Personal Injury FAQs

Product liability cases may involve dangerous and defective drugs, medications, and other medical or pharmaceutical devices. Pharmaceutical companies and drug manufacturers are required to adhere to industry standards and FDA regulations to ensure that their drugs are safe. They have an obligation to warn consumers of any potential adverse effects which could result from consuming the drug or medicine or using the device. Disclosure of initial negative effects is required so that a consumer can make an educated decision, weighing all of the pros and cons, before utilizing the product. Unfortunately, manufacturers sometimes fail to disclose all of the known dangerous side effects, or they fail to perform adequate testing before widespread use or distribution. Sadly, some companies have been known to put profits over people by failing to disclose known dangers. These companies should be held responsible for enjoying lucrative profits while putting the health and welfare of consumers at risk.

If you have been harmed or injured as a result of a defective drug or medical device, the attorneys at Lacy Katzen LLP may be able to help.

A manufacturer, wholesaler, distributor, retailer, processor of materials, or maker of a component part that sells a product in a defective condition may be liable for injury that results from use of the product when the product is used for its intended or reasonably foreseeable purpose. A product may be defective as a result of a manufacturing flaw, a defective design or inadequate warnings or instructions. Lacy Katzen LLP’s personal injury attorneys can help you determine if you have a claim.

Under New York law, a dog owner will be held responsible for your damages if he or she was aware of the dog’s propensity for the bad behavior that caused your injury. In the case of a bite, we must demonstrate that the owner knew or should have known of the dog’s tendencies towards this behavior. It used to be said that a dog got “one free bite” before its owner is on notice of a problem. This is not quite true. Other behavior can demonstrate vicious propensities under the law such as growling, baring of teeth, lunging and even a “Beware of Dog” sign. A dog owner can also be held responsible for injuries caused by other behaviors of which he was aware such as chasing and jumping.

Report the incident to your local dog warden or police right away. They can help you gather information about the dog and determine if it has been vaccinated. Call an attorney as soon as possible. Dog bites need to be investigated quickly. There may be a vicious dog hearing if the owner was issued a ticket. The animal may be relocated or even euthanized, making it difficult to investigate its behavior.

Yes, if possible. There are time limitations that apply to bringing a claim, some as short as 90 days. There are also time limits to claims for insurance benefits, some as short as 30 days. Some reports may need to be filed in as little as 10 days. There may be information or evidence that needs to be preserved. We may want to photograph the scene of your injury before it changes. You may need to file a claim for insurance benefits.

Special time limits apply to claims brought on behalf of children, including those injured at birth. Because these time limits may not be as long as one might expect, it is important to act quickly. Lacy Katzen LLP’s personal injury attorneys can help you determine if you have time to file a personal injury claim.

The general rule in New York is that workers injured at work are limited to compensation from their employer’s Workers’ Compensation insurance carrier even when an employee or co-worker is negligent. However, an injured worker can file a personal injury claim when the injury was caused by the negligence of a third party (someone other than the employer or co-worker). For example, an injury might be caused by the negligent design of a piece of equipment or machinery, or the negligence of someone employed by another company. It is important to determine if the person who caused your injury is really a “co-worker” as defined by law. The person may be an independent contractor or employed by someone else. Lacy Katzen LLP’s personal injury attorneys can help determine if you have a personal injury claim arising from a workplace injury.

According to Injury Facts®, falls accounted for 21% of preventable deaths and 33% of nonfatal injuries in the United States in 2020. Commercial and residential property owners in Rochester and throughout New York State have a duty of care to ensure their property is free of dangerous conditions that could cause harm.  

 Where do Slip, Trip and Fall Accidents Happen? 

This type of accident can occur anywhere, including on private, public, commercial, or residential property. They can happen on the job, at a store, at a public or private pool, at school, or walking through a parking lot, for example. In short, these types of accidents can happen anywhere, at any time. When there is an intentional, or even unintentional, neglect of safety conditions the property owner may be responsible for your injuries.  

