do not have to accept an insurance company's determination. Insurance companies may often attempt to pin the blame on you so they can minimize the payout or eliminate it completely. For example, in one case where our client was injured in a car versus truck accident in which his wife was the driver, we were able to obtain $2,550,000 in compensation. A judge ruled that our client's wife was 100 percent responsible for causing the accident. Since our injured person in this case was prohibited from recovering against his wife, we sued the truck owner and driver. Despite the judge's ruling that the truck owner and driver were not even 1 percent at fault, we were able to get the trucking firm's insurance company to settle for $2,500,000 and the insurance company for the car in which our client was a passenger to offer the full $50,000 policy.

Will I need to go to court?

Every case is different and there are a number of legal options available for injured victims of car accidents. If the insurance company provides you with a fair settlement, going to court may not be necessary. However, if the insurance company is stonewalling you or denying fair compensation, going to court may be the best option.

What is a personal injury claim?

When someone is charged or cited for causing a car accident, he or she may face criminal charges. Their criminal case or citation may result in fines or jail time, but it will not result in compensation for victims and their families. A victim may have to file a personal injury claim in a civil case to hold the negligent driver accountable. Please remember that a personal injury lawsuit may be filed against the negligent party even if he or she does not face criminal charges.

How much is a claim worth?

Every case is different. You can, however, begin to estimate the potential value of your claim by calculating your damages and losses relating to the car accident. Keep records of your lost wages, your medical bills and damage to property such as loss of your vehicle. All of these types of losses can be included in a claim. What is perhaps more challenging to calculate is the value of your pain and suffering. Non-economic damages such as pain and suffering, loss of companionship and emotional distress can be included in a claim as well.

Do you need an attorney?

It is advisable to immediately consult with a skilled New York car accident attorney who offers free initial consultations. Such a consultation will give you an opportunity to learn about your legal rights and options. You will need the services of an attorney if you suffered a serious injury, if the driver involved left the scene of the crash or if there is a disagreement regarding how the accident occurred. There are many reasons why it could prove useful to have a skilled injury lawyer guiding you through the legal proceedings.

About the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm

The Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm is a personal injury litigation firm with an unwavering dedication to its clients. With more than 42 years of experience, our firm strives to obtain the best compensation for those who have been injured or those who have lost a loved one due to an accident or by someone else's negligence. We handle cases dealing with personal injury, medical malpractice, wrongful death, workers' compensation, dental malpractice, motor vehicle accidents including car, bus, train and truck accidents, pedestrian accidents, rape, paralysis, comas, seizures, false arrest, lead poisoning, trips and slips and falls, falls on sidewalks or stairs, elevator accidents, construction accidents, Erb's palsy, cerebral palsy, brain damage, blindness, hearing loss, dog bite cases, fire and smoke inhalation accidents, bicycle accidents, falls from windows or scaffolds, food poisoning injuries, and many other types of accidents and injuries.Please contact us TOLL FREE 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-WORK-4-YOU (1-800-967-5496). WE CAN EVEN COME TO YOU. There is no attorneys' fee unless we recover money for you. We can also help with personal injury cases in New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, or Florida. If you have been seriously injured in any of the 50 U.S. states, please call us and we will try to help you with your case.Other TOLL FREE phone numbers for us are:1-800-RADIO-LAW, 1-888-WYPADEK, OR 1-800-LAS-LEYES Please visit us at: http://www.WORK4YOULAW.com 

What is premises liability?

All property owners have a legal responsibility to provide reasonably safe conditions for their tenants, guests and visitors. Therefore, when a property owner fails to protect visitors from injury or harm, he or she may be held liable for the resulting injuries and damages. A premises liability claim is a civil lawsuit that can be filed by injured victims against property owners and/or managers, etc.

What are examples of cases where premises liability claims may be filed?

