When life takes an unexpected turn, the burden will sometimes fall in the wrong person’s lap.
If you have recently been injured because someone else acted carelessly — or because a business in New York failed to meet its legal obligations (or let safety slip through the cracks) — you shouldn’t be the one to pay the price from your own pocket.
In fact, it’s not just a matter of “shouldn’t.” It’s a matter of law. You are legally entitled to recover full and fair financial compensation for the damages that someone else has caused in your life. Unfortunately, the at-fault parties don’t always step up to the plate and do the right thing on their own. Neither do their insurance companies.
That’s where an experienced Kingston personal injury lawyer can make all the difference for you and your family.
Personal injury is the area of New York law that governs your rights after an accident or injury caused by someone else’s negligence. At O’Connor & Partners, we are here to help you understand those rights and protect them, working hard to get you the compensation you deserve.
What Is a Personal Injury Lawyer?
Trying to navigate the insurance claims process on your own can be a real challenge. It means you would be fighting for a fair shot from a powerful corporation that doesn’t truly care about your financial wellbeing.
Insurance companies answer to their shareholders, and so they work aggressively to maximize profits. They do that by paying accident victims as little as possible.
On your own, you’ll be trying to make your case to an experienced insurance adjustor, who has been specially trained to trip you up. The adjustor is supported by a large team of insurance company defense lawyers. All of them have a great deal of legal experience and sophistication.
In other words, your fight for justice against the insurance company is an uneven match.
A personal injury lawyer is, in essence, a legal professional who steps into that match on your side. An experienced and aggressive Kingston personal injury lawyer can level the playing field, anticipating the insurance company’s tactics and countering them strategically.
Once you hire a lawyer, he or she is duty-bound to act in your best interests. So while the insurance company looks after its own wallet, your personal injury attorney is looking out for you.
At O’Connor and Partners, each of our clients gets the benefit of our entire legal team. So while you may have an individual attorney assigned as the primary representative for your claim, you will also benefit from the combined experience and resources of our entire firm. In our office, fighting for you is truly a team effort.
Here are just a few of the things we do as Kingston personal injury lawyers:
- Investigate the accident: how it happened, what caused it, and who’s at fault. At O’Connor & Partners, we maintain valuable relationships with accident reconstruction specialists who have been able to provide persuasive evidence in many of our cases.
- Interview witnesses: not only eyewitnesses but also expert witnesses, as needed.
- Research the law: statutory interpretations and legal precedent to support your claim, charting a map toward an optimal outcome.
- Give good advice: personal injury law is complex, and the insurance claims process can be tricky. Mistakes are easy to make. We’re here to keep you from making them. We’ll also give you honest, practical, real-world advice about what you should do at every turn. Our experience is yours to share in.
- Negotiate: insurance companies do not write checks out of the goodness of their hearts. If they’ve made you an initial settlement offer, there is a good chance it’s for less money than you deserve. Negotiation is the process of persuading the insurance company to put more money on the table — not as a matter of charity (because these are not charitable companies), but by demonstrating to the insurer that a full and fair settlement is in their best interest too. The last thing an insurance company wants is to lose a lot of money on a trial.
- Litigate: while the majority of our claims do successfully settle out of court, some don’t. That is because our Kingston personal injury lawyers prepare every case for the possibility of a trial, so if the insurance company won’t negotiate fairly, we are already ready to take them to court. We make sure the insurance company understands that too.
Beyond all that, one thing we hope to provide our clients is this simple goal: peace of mind. That might sound quaint, but it’s important. Pursuing a personal injury claim in New York can be daunting and emotionally overwhelming. But it doesn’t have to be.
We believe that if you’re hiring us, you should be able to exhale all the stress and leave the burden on our shoulders. While we will keep you informed, in control, and in charge of every decision affecting your case, we will also make sure that we are dealing with the hassles and time-consuming red tape so that you don’t have to.
We’ll also make sure that if you call our office, send an email, or ask a question, you’ll get the timely response you’re looking for.
How Much Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Cost?
When you hire O’Connor & Partners, you don’t have to pay a penny out of pocket.
