Frequently Asked Questions

We have helped thousands of New Yorkers recover more than $300 million in compensation

We have helped thousands of New Yorkers recover more than $300 million in compensation

We have helped thousands of New Yorkers recover more than $300 million in compensation

How long after a car accident can you claim an injury?

It is advisable to file an injury claim as soon as possible after a motor vehicle accident to ensure the timely preservation of evidence which may otherwise be lost or destroyed over time.

How can a lawyer help after a motor vehicle accident?

A lawyer who is retained after a car crash can help investigate the cause of a motor vehicle accident by taking photos of the scene of the collision, interviewing witnesses and collecting their statements, gathering photo and video evidence of the scene, and more. Attorneys who specialize in motor vehicle accident claims know what evidence to look for and how to preserve it before it is lost or destroyed over time. They can use that evidence to build a strong case for compensation on your behalf, ensure you meet all deadlines for filing a lawsuit, and fight for a fair settlement or verdict that compensates you for the full extent of your losses.

Why should I hire a personal injury lawyer?

There are many reasons why someone who has been injured should hire a personal injury lawyer. Most people do not realize that they may be eligible to receive a financial settlement that can help them afford their mounting medical bills. Even in cases where another party was clearly to blame, hiring a personal injury lawyer can help ensure that you are pursuing the maximum amount of compensation available in your case. A personal injury lawyer will also make sure that all claims are filed in a timely manner and with the correct court.

Finally, hiring a personal injury lawyer can take stress and pressure off your shoulders during your recovery. Engaging with medical billing staff, insurance adjusters, and the court system is not something the ordinary person wants to face under the best of circumstances, let alone when they are trying to heal from a serious accident. A personal injury lawyer can handle the bureaucracy, the record-keeping, the filing deadlines, and obtaining compensation for your pain and suffering so you can focus on getting better.

What should I do if an insurance adjuster calls me?

If an insurance adjuster calls you, it is best to refer them to speak directly to your attorney. Some insurance agencies may try to take advantage of your unfamiliarity with the process in order to reduce or deny your claim. It is not unheard of for insurance adjusters to call and ask how a victim is doing after their accident. If they answer “fine,” or give positive responses to be polite, they may try to argue that their healing process has already begun, and the overall amount of the claim can be reduced.

Unfortunately, some insurance companies may try to protect their own bottom line over doing what is right for the injured policyholders. Allowing your lawyer to communicate directly with the insurance adjuster can help ensure that nothing gets misconstrued and that nobody tries to take advantage of you during your recovery.

What if the injury was partially my fault?

If the injury was partially your fault, you may still be eligible to recover compensation in a civil claim. Insurance adjusters may incorrectly assert that you must be entirely blameless to receive compensation or seek relief after an accident. This is not true under New York law. The standard in a personal injury case is not the blamelessness of the injured party. Instead, the fault or liability of both parties must be considered. If another person or party’s negligence, recklessness, or carelessness contributed to your accident in any way, you may have a viable personal injury case regardless if you were partially at fault.

What if my accident happened at work?

If your accident happened at work, you may be eligible to pursue a workers’ compensation claim. It is important to note that filing a workers’ compensation claim is different from pursuing a personal injury lawsuit in many ways. For instance, you do not need to prove anyone was at fault in a workers’ compensation claim. If your injury happened at work or was due to work-related activities, you should be able to file a claim on your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance to help cover your medical costs and some of your lost wages. Additionally, unlike a personal injury claim, a workers’ compensation claim will not cover pain and suffering caused by an accident. It is sometimes possible to file a separate personal injury lawsuit in addition to collecting workers’ compensation benefits.

Having a worker’ compensation lawyer on your side can help ensure that unscrupulous employers or insurance agents do not try to take advantage of your situation. Do not settle for less than you may deserve – contact a workers’ compensation lawyer today for a free consultation.

How much is my injury worth?

No lawyer will be able to tell you how much your injury may be worth as every personal injury claim is different. The value of an injury often depends on the circumstances surrounding the accident, the extent of the harm done, the burden of proof and amount of documentation available, and the overall scope of the claim. Even seemingly simple or straightforward cases may involve unexpected developments when other elements like ongoing care or pain and suffering are all factored in.

Our personal injury attorneys can help bring context to your claim, share relevant case law, and pursue the maximum amount of compensation available on your behalf.

How much does a personal injury lawyer cost?

A personal injury lawyer with Shulman & Hill costs nothing up front. The initial legal consultation with our expert team is free and confidential. Once you have engaged our services, Shulman & Hill operates on a contingency basis. This means you do not pay for our services unless we are able to recover a financial settlement or verdict for your injuries.

We understand that after an accident, your main financial concerns will likely be your medical bills and keeping yourself and your family afloat with reduced wages while you are unable to work. Offering legal counsel on a contingency basis makes our expertise available to more injured individuals. Pay nothing up front, and reimburse us for our services once we win on your behalf.

How do I pay my medical bills while waiting for a personal injury settlement?