In general, property owners can be held accountable for the accidents they reasonably could have prevented. For example, property owners can be held accountable when injuries result from their failure to clean up spills or to repair dangerous conditions on their property. Property owners could also be held liable when they fail to warn visitors, guests or tenants about dangerous conditions. Incidents that may result in premises liability claims include:
  • Slip-and-fall accidents involving spills or wet floors that were not properly mopped. A freshly mopped floor in a public location must always be accompanied by a "wet floor" warning sign.
  • Trip-and-fall accidents involving debris that was carelessly left in walkways.
  • Accidents involving broken staircases, malfunctioning elevators and uneven surfaces.
  • Building fires that occur as a result of the property owner's failure to equip the building with sprinklers when required and smoke alarms or a failure to make sure that these safety devices are in good working order.
  • Criminal acts that resulted from a failure to provide adequate security. Examples include lack of surveillance cameras, inadequate lighting, defective doors or window locks.
  • Sidewalk accidents that could have been prevented had the building owner or responsible party repaired the damaged or uneven walkway.

What should I do if I’ve been injured on someone else’s property?

If you are unable to move, you should call 911 or call for help. Do not try to move on your own until emergency personnel arrive. If you are able to move around, you should notify the property manager or owner etc. Make sure that you file an incident report and obtain a copy of the report. Collect contact information from anyone who may have witnessed the accident and photograph the dangerous conditions that contributed to the accident. Make sure to photograph the entire area to establish whether or not there were warning signs posted. Seek and obtain medical attention right away. This not only ensures that there is a record of your injuries, but also that you are on the road to recovery. Also call an experienced personal injury lawyer right after the accident.

Who is liable if I slip and fall or trip and fall on a sidewalk?

The exact location of the sidewalk accident will determine who may be held liable for injuries and your medical bills. The city is responsible for some trips on sidewalks, but the walkways in front of businesses are often the responsibility of the building owners or businesses. Under New York Administration Code 19-152, property owners are often required to install, maintain and repair sidewalks adjourning their premises. They must monitor the quality of the sidewalk and take action when repairs are needed. Property owners must also keep the adjoining sidewalk clear of snow and ice, in many cases.

What happens if I am injured in a private residence?

Similar to business owners, private homeowners must provide reasonably safe conditions to visitors. If you are hurt while visiting the home of a friend or acquaintance, you have the right to request compensation for your injuries and medical bills and other related expenses. Your losses may be covered under the homeowner's insurance policy.

Can I still pursue compensation if I was trespassing at the time of the accident?

It is possible to pursue compensation for your medical bills, lost wages and other related damages if you are hurt on someone else's property, even if you are trespassing. Visitors who were authorized to be on the property can seek compensation with a premises liability claim, also. However there are exceptions. If you have been injured on someone else's property, it is still important that you explore your options. There may be circumstances under which you could seek compensation for your injuries and losses. Please call an experienced personal injury lawyer right after your injury.

What is my claim worth?

The potential value of your premises liability claim depends on the negligence of the responsible party, the severity of your injuries and the extent of your losses. A successful claim will result in coverage of all of your medical bills, lost wages, permanent injuries, disabilities, past and future pain and suffering, etc. Therefore, those who have suffered a catastrophic injury such as a traumatic brain injury or spinal cord injury would of course normally receive a much larger settlement than someone who has suffered a muscle strain or a sprain.

Should I accept a cash settlement from an insurance company?

The primary goal of insurance adjusters is often to save their company money. They may try a number of tactics to deny your claim or to get you to accept an inadequate settlement. As tempting as a quick settlement might be, it could affect the true value of your premises liability claim. Make sure you understand all of your legal rights and options before making any decisions that could affect your claim. The best advice is to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer right after you are hurt.

