Personal Injury

Personal Injury


If you or someone you love has been injured due to someone else’s negligence or carelessness, New York State law allows the wrongfully injured individuals to pursue compensation from the party that caused their injury. This is known as a personal injury lawsuit.
Working with an experienced New York personal injury lawyer can greatly reduce the burdens associated with proving a personal injury case so you can focus on your recovery. An insurance company might pressure you to settle your personal injury case before hiring an attorney. We strongly recommend that you seek counsel before accepting a settlement offer.
The Law Office of George T. Peters, PLLC is ready to help you combat dishonest insurers and maximize your recovery. We offer to review your potential case for free to see if you’re eligible to file a claim. Once retained, the Law Office of George T. Peters, PLLC will represent your best interests at every stage of the legal process.

Personal injury is a legal term that describes a physical, psychological, or emotional injury.

What You Should Know About Personal Injury Claims in New York State

Personal injury claims are known as tort law. New York State has many statutes that apply to personal injury claims. They can be found in New York’s Consolidated Laws. New York also has case law that is relevant to personal injury cases. Case laws are laws that come from judicial opinions in lawsuits.

Negligence in New York Personal Injury Cases

Negligence is a major concept in tort law. Negligence basically means someone was careless and caused another person harm. It does not necessarily mean someone intentionally hurt another person. Your personal injury claim will typically be based on the allegation that the person that caused your injuries was negligent. To be negligent means that a person failed to uphold their duty to act as a reasonable and prudent person. Their failure to act carefully caused an accident, which resulted in your injuries.


Negligence is a failure to uphold a duty of care. Most people, in most circumstances, are required to maintain the duty of ordinary care. People must act like a reasonably prudent person would under the same or similar circumstances. In other words, all of us must be careful and avoid hurting someone. When someone is negligent, it means they failed to uphold this duty. This does not necessarily mean they tried to hurt someone or acted maliciously.


Another important element of negligence is causation. To hold someone responsible for your personal injury based on negligence, you have to prove a proximate cause. You must prove that were it not for the accident, you would not have been hurt. You also have to prove that your injuries were a foreseeable risk of the other person’s negligent behavior. Causation can get tricky in a personal injury suit if multiple other people might be to blame for your injuries.

Liability in New York Personal Injury Cases

Liability is the legal concept of responsibility for paying for another person’s injuries, which are also known as damages. You shouldn’t confuse fault and liability. The person who is at fault for your injuries is the person whose negligence caused the accident. The at-fault person might be liable too. But other parties also might be liable, even if they did not directly cause the accident. In many personal injury cases, the negligent person is not the party who ends up paying for damages. We thoroughly investigate personal injury claims and look for any liable parties.

New York State Personal Injury Lawsuit Process

The Law Office of George T. Peters, PLLC is here to guide you through the personal injury claim and litigation process in New York, including:

The Pre-Litigation Claims Process

Retaining the Law Office of George T. Peters, PLLC

Gathering Evidence

Proving a Personal Injury Claim

When you file a personal injury lawsuit, you have to prove liability. You have to present enough facts to convince the jury that the defendant or defendants are liable for your injuries.
In personal injury cases, the burden of proof (the standard you have to meet) is “by a preponderance of the evidence.” This means you have to present enough evidence that the jury believes it is more likely than not that the defendant is responsible. Proving a personal injury claim requires gathering a great deal of evidence that you can show the jury. This can include photos, videos, audio recordings, police reports, medical records, business records, diagrams, re-enactments, witness testimony, and expert witness testimony.

Investigating Your Case

A thorough investigation is the foundation of a successful accident claim. The Law Office of George T. Peters, PLLC will use all the documents, photos, reports, and eye-witness testimonies to learn more about your case. The evidence we gather will prove invaluable when negotiating a settlement and, if necessary, taking your case to trial.

Establishing Liability

After the Law Office of George T. Peters, PLLC has examined every aspect of your potential matter, we will ideally be able to identify the party liable for your losses.
As we will have to prove what violation directly caused your injuries, we suggest taking pictures of your injuries after the accident. Once we have proof of causation, we’ll just need to show that your injuries resulted in monetary and non-monetary losses. Then, you’ll be one step closer to winning your recovery.

Calculating the value of your matter

How Is an Injury Claim Valued?

After an accident, most people wonder “what is my NYC personal injury claim worth?” Many factors influence the value of a case, including the severity of your injuries, the amount of medical treatment you need, how long you are out of work, and whether you suffered a disability that has left you unable to work. We take everything into account when we calculate the value of your case.

Economic Damages (Special Damages)

Your lawyer will begin to calculate the value of your claim by adding up your accident and injury-related expenses, including medical bills, transportation to medical care, at-home care, medical supplies and equipment, prescriptions, and lost income. We also will calculate your likely future medical expenses and wage loss.

Non-Economic Damages (General Damages)

In many personal injury cases, you also can demand compensation for your physical and emotional injuries. We have years of experience placing value of non-economic injuries, like disfigurement or physical limitation, pain and suffering, and mental anguish.

Punitive Damages (Exemplary Damages)

Separate from economic and non-economic, which are known as compensatory damages, are punitive damages. These are meant to punish the wrongdoer, not compensate you for a physical, emotional, or financial injury. Punitive damages are not given in most negligence-based cases. You must prove gross negligence, wanton recklessness, malice, or other egregious behavior to win punitive damages.

Common Defenses to Injury Claims

When you file a personal injury claim, expect the defendant to fight back. The defendant doesn’t want to be held responsible for your damages. Their insurance company doesn’t want to pay out on the claim. You need to work with us to provide a strong argument and overcome their defenses.

Comparative Negligence

The defendant might claim that you or another party was also negligent. They might argue that someone else was mostly negligent. This argument can be very effective in reducing the defendant’s liability based on New York State’s pure comparative negligence law. Under this rule, each party involved is assigned a percentage of fault.

Superseding Cause

The defendant might argue that another person’s conduct was more significant than their own and is the real cause of your injuries. When you prove cause in a negligence claim, you are saying that there is a straight line from Event A to Event B.

Insurance Issues in Personal Injury Cases

Most personal injury claims settle before trial. But many insurance issues can get in the way between you and a fair settlement. Working with us can help you overcome these issues and resolve your claim in your favor.

Common insurance issues we deal with include:

  • Negligent party lacks insurance coverage.
  • Insurance company denies its policyholder is liable.
  • Insurance company acts in bad faith or unlawfully.
  • Insurance company refuses to negotiate a settlement in good faith.
  • Insurance policy limit is less than the value of your claim.

New York State Statute of Limitations

According to New York State law, you have three years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit. The amount of time differs for other types of lawsuits, such as medical malpractice or employment law.
Statutes of limitations seem straightforward. But calculating your deadline to file can be complicated. You should talk with an experienced personal injury attorney about how long you have to file. Certain issues can delay the start of the clock. Other issues can pause the clock, giving you more time to file. Another issue depends on the liable party. If your claim is against a local or state government agency, then you have a lot less time to file your claim. In addition, when filing a lawsuit against a municipality, plaintiffs must fulfill other requirements.
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