According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, accidents from unintentional injuries were the fourth leading cause of death between 2018-2021. Certainly, the unexpected appearance of COVID and the related pandemic skewed this particular list (it’s No. 3 for this time range). Still, it does show that accidents rank quite high, right underneath heart disease and malignant neoplasms, more generally known as cancers.
What does it mean to someone living in the Buffalo area? For one thing, it’s very likely, especially with these high numbers, that you’ll need a personal injury attorney in Buffalo, NY, at some point in your life.
Plenty of unexpected accidents that cause injury or death take place in New York as well.
The National Safety Council showed that preventable/accidental injuries were the third highest cause of death in 2020, right under COVID-19 and heart disease, with 8,756.
These types of deaths can take place anywhere, but roadways are the most common due to large numbers of people, fast-moving heavy pieces of metal, and drivers that are often distracted.
Homes or businesses are other places where fatal accidents or injuries can occur. Maybe it’s slipping and falling, which causes a traumatic head injury. Maybe it’s slipping on an unmarked wet spot at the grocery store.
If a family member or loved one has been injured or killed in one of these types of accidental situations, and you believe another person, business, or municipality may have been responsible or somehow contributed to what happened to them, there are ways to get help.
A personal injury attorney in Buffalo can work with you to explore if there are ways you can receive compensation or legal relief for everything you’ve been through, from your medical and legal costs to other negative impacts on your life.
Learning about Personal Injury Attorneys
A personal injury attorney is someone who specializes in helping people who have suffered due to someone else’s direct actions or their negligence. They’re familiar with the legal system and also the proper legal terminology to help people define the impact that an injury has had on their life.
This could be direct costs such as medical bills, therapy fees, supplies like braces or casts, and mileage to and from the doctor or physical therapist. It could also be mental costs, such as a mental health therapist to help with any post-traumatic stress or anxieties from the situation. It could cause lost wages due to accidents or medical appointments. It could also include lost future earnings if an accident causes significant changes to someone’s life and occupation, such as losing an arm or an eye. A car accident can require the cost of a new car and possibly changed insurance. Recovering from an injury can affect relationships as well.
Many people think of an accident as one moment in time when someone may have briefly lost control or looked the wrong way, but the results and the effects can last for months or even years and take a big financial toll.
A personal injury attorney can take the time to find out about you and your situation, discover how your life has been impacted, and help you through the often-complex legal process. If you’re new to the legal system, be assured that not every case goes to court, so you don’t need to worry about judges, juries, or finding parking around the courthouse.
In many cases, attorneys for the different people involved and sometimes attorneys from their insurance companies can work out agreements between themselves. Along with avoiding long and expensive courtroom situations, these settlements are intended to be fair to everyone based on specific circumstances as well as similar situations.
(Any criminal charges from the same incident can also be settled but will likely involve other discussions and types of attorneys).
How to Find A Personal Injury Attorney
Unless you have worked with a personal injury attorney in the past, it’s not always easy to know where to start when you decide to start seeking relief. You may only know New York attorneys from TV commercials or billboard ads, which, while prominent and sometimes entertaining, don’t always tell you how they’ll represent you and get you the help you need.
Some ways to gauge how they’ll work out include:
- What kind of experience do they have with this type of law? Are they an attorney who focuses on all types of law for all types of clients, or have they tried to take on mostly personal injury cases? How long have they been practicing in this area? Are they experienced in the type of injury you’re dealing with (slip and falls, traumatic brain injuries, vehicle accidents, etc.)
- How prepared are they to help you and your situation? This question goes beyond self-confidence and more to their comfort and experience working with opposing attorneys, insurance companies, and anyone else involved. Have they done well in the courtroom as well as behind the scenes? It can also describe the firm’s resources – is the rest of the staff as committed to you as they are? Are they able to take on a case that might take years to resolve?
- How responsive will they be to questions? Attorneys are often busy with multiple clients every day, so they may not always be available to answer questions instantly from clients pushing for results. But they should be able to provide ways to reach them or assure them that someone will respond within a certain amount of time.
- What do other people say about them? This could be a combination of word-of-mouth from people you know, satisfied clients they recommend, the local bar, or even professional rankings from resources like the Martindale-Hubbell Bar Registry or The Best Lawyers in America.
- How current is their knowledge? Are they part of industry groups on this topic? Have they presented to their peers? Do they teach at a local law school?
- What’s their fee structure? Personal injury compensation can be complex, but a good attorney can explain the basics, including the difference between basic fees and contingency fees. While it’s always nice to envision a big settlement where there’s plenty of money to go around, explaining this can sometimes be complicated.
- What happens if they lose? As good as some attorneys are, some cases don’t go their way. Is the statement “if we lose, you pay nothing” true, or are there fees after all?
The staff at FeroletoLaw, including attorney John Feroleto, is experienced in working with personal injury claims and helping clients receive relief. They are happy to help answer questions or provide a free consultation. Call us today or contact us online.
I agree that experience is a huge thing to also consider when planning to find a lawyer for personal injury accident consultation. I want to help my friend get legal help for that soon because he recently got into a car accident. It badly injured his right wrist and it might take a long while to achieve full recovery.