About the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm

The Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm is a personal injury litigation firm with an unwavering dedication to its clients. With more than 42 years of experience, our firm strives to obtain the best compensation for those who have been injured or those who have lost a loved one due to an accident or by someone else's negligence. We handle cases dealing with personal injury, medical malpractice, wrongful death, workers' compensation, dental malpractice, motor vehicle accidents including car, bus, train and truck accidents, pedestrian accidents, rape, paralysis, comas, seizures, false arrest, lead poisoning, trips and slips and falls, falls on sidewalks or stairs, elevator accidents, construction accidents, Erb's palsy, cerebral palsy, brain damage, blindness, hearing loss, dog bite cases, fire and smoke inhalation accidents, bicycle accidents, falls from windows or scaffolds, food poisoning injuries, and many other types of accidents and injuries. Our law firm recovered $1,700,000 for a woman who slipped and fell and received no hospital or medical treatment for one month after the accident.Please contact us TOLL FREE 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-WORK-4-YOU (1-800-967-5496). WE CAN EVEN COME TO YOU. There is no attorneys' fee unless we recover money for you. We can also help with personal injury cases in New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, or Florida. If you have been seriously injured in any of the 50 U.S. states, please call us and we will try to help you with your case.Other TOLL FREE phone numbers for us are:1-800-RADIO-LAW, 1-888-WYPADEK, OR 1-800-LAS-LEYES Please visit us at: http://www.WORK4YOULAW.comEnter answer here

Can I file a lawsuit if I’m an undocumented immigrant worker in New York City?

Yes, if you have been injured on the job in New York City or New York State, you have rights regardless of your nationality or immigration status. A report titled "Fatal Inequality" that was released and compiled by the Center for Popular Democracy, points out the disproportionately high number of Latino and immigrant construction workers who are killed on the job every year in New York City. According to the Oct. 24, 2013 report, between 2003 and 2011, 74 percent of fatal construction accident related falls in New York City involved Latinos or immigrants. The statistics were compiled based on investigative reports provided by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which probes workplace accidents that result in injuries and fatalities. Our law firm recovered $3,375,576 for a construction worker – an undocumented immigrant (an "illegal alien") ­– who was injured on the job. This was one of the highest construction case settlements in New York State in 2010.

About the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm

The Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm is a personal injury litigation firm with an unwavering dedication to its clients. With more than 42 years of experience, our firm strives to obtain the best compensation for those who have been injured or those who have lost a loved one due to an accident or by someone else's negligence. We handle cases dealing with personal injury, medical malpractice, wrongful death, workers' compensation, dental malpractice, motor vehicle accidents including car, bus, train and truck accidents, pedestrian accidents, rape, paralysis, comas, seizures, false arrest, lead poisoning, trips and slips and falls, falls on sidewalks or stairs, elevator accidents, construction accidents, Erb's palsy, cerebral palsy, brain damage, blindness, hearing loss, dog bite cases, fire and smoke inhalation accidents, bicycle accidents, falls from windows or scaffolds, food poisoning injuries, and many other types of accidents and injuries.Please contact us TOLL FREE 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-WORK-4-YOU (1-800-967-5496). WE CAN EVEN COME TO YOU. There is no attorneys' fee unless we recover money for you. We can also help with personal injury cases in New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, or Florida. If you have been seriously injured in any of the 50 U.S. states, please call us and we will try to help you with your case.Other TOLL FREE phone numbers for us are:1-800-RADIO-LAW, 1-888-WYPADEK, OR 1-800-LAS-LEYES Please visit us at: http://www.WORK4YOULAW.com

Do I need an attorney?

Yes. That is the best course in most cases for you. If, you have missed an amount of time from work and are worried about receiving fair compensation, it will be in your best interests to discuss your legal options with a construction accident attorney.

Is the property owner liable for my injuries?

There are circumstances in which a property owner can be held responsible for the accidents that occur on their premises. The owner of the property has a duty to maintain the premises in a safe condition for the construction workers. Similarly, the general contractor has a duty to work with sub-contractors and oversee the implementation of safety procedures at worksites.

Can I file a third-party claim even if I am collecting workers’ compensation benefits?

Yes. Injured workers have the right to seek money through workers compensation and to file a third-party claim against the person or company that caused or is responsible for the accident. The benefits covered by workers' compensation are limited and often do not cover significant damages such as large losses of earnings, emotional distress, disfigurement, and pain and suffering. Therefore, a third-party claim is often the only way to receive adequate compensation.

What is a third-party claim?

In addition to workers' compensation claims, injured construction workers may be able to file a "third-party claim." Such claims are usually filed against a party other than an employer whose actions may have caused or contributed to the construction accident. Examples of third parties include general contractors, sub-contractors, property owners, manufacturers of defective products, etc.