If you have outstanding medical bills after a personal injury accident and are waiting on your settlement, there are options besides turning to your savings or leaning on family members. Your options for covering medical bills will depend on the type of accident you were injured in. For example, if you were hurt in a car accident, then no-fault insurance will pay for initial treatment, whereas injuries suffered at work will be covered by workers’ compensation.

Once retained, the compassionate team at Shulman & Hill would be on your side throughout this stressful process, helping you navigate these murky waters until your case is resolved.

What percentage of personal injury cases go to trial?

In the United States, the percentage of personal injury cases that go to trial is very small. On average, only about 4-5% of personal injury cases are resolved in the courtroom. Otherwise, around 95% of cases are settled in the pretrial phase during settlement negotiations between the parties.

How are personal injury settlements paid out?

Personal injury settlements are usually paid out by insurance companies to the injured party. In cases that go to trial, a judge may order a defendant or their insurance company to pay a certain amount to the person who was injured by the defendant’s negligence.

When you work with legal counsel, a portion of your settlement may go to the attorney. Typically, the retainer fee is for one-third of the award, whether it be through settlement or verdict.

How do I choose a personal injury lawyer?

When it comes to choosing a personal injury lawyer, one tried and true method is looking at client reviews and testimonials from the firm you are considering. Experienced personal injury attorneys should be able to show prospective clients a proven track record of success in cases that reflect circumstances similar to theirs. Shulman & Hill has helped thousands of individuals recover over $300 million in compensation. Our case history involves premises liability claims, motor vehicle accidents, construction accidents, and much more.

If you need help finding the best personal injury lawyer for your case, consider looking at these credentials to make sure the legal team you are considering may have the experience necessary to pursue the fullest amount of compensation possible in your case. A qualified personal injury attorney can make all the difference to your ability to recover the full scope of your damages.

My insurance company says I do not need a lawyer – is this true?

If your insurance company says that you do not need a lawyer, this may be cause for alarm. While it is true that you can file a personal injury claim without retaining legal counsel, any insurance company that tries to advise you against asking for a lawyer’s advice and assistance may have ill intentions to minimize your compensation without the oversight of an attorney.

A personal injury lawyer will be able to represent the full scope of your injuries and losses. Importantly, they will also know what kinds of losses may be accounted for in a case like yours, whether to pursue damages for ongoing or future care you might expect, and when a settlement offer is unreasonably low. While you do not need a lawyer to file a personal injury claim, do not be fooled if an insurance agent tries to steer you away from seeking the advice of legal counsel.

What is considered a personal injury?

In the legal context, personal injury is any harm resulting from another person’s negligence, carelessness, or recklessness. Examples of negligence include unaddressed dangerous property conditions that cause someone to slip and fall, dangerous driving behavior that causes an otherwise preventable motor vehicle accident, an absence of security measures that create opportunities for criminal activity, or a failure to install fire alarms and emergency exits that may have otherwise helped people escape a fire. If you were injured and someone else may be to blame, you may qualify to file a personal injury lawsuit for financial compensation.

What should I do following an accident?

Following an accident, the first step you should take is to seek medical attention. Seeing a doctor can help you heal from the incident and keep a record of your injuries if you choose to pursue compensation later on.

Be sure to report any accident to any relevant parties, such as your insurance company or your employer, and keep documentation of what occurred. If possible, ask coworkers or bystanders to provide statements of what they witnessed. Finally, speak to a personal injury lawyer. An attorney can help you understand what kinds of compensation you may be qualified to pursue, what kinds of documentation will be necessary, and what your next steps should be.

Will workers’ compensation cover my surgery?

Workers’ compensation is designed to cover all the costs of necessary medical care after an accident that takes place at work or while performing work-related duties. If a doctor deems that surgery of any kind is medically necessary in order for you to recover from your work-related injury, then workers’ compensation should cover the cost.
According to New York law, covered medical care under workers’ compensation includes the following:
– Medical
– Dental
– Surgical
– Optometry
– Medically necessary drugs
– Medical devices

If an insurance company tries to tell you otherwise, or if they deny coverage for medically necessary surgery, you may need to litigate the issue before a workers’ compensation law judge.

However, one important detail to note is that in order to be covered in most cases, medical care must be performed by a health care provider who is licensed and registered with the New York Workers’ Compensation Board.

If you were treated in an emergency, this requirement may be waived. When in doubt, contact an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer to ensure you are receiving the full benefits to which you may be entitled.

Are family members of injured workers entitled to workers’ compensation benefits?

Family members may qualify for workers’ compensation benefits in the event of a loved one’s death. If you were dependent on the wages of your lost loved one, survivor benefits may help provide some financial stability during your period of grief.

Some examples of family members who may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits include:
– Spouse of the deceased
– Children of the deceased under the age of 18 at the time of the fatality, or those who are blind or disabled
– Other legal dependents
– Parents or the estate of the deceased in the event that there is no surviving spouse, children, or dependents

If your family member was injured or killed in a workplace accident, contact a workers’ compensation attorney to find out if your family may be eligible for financial compensation. Help may be available.