 Conditions that contribute to slip and fall injuries include: 

  • Icy parking lots and sidewalks
  • Exposed wires or hoses
  • Uneven surfaces, such as buckled concrete or broken tile
  • Exposed holes, including potholes
  • Stairs that are loose, uneven or in disrepair
  • Steps that are poorly marked
  • Unstable railings
  • Loose, torn, or buckled carpeting
  • Wet, dirty, or littered floors
  • Poorly lit stairways, walkways, or sidewalks

 Do You Have a Slip and Fall Liability Claim? 

It is important to understand that not every injury will give rise to a claim. The injury must be directly related to the negligence of another. New York State Law sets forth that if you are injured while legally on another person’s property, the party who controls the property may be liable for injuries if they have neglected their duty of care by not maintaining the property in a reasonably safe condition. This does not mean that the property has to be perfect. Rather, the property owner must act reasonably under the circumstances. For example, a property owner does not have a duty to clear snow and ice during a storm, even though the icy conditions may pose a danger. Instead, the property owner should clear the snow and ice within a reasonable amount of time after the storm ends. What is reasonable will depend upon many factors including the amount of snow and ice that has fallen and the time of day when the storm ended. Properly evaluating whether the facts and circumstances of each situation might give rise to a claim calls for an experienced personal injury attorney. 

 Determining who is responsible for a dangerous property can also be complex because the controlling party is not always the property owner. It may be a tenant, property manager, or on-site construction company. Lacy Katzen LLP’s personal injury attorneys will review the circumstances of the incident and the nature of the injuries to determine if you have a slip and fall case. If liability can be established, you may be entitled to compensation for lost wages, medical bills and pain and suffering related to your injury. The following factors should be considered in a slip and fall claim: 

  • Were you on the property lawfully?
  • Did the controlling party cause or create an unsafe condition resulting in the injury?
  • Was the controlling party aware of a hazardous condition, yet failed to address the situation?
  • Were reasonable steps taken to maintain the property?
  • Did the person who was injured have any fault in the situation?  Failing to take reasonable steps toward your own safety will be considered.  For example, you have an obligation to watch where you are going and to take reasonable steps to avoid obviously dangerous conditions if possible. 

 What to Do After a Slip, Trip and Fall Accident in the Rochester Area 

If you are able to do so, report the incident to the owner or controlling party right away. Be sure to be courteous and avoid any confrontation. If you are injured, seek immediate medical attention.  Injuries that appear mild at the outset may be more serious than you realize. Be sure to tell the provider how, where and when you were injured.   

 After receiving medical care, please take the following steps: 

  • It is very important to document the scene with photos. Have someone take photos of the hazardous conditions that caused your injury.  
  • If possible, gather contact information from any witnesses to the incident. Don’t assume a property manager will document witnesses that could help establish their fault.
  • Limit who you talk to about the accident and your injuries. Do not speak to any investigator representing the property owner or their insurance company; they represent the other side. Do not provide a recorded or signed statement. After reporting the incident to the property owner, further communications should occur through your personal injury attorney.
  • Retain all items of clothing you wore at the time of the incident, including footwear; this may prove to be evidence later.
  • Follow the advice of your medical provider. Get all recommended treatment and follow restrictions. Doing too much or returning to work too soon is not only potentially bad for your health it could also undermine your claim.  

Contact a Rochester Attorney for a Slip and Fall Consultation 

For over 72 years, the attorneys at Lacy Katzen LLP have been helping people in Rochester and the surrounding communities who have been injured due to the negligence of others. If you have suffered a serious injury in a slip, trip or fall incident, please contact the personal injury attorneys at Lacy Katzen LLP for a free consultation.  

Unfortunately, the law in New York does not permit recovery for emotional injury except in special circumstances where an immediate family member witnesses a serious injury or death. There can be recovery for pain and suffering your loved one endured before death, as well as damages for economic loss to his or her family or dependents. Economic losses include lost earnings and other services provided by your loved one that have an “economic value” such as yardwork, household chores and even parental guidance.

Yes. In fact, there are several different time limits that apply in any death claim. The rules in applying these time limits can be tricky and shorter than the time limits for other types of claims. It is important to contact an experienced personal injury attorney who knows how to apply these time limits as soon as possible. Lacy Katzen LLP’s personal injury attorneys can help you determine if you should pursue a claim.