Who will pay for my lost wages and hospital bills?

All injured workers have the right to file a workers' compensation claim when they have suffered a job-related injury. A successful workers' compensation claim will result in money for all of your medical bills and a portion of your lost wages. It will not, however, cover non-economic losses such as pain and suffering, or adequately cover serious permanent injuries or large loss of earnings claims etc. For that type of coverage, you may have to file a lawsuit. In general workers' compensation only covers a small amount of what you may be entitled to.

What should I do immediately following a construction accident?

It is important to get prompt medical attention. If you or anyone else sustained an injury, you must notify your manager right away. Inform the supervisor that you were injured, write down the names of everyone who witnessed the accident and seek medical attention right away. Before seeing a doctor, discuss with your manager if there is a specific hospital or doctor you must see in order to get covered by your employer's workers' compensation insurance.

What types of injuries can occur at a construction site?

Construction workers commonly suffer bone fractures in fall-related accidents and incidents involving heavy machinery. They could suffer laceration injuries when working with power tools and electrocution if they come in contact with live wires. It is possible for construction workers to also suffer amputation injuries, neck injuries, muscle strains, concussions, internal injuries and even spinal cord injuries.

How can I reduce my chances of getting hurt?

There are many ways in which construction companies and workers can prevent accidents from happening. If you feel unqualified for a particular task on the jobsite, it is important that you express your concerns and request training. It is simply not safe to use power tools or heavy machinery when you are inexperienced. If you are asked to work at an elevation, make sure you are provided adequate fall prevention gear. You should not be on a roof without a safety harness or net. You should not be on a scaffold that has not been properly secured or inspected. In general, supervisors can prevent accidents by actively monitoring the work conditions, while workers can reduce their chances of being hurt by using caution.

What makes construction work so dangerous?

There are many different types of hazards that put construction workers at risk of suffering serious or even fatal injuries. A worker may get hurt if a trench or scaffold collapses. Falling debris, large machinery, heavy loads or cranes can crush workers as well. Construction workers are often hurt in accidents involving any number of factors including, but not limited to, falls, cranes, power tools, live power lines, adverse weather conditions, inadequate supervision, improper safety gear and inexperienced contractors, etc.

How common are construction accidents?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the total number of fatal work-related injuries decreased to 4,383 in the year 2012 from 4,693 the previous year. Despite this overall decrease in fatal workplace accidents, the private construction sector saw a 5 percent increase to 775 from 738 in terms of worksite fatalities.

How long do I have to file a claim?

There is a limited amount of time to file a wrongful death claim. This time limit is known as the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations for most wrongful death cases in New York is two years from the date of death, but in some cases, especially against a city or other governmental entity, the time to act may be much shorter. Failure to file within two years could jeopardize the future of your potential claim. It is best to call an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after the death or injury so that your rights are protected.

About the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm

The Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm is a personal injury litigation firm with an unwavering dedication to its clients. With more than 42 years of experience, our firm strives to obtain the best compensation for those who have been injured or those who have lost a loved one due to an accident or by someone else's negligence.We handle cases dealing with personal injury, medical malpractice, wrongful death, workers' compensation, dental malpractice, motor vehicle accidents including car, bus, train and truck accidents, pedestrian accidents, rape, paralysis, comas, seizures, false arrest, lead poisoning, trips and slips and falls, falls on sidewalks or stairs, elevator accidents, construction accidents, Erb's palsy, cerebral palsy, brain damage, blindness, hearing loss, dog bite cases, fire and smoke inhalation accidents, bicycle accidents, falls from windows or scaffolds, food poisoning injuries, and many other types of accidents and injuries.Please contact us TOLL FREE 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-WORK-4-YOU (1-800-967-5496). WE CAN EVEN COME TO YOU. There is no attorneys' fee unless we recover money for you. We can also help with personal injury cases in New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, or Florida. If you have been seriously injured in any of the 50 U.S. states, please call us and we will try to help you with your case.Other TOLL FREE phone numbers for us are:1-800-RADIO-LAW, 1-888-WYPADEK, OR 1-800-LAS-LEYES Please visit us at: http://www.WORK4YOULAW.com 

What is the potential value of a wrongful death claim?