How can a workers’ compensation lawyer help me?

An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can help ensure you receive the full amount of benefits you may be entitled to after a workplace injury, as well as help you fight a wrongly denied claim. This may include gathering evidence that shows how you were injured at work, preparing and submitting all of the relevant claims paperwork on your behalf, as well as handling all communications with your employer’s insurance company. If an insurer denies your claim, a workers’ compensation lawyer can help resolve the situation by appealing the decision to the New York Workers’ Compensation Board in your name.

Perhaps most importantly, working with a workers’ compensation lawyer will leave you with more time to focus on what is truly important in the aftermath of a workplace accident: taking the time you need to heal.

Do I need an attorney to file a workers’ compensation claim?

While you are not required to have an attorney to file a workers’ compensation claim, it is recommended that you consult a lawyer to help ensure you receive the full amount of benefits you may qualify for.

Filing a workers’ compensation claim is not the same as filing a lawsuit. Instead, you are submitting a claim with your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. Because of this, it is possible, though not necessarily advisable, to file a workers’ compensation claim on your own. Unless you have extensive experience in preparing a successful claim, negotiating with insurers, and have knowledge of the benefits and compensation your particular injury and circumstances qualify for, it can be all too easy to receive an undervalued or wrongly denied claim.

What can I do if my workers’ compensation claim was denied?

If your workers’ compensation claim was denied, contact an attorney who specializes in workers’ compensation today. A workers’ compensation lawyer can help you understand if your valid claim was wrongly rejected, and if so, take steps to get your claim established. Sometimes an insurance company may reject a claim if there is too little evidence or not a clear connection to a workplace accident or job-related tasks. In other cases, they may not offer the full amount of benefits that a worker may be entitled to.

If your claim was rejected in full or in part, you may still be able to receive financial compensation. Contact Shulman & Hill to discuss the details and find out if you may have a case.

Do I have to be a United States citizen or a permanent resident to file a workers’ compensation claim?

You do not need to be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident to qualify for Workers’ Compensation benefits. Even employees who are paid off the books can file a Workers’ Compensation claim.

Will I be compensated for pain and suffering?

The primary purpose of a Worker’s Compensation claim is to cover your lost wages and your medical treatment relating to the work accident. If permanent injuries occur as a result of your work accident, you may be entitled to a lump sum award depending on several factors. These factors include your average weekly wage, injured body parts, and lost time/work status. Settlement and awards are case-specific and should never be compared to another person’s Workers’ Compensation case.

Who pays the attorneys’ fees in workers’ compensation claims?

Injured workers should never pay a Workers’ Compensation lawyer directly for an attorney fee. Any fee that a Workers’ Compensation lawyer is awarded comes from awards that they obtain on your behalf. That award is deducted from your check and sent directly to your lawyer from the insurance carrier. Generally speaking, attorneys’ fees are usually 15% of compensation—whether that be after a hearing or at the end of your case once a settlement is reached.

Am I suing my employer when I file a workers’ compensation claim?

1. No. A claim for Workers’ Compensation benefits is not a lawsuit against your employer. A Workers’ Compensation claim is simply ensuring that your lost wages and medical treatment, stemming from a work accident, are paid for by your employer’s insurance carrier.

2. Depending on the nature of your accident, you may have a lawsuit against another party that is not your employer. This type of claim would be a personal injury lawsuit where there is another responsible party, who is neither your employer or a co-worker.

Can I file on workers’ compensation if I did not sustain a discrete accident with a specific date of injury?

1. A majority of Workers’ Compensation claims are for accidents that occur on a specific date. However, there are other types of claims. If you develop injuries over time—with no specific accident—as a result of your work, then you may be entitled to Workers’ Compensation benefits.

2. If you develop a condition—or occupational disease—as a result of your job, you may also qualify for Workers’ Compensation benefits. For example, you may have a hearing loss claim if you work in an extremely loud environment

Who is responsible for lost wages while I am out of work due to my injuries?

1. Usually your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier will be responsible to pay you lost wages while you miss work to rehab injuries. The maximum amount the carrier is required to pay you for lost time is two-thirds of your average weekly wage. The rate at which you are paid directly correlates to your average weekly wage and your degree of disability.

2. Some employers and/or union contracts allow for you to receive your full salary (to be paid directly by the employer) while you remain out of work. These employers tend to be New York City Transit Authority or other self-insured state or city employers. To confirm whether you are eligible for your full salary, you must reach out to your payroll department and/or union.

3. If your employer uses your sick or vacation time to pay you while you remain out of work, they may be entitled to reimbursement and you are entitled to have your time restored.

When should I file my workers’ compensation claim?

1. Workers’ Compensation Law requires that you file a claim within two years of your accident date or within two years of when you knew (or should have known) that your injuries or occupational disease were work-related.

2. If you have an accident at work, we recommend that you tell your employer right away—even if you do not need to miss any time from work as a result of the accident.  The requirement that you file a claim within two years is different from the requirement that you give 30 days’ notice to your employer.

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