A person must be appointed by the court to pursue a wrongful death claim. Parents, spouses, children, other family members or legal dependents may be eligible to file a claim. Minors will need an adult guardian to bring a claim on their behalf. Often, more than one person is eligible to bring the claim. If family members disagree about who should pursue the claim, proceeding promptly may become important.

If your loved one has died as a result of someone’s negligence, there are two types of claims. A wrongful death claim is brought by the survivors of the deceased person to recover their economic losses. A survival claim is brought on behalf of the deceased person to recover any pain and suffering that occurred prior to death. These claims can arise from many situations such as car, truck and motorcycle accidents, medical negligence, nursing home negligence, work site injuries and defective products cases.

The vast majority of personal injury cases settle without ever going to trial. Our careful selection of claims and our meticulous case preparation makes it more likely that your case will not go to trial. However, we are willing to try your case if necessary to obtain a fair result. Our willingness to try your case makes it more likely that you will receive a fair settlement offer.

You should hire a personal injury attorney so as to best protect your rights and to put yourself in the best possible position to receive compensation for your claim. Perhaps you think that you should negotiate directly with the insurance company. The insurance adjuster for the person who caused your injury may try to convince you that you should not hire an attorney. But should you really take advice from the insurance company that represents the other side?

Before you even consider attempting to handle your own claim, there are some things you should know. First, an experienced personal injury lawyer knows when to resolve your claim. If you settle your claim too early, you may be barred from receiving compensation for new injuries that arise after the case is settled.

Second, an experienced personal injury lawyer can help you evaluate any offer that you might receive so that you know whether you are getting fair compensation for your injuries. The insurance company is a business. It maximizes its profits by paying as little as possible on every claim.

Third, anything you say can be used against you should your case proceed to trial. Insurance adjusters or private investigators may be sent to take a written or recorded statement. You will be asked to provide authorizations so that the insurance company can obtain information about you. It may ask for information to which it is not entitled. The insurance company might lead you to believe that it will settle your claim if you provide all of this information. After you have provided the information, the insurance company may tell you that it does not wish to make you an offer of settlement or may make an unreasonably low offer. An experienced lawyer can guide you through the process and ensure your claim is resolved fairly.

Fourth, preparation often needs to be done to put your case in a position to receive a reasonable settlement offer. The attorney may need to gather physical evidence, witness statements and even expert reports to put your case in the best position to settle. When you are not represented by an attorney, you do not have the leverage that a lawsuit will be the response to an unreasonable settlement offer. Insurance companies keep records about attorneys. They know which attorneys are serious about pursuing their claims and which attorneys settle almost all their claims. Any settlement offer that you receive may very well reflect your lawyer’s experience and reputation. You have no experience or reputation with the insurance company.

Finally, if you represent yourself, you may make a mistake. You may settle your claim too early, only to find out that you have additional injuries and may have significant additional medical costs which were not considered when you accepted your settlement. You may miss a filing deadline and be barred from bringing a claim at all. You may fail to identify all available insurance coverage. You may not realize that there are liens against your settlement. If you settle your claim without addressing these claims against your settlement, you may be liable for reimbursement, fines and penalties. Just as an experienced accountant may pay for himself by getting you a bigger refund on your tax return, an experienced personal injury lawyer is a valuable resource that is essential to the proper handling of your claim. At Lacy Katzen LLP, our personal injury lawyers have been helping injured people and their families for 70 years.

No. Lacy Katzen LLP’s litigation attorneys offer free consultations.

A personal injury claim seeks compensation for injuries caused by another’s negligence. These injuries can arise out of just about any kind of situation that causes an injury. An injury might be the result of a car accident, truck accident, motorcycle accident, work or construction site accident, defective or dangerous products, dangerous property conditions or dog bite. Perhaps you or a loved one has been injured due to a defective drug, medical device or because of negligent care and treatment by a doctor, physician’s assistant, nurse practitioner or hospital. A claim could arise out of negligent care at a nursing home that results in injury, suffering or even death.

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