No amount of financial compensation can adequately replace the life of a loved one. A successful wrongful death claim can, however, provide a family with much needed financial support during a difficult time.There are many factors that must be considered when calculating the value of a wrongful death claim. Was someone liable? Did the victim have a job? How long was the victim planning to work before retirement? Compensation may be available for lost future income. Other factors that will be considered include the victim's life expectancy, his or her health, age, habits, past earnings and benefits. The families of wrongful death victims can also seek compensation for a number of other economic and non-economic losses.

What will you need to file a claim?

While preparing to file a wrongful death lawsuit, you will need:
  • Details regarding the facts of the incident
  • The names of the witnesses and the description of any evidence you may have
  • Photographic evidence if any
  • Copy of a police report or incident report
  • Insurance information for the parties involved
  • Details relating to the decedent's salary and benefits
Your attorney may obtain much of the above information for you.

Who can file a wrongful death claim?

There are a number of potential claimants in a wrongful death case. Determining who can file a claim can be a complex issue. Survivors who are typically entitled to pursue a wrongful death claim include:
  • The spouse of the decedent
  • The children of the decedent
  • The decedent's parents if the victim did not have any children
  • The parents of the decedent if he or she was a child or minor
  • Other people who were financially dependent on the decedent
  • Brothers and sisters of the victim if there are no living parents or children
  • The public administrator if no authorized relative exists.

What is the difference between civil and criminal cases?

Individuals who are responsible for someone's death may face criminal charges for murder or manslaughter. He or she may face civil charges as well if the decedent's family chooses to file a lawsuit. During the criminal proceedings, the prosecution will have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty. During a civil lawsuit, the victim's family will only have to prove that the negligence or wrongdoing of the defendant contributed to the accident. You may remember that O.J. Simpson was not convicted on criminal charges for the murder of his wife, but Nicole Brown Simpson's family successfully sued him in civil court. O.J. Simpson did not go to prison for the murder, but the victim's family was able to hold him civilly liable for the loss of their loved one.

What is the difference between murder and wrongful death?

Murder is just one of many types of wrongful death. You have the right to sue someone for civil damages if he or she killed your loved one. You can also sue someone whose act of negligence resulted in a wrongful death. Therefore, wrongful death can involve an intentional act, but it can also involve an act of recklessness or carelessness.

What are some examples of wrongful death?

A significant number of wrongful death claims result from car accidents. If your loved one was killed by a distracted, speeding, intoxicated or otherwise careless driver, you could file a wrongful death claim against the at-fault party. Wrongful death claims may also stem from:
  • Slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall accidents
  • Construction accidents
  • Transportation accidents
  • Aviation accidents
  • Defective products
  • Medical malpractice
  • Food poisoning
  • Act of violence

What is a wrongful death claim?

A wrongful death is when someone is killed by a wrongful act or an act of negligence. If a person is killed because of the wrongful conduct of another, the decedent's surviving family members may file a wrongful death claim against those responsible for that individual's death. A wrongful death lawsuit is separate from criminal charges and neither proceeding affects nor controls the other. This means that a defendant who has been cleared or acquitted in a murder case may still be sued in a civil action by the victim's family for wrongful death.

About the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm

If you or a loved one has suffered personal injuries, the experienced New York personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm can help you better understand your legal rights and options. With more than 42 years of experience, we work tirelessly to help obtain the best possible compensation for injured victims or those who have lost a loved one due to someone else's negligence.We have a lengthy history of handling complicated personal injury cases. Our law firm recently recovered $5,600,000 for a man on a bicycle who was hit by a van. We were able to secure this settlement for our client even though the police report was against our client.Please contact us TOLL FREE 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-WORK-4-YOU (1-800-967-5496). WE CAN EVEN COME TO YOU. There is no attorneys' fee unless we recover money for you. We can also help with personal injury cases in New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, or Florida. If you have been seriously injured in any of the 50 U.S. states, please call us and we will try to help you with your case.Other TOLL FREE phone numbers for us are:1-800-RADIO-LAW, 1-888-WYPADEK, OR 1-800-LAS-LEYESPlease visit us at: http://www.WORK4YOULAW.com

What do I have to pay my personal injury lawyer?