That’s because our Kingston personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. How does that work? It’s simple:
- You don’t have to pay us anything unless and until we recover money in your case.
- If we don’t succeed, you walk away and don’t pay us one cent.
- If we do succeed, our attorney’s fee is just a percentage of your total recovery.
There’s really nothing to lose. Our Kingston personal injury lawyers will also cover all the costs associated with pursuing your claim in the meantime. When you hire our office, we agree to assume all the risks of losing. Your out-of-pocket cost is zero.
Do I Need a Personal Injury Lawyer for a Minor Accident?
Sometimes, a minor accident will resolve fairly on its own without a lawyer. This is most likely to happen when the damages are so small that the insurance company is less likely to dispute them aggressively (or, even if they do, the amount of money in question just isn’t worth losing sleep over).
The type of accident that you might not need a lawyer for looks like this: you weren’t injured at all, the only property damage is minimal, it’s pretty obvious who was at fault, and you aren’t going to have any significant financial losses.
That said, every accident is different. Never assume that you don’t have a case until you’ve talked about it with an experienced lawyer.
When Do I Need a Personal Injury Lawyer?
The law will never forbid you from representing yourself. But that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to do so. Studies show that people who hire a personal injury lawyer end up recovering more money than those who don’t. That has been our experience as well.
While we can’t promise a particular outcome (and there is no such thing as a guaranteed result in a court of law), our law firm has a long track record of increasing the value of our clients’ claims and steering their cases to success.
Every case is different, but here are some big signs that you should not try to handle your claim on your own:
- You suffered a physical injury as a result of the accident.
- You were admitted to the hospital.
- You required surgery.
- You missed more than a day or two of work because of the accident.
- Your physical recovery is going to last months or more.
- You aren’t sure what your total damages are, but you suspect they add up to more than a few thousand dollars.
- You find yourself in a complex or overwhelming legal situation (multiple parties at fault, complicated facts, unusual “gray area” scenarios, etc.)
- The insurance company is giving you the run-around: aggressive tactics, lowball settlement offers, suspicious questions, pressuring you to accept a settlement, denying your claim unfairly, dragging out your case, accusing you of fraud, etc. (In these situations, you may have an additional claim for insurance bad faith.)
If even one of these statements mirrors your own situation, you should call our Kingston personal injury lawyers and talk about your issue as soon as possible. Don’t say another word to an insurance representative until you do.
What is Pain and Suffering?
“Pain and suffering” is one of those legal terms that most people have heard but few could easily define. There’s also an unfortunate stigma surrounding this particular phrase. The media will sometimes spin “pain and suffering” to sound like a “bogus” or “exaggerated” legal claim.
But make no mistake: pain and suffering damages are very real. The term “pain and suffering” refers to the aspects of your injury that don’t have an obvious monetary value, for example:
- Emotional distress
- Mental anguish
- The experience of suffering with pain
- Sadness, depression, anxiety, or grief
- Loss of love, affection, and companionship
- Loss of sexual intimacy or sexual function
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Post-traumatic stress (PTSD)
- The emotional toll of disfigurement or disability
- Embarrassment or humiliation
- Other emotional or non-economic injuries
Pain and suffering damages sometimes account for a significant part of an accident victim’s financial recovery. That’s why insurance companies oppose them so vigorously.
The Kingston personal injury lawyers at O’Connor & Partners are fierce advocates of full and fair compensation for a victim’s pain and suffering. We understand how insurance companies and/or courts appraise and calculate these damages. We also understand the tactics insurance companies will use to evade their duty to cover pain and suffering damages, which New York recognizes as real and legitimate. We are prepared to fight for a settlement or verdict that represents the full range of your suffering.
Schedule a Free Case Review with Our Kingston Personal Injury Lawyers
It costs nothing to speak to an experienced personal injury attorney. We will advise you on your options and let you know if we think you have a case. We serve the entire state of New York and have offices based in the Hudson Valley. Contact us online or call 845-303-8777 to talk with an experienced Kingston personal injury lawyer today.