Most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. This means that they will not collect any fees unless they recover compensation for you. It is important that you retain a lawyer who works on a contingency fee basis.  As a client of the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm, you will never have to pay any money in advance of any case.  The only time we earn money is if we recover money for you.  If we are unable to recover money for you from your case, you owe us nothing.  You can only stand to benefit if we win, but there is no cost if we do not win.

How do I select the right personal injury lawyer?

Choosing the right personal injury attorney can make the difference between a huge recovery of money and a total loss. If you are unable to travel because of your injuries, the law firm may be able to send a representative to you in a timely manner. You should retain an attorney who limits his or her practice to personal injury cases and has successfully handled cases similar to yours, and has achieved big results in big cases.

What does “statute of limitations” mean?

The "statute of limitations" refers to a time period or a deadline within which you must either file your claim or lawsuit. Different claims have different statutes of limitations. This date is critical to your case because once it passes, your right to receive compensation will be eliminated in most cases, even if you had not been informed about the deadline. If you were injured due to negligence on the part of a governmental entity, then you may be required to file a "notice of a claim" soon after the accident. This is a significant step in your claim process and the services of a knowledgeable injury lawyer will prove invaluable at this time. The best advice is to contact an experienced personal injury attorney right after you sustain any injuries in order to protect your rights.

Can I seek compensation if I’m an undocumented person or illegal resident?

Our law firm has helped many undocumented injured people and their families receive just compensation for their losses. In a recent case, we were able to recover $3,375,576 for an undocumented person who was injured while working at a construction site. Although you may not be a legal resident, you still have rights.

Will I have to go to court?

Going to court may not be necessary. Most personal injury claims are settled out of court even before a jury trial and sometimes even before a lawsuit is filed. However, if the insurance company is unwilling to make a fair settlement offer, it would be in your best interest to file a lawsuit and take your case before a jury.

How do I pay for my medical expenses?

If you have been seriously injured in an accident, you may be struggling with a number of medical expenses while being unable to work and bring home your regular income. In such situations, you may be able to pay for the treatment using your health insurance, auto insurance or both. Your injury lawyer will be able to advise you about the best course of action when it comes to paying for your treatment and care.

How can I keep track of my losses?

Please remember to save all of your bills and receipts relating to the injury. List all expenses incurred, including doctor's office visits, emergency room visits, surgery done, medical equipment used, cost of medication, physical therapy, psychological counseling, etc. It is also helpful to document your physical and emotional state by writing a journal. What tasks are you unable to perform? In what activities are you unable to participate? How does that affect your family life and your ability to work? These are pertinent details that will be invaluable in deciding the total worth of your claim.

Should I accept the insurance company’s settlement offer?

Do not speak to any insurance company without first speaking to an experienced personal injury lawyer. It would be a mistake to accept the insurance company's first settlement offer without first talking to a knowledgeable injury lawyer, who will be able to evaluate the offer and tell you if it is fair. If you have suffered injuries that have caused you to incur medical expenses and to lose wages, it is important that those losses are included in the offer. Also, if you expect to undergo continuing treatment such as physical therapy or chiropractic care, those expenses should be factored in as well. In catastrophic injury cases such as brain damage or paralysis, cost of rehabilitation and long-term care must be included. If you rush into a settlement, your case will be considered closed and you will not be able to claim any expenses or losses, which you may incur later.

Should I give a statement to the insurance adjuster?

The insurance company may seem eager to help. But, please remember that their goal is to protect their bottom line. Insurance adjusters are trained to prevent or lower payouts and are adept at reducing the value of a claim or altogether negating a claim. They will try to lowball you and make you a quick offer to close out the claim. Talk to an experienced New York personal injury lawyer first and do not talk or have any contact with an insurance company.

When should I get medical attention?

If you have been injured, it is crucial that you get medical attention immediately. You should see a doctor even if you have not suffered apparent injuries. This is because many injuries after a traumatic incident such as a fall or a car accident may not surface until days after the incident. When you get prompt medical attention, it not only creates a record of your injuries, but it also maximizes your chances of making a quick and complete recovery. Once you receive advice about a course of treatment for your injuries, it is necessary that you follow up and complete the necessary treatment. This will show that you did everything possible to help your own recovery process.

What steps should I take if I’ve suffered a personal injury?

If you have suffered a personal injury due to someone else's negligence or wrongdoing, it is crucial that you take immediate steps and protect your rights. First, it is essential to document or record the incident. For example, if you have been involved in an auto accident, you should file a police report. If you have suffered injuries in a slip-and-fall accident or a trip-and-fall accident, file a report with the property owner or property manager. Always obtain copies of these reports.Take photographs of the scene where the incident occurred as well as your injuries. Try to obtain as much information right away at the scene including insurance and contact details. If possible get the contact information for any witnesses to the accident. Accident scenes are cleared quickly and these important pieces of evidence may be hard to get a hold of later.Call us today for your free consultation. 1-800-WORK-4-YOU [1-800-967-5496] 

I was in an accident involving a motor vehicle that cannot be identified. Do I still have a case?

There are funds set aside for injury cases where the motor vehicle involved cannot be identified. We have successfully handled many cases like this. You too may very well be eligible to recover money for injuries sustained during a hit-and-run accident or an accident where the vehicle cannot be identified.

Call us today for your free consultation. 1-800-WORK-4-YOU [1-800-967-5496]

My child was born with cerebral palsy. Can this be a medical malpractice case?

Sometimes, the doctor that delivers the child at birth is careless or negligent and deprives the baby of oxygen which can cause cerebral palsy. We have successfully handled many cerebral palsy cases in which our clients were well compensated for the negligence, carelessness or wrong doing of a doctor or hospital during the child’s birth.The mother of a child who was born through medical negligence (malpractice) asked if her child had a case as the baby suffered mild cerebral palsy. We recovered $2,500,000 for the family.SEE MOREWe recovered $43,940,000 for a child who suffers from cerebral palsy due to the malpractice of doctors during child birth delivery.SEE MORE

What can be done if my child is diagnosed with lead poisoning?

If your child was diagnosed with lead poisoning, you may potentially have a major case. We have successfully handled many lead poisoning cases in which our young clients were justly compensated for health issues developed because of lead poisoning.We recently recovered $1,162,000 for a lead poisoned child.SEE MORE & VIEW TESTIMONIAL

I was injured while at work by the negligence, carelessness, or wrongdoing of a co-employee who also works for my boss. Can I sue my boss?

Generally, you cannot sue your employer or co-employee (someone who works for the same boss as you), but we found a way around this rule of law.We were able to recover $850,000, a settlement that was reached during trial, for a man who worked in the kitchen of a Chinese restaurant. A co-worker left a  slippery liquid on the floor causing our client to slip and fall. The large, hot pot of soup, which he was carrying, spilled on him causing severe burns. Because the client’s boss (or employer) did not carry workers’ compensation insurance, we were able to sue him directly. A mediator pressured us to settle for $550,000. We said no, and went to trial where we then recovered $850,000.SEE MORE

I have retained a Workers’ Compensation lawyer who says I also have a personal injury case which they cannot handle. Can you help?

We handle cases for clients who also have workers’ compensation cases. Call us for your free consultation. For example, while running errands for his employer, on a bicycle and during working hours, our client was struck by a motor vehicle fracturing his knee. We recovered money from the car’s insurance which was separate from, and in addition to, his workers’ compensation case. We can help you determine if you have a workers’ compensation and/or a third party case (a case against someone other than your employer or your co-employee).

Can I get workers’ compensation benefits if I was injured while working, but am no longer working for the same employer?

You may be able to claim benefits from an employer for injuries sustained while you were working even if you are no longer working for this employer. Workers’ compensation insurance usually covers medical expenses and lost wages incurred as a result of an accident that happened during the course of employment and during working hours. If you are injured during your working hours, workers’ compensation benefits may be claimed regardless of what happens afterwards.If you were injured while working, we can help to set up your workers’ compensation claim. Call us today for your free consultation at 1-800-WORK-4-YOU (1-800-967-5496).

What is Workers’ Compensation?

Workers’ Compensation is your employer’s insurance which may pay your lost wages and cover costs for doctor and hospital treatment in relation to injuries sustained during and throughout the course of your employment. We can help you figure out if you have a Workers’ Compensation case.

I need to return to work. Will this hurt my case?

This is best answered by your doctor and by you to determine what is in your best interest. We can help to explain your options.

What if I don’t have medical insurance? Can I still receive medical treatment?

If you do not have medical insurance, you can still receive medical treatment without you having to pay for it as many doctors, hospitals, etc. are willing to wait until the case is finished before they are paid.Call us for your free consultation. 1-800-WORK-4-YOU [1-800-967-5496] We may well be able to help you get the medical treatment that you need and deserve until your case is tried or settled by us.

I am an undocumented worker or “illegal” immigrant/resident. Can I still recover money for my injuries?

We have successfully represented many undocumented immigrants. In a recent case, we were able to recover $3,375,576 for an undocumented worker (“illegal immigrant”) who was injured while working at a construction site. Even though you may not be a legal resident, you still have rights.SEE MORE & VIEW TESTIMONIAL

I don’t have a serious or life-threatening injury, but I was hurt in an accident, do I still have a case?

You may very well have a case. We have successfully handled many cases where our clients sustained injuries from which they soon recovered.

I had an accident, but I did not see a doctor yet. Can I still prove my case?

We may very well be able to help you prove your case. We have successfully settled cases for clients who have undergone delayed medical treatment. We recovered $1,700,000 for a woman who did not have hospital or doctor treatment until one month after her slip and fall accident.SEE MORE & READ VERDICTYou too may be eligible to recover money for your injuries, but you should not wait any longer.

Will I have to go to court?

Often times a case can be settled before going to trial and you will not have to appear in court. However, if our office believes that you are not being offered a just settlement for your injuries, your case will be tried before a judge and jury if you so desire. We won’t take no for an answer and will enforce your rights as much as we can to help you recover the most money for your injuries.Ultimately, whether your case goes to trial is up to you. As a client of the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm, we will help you understand your options and give you the information you need to help you determine which course of action is in your best interest.

Do I have to gather my police report and medical records before I contact your office?

This is not necessary. As a client of the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm, we will conduct a thorough investigation of your case including obtaining all medical records, police reports, property information, deeds, statements, etc.

I am injured and cannot come to your office. Are you able to send someone to my home or hospital room?

If you cannot come to our office, and we accept your case, we will gladly send someone to you. This will provide convenience to you and ensure your case is handled expeditiously.

How long will it take to process my case?

The length of time it may take for the case to be processed and for you to receive compensation may vary greatly depending on the details of the case, the severity of your injuries and the complexity of the process involved to help you secure compensation. Some cases are settled out of court even before a lawsuit is filed. Others may go to trial. Even if the trial court awards you compensation, the defendant may choose to appeal it, which could extend the process. An experienced personal injury attorney can provide many more details after knowing your particular situation.

Do I have to pay money to process my case?

As a client of the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm, you will never have to pay any money in advance of any case. The only time we earn money is if we recover money for you. If we are unable to recover money for you from your case, you owe us nothing.You can only stand to benefit if we win, but there is no cost if we do not win. img_faq

Do I have a case?

Whether you have a case depends on the circumstances of the incident and if your injuries were caused by someone else's negligence or wrongdoing. Negligence is defined as the failure to exercise reasonable care. Negligence may refer to recklessness or carelessness as well. Please keep in mind that you may be entitled to compensation even if you were partly at fault for the incident or injuries. You should refrain from admitting fault. Contact an experienced personal injury lawyer who can help determine if you have a claim.Call us 24 hours, 7 days a week, for your free consultation 1-800-WORK-4-YOU [1-800-967-5496]. If we cannot handle the matter, we will refer you to a firm that can.


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  • *Disclaimer:Some of the verdicts for the cases mentioned on this website were increased or decreased on appeal. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. ATTORNEY ADVERTISING