The Summers Law Firm can provide competent,
experienced and compassionate legal services to victims of
personal injury accidents and medical malpractice.
Accidents and Medical
Accidents can occur
under many circumstances including traffic accidents, defective
products, a fall from an elevated height at a construction site, or
a slip and fall at residential or commercial premises.
If you sustain injury as the result of medical malpractice, or are
involved in an accident resulting in personal injuries, you need to
know and protect your rights if the accident or malpractice is the
fault of someone else.
Protecting Your Rights
Protecting your rights is even more important if there is insurance
coverage. You can be sure the insurance company will promptly
investigate the incident by referring the matter to its claims
professionals and attorneys, so they can be ready to vigorously
defend any claims. Consequently to "even the playing field," it is
in your best interest to retain your own legal counsel so that your
rights are not lost or compromised.
The Summers Law Firm can provide you with individualized legal
counsel to enable you to obtain fair and just compensation for
damages due to accidents or incidents caused by others. For example:
Construction site accidents: under certain
circumstances, workers injured on the job, who are involved in
certain activities (such as the erection, excavation, demolition,
repairing, altering, painting, cleaning or pointing of a building),
and sustain injury as the result of falling from an elevated height,
may hold the owner, occupier, or general contractor strictly liable
for his or her injuries under the New York State Labor Law. However,
recent amendments to the New York State Workers Compensation Law
have caused considerable confusion in this area of practice. The
attorneys at The Summers Law Firm are thoroughly familiar with the
intricacies of the relevant statues to competently represent you if
you are the injured worker.
Automobile accidents and New York State's "no-fault" law: Under New
York's "no-fault" law (actually, section 5101, et seq. of
the Insurance Law), persons injured in a motor vehicle accident are
eligible to receive up to $50,000 in benefits (provided
they were not intoxicated, drugged or involved in certain illegal or
criminal conduct), covering such items as necessary
medical and rehabilitation expenses (limited to up to $2,000 per
month, for up to three years after the accident), and
certain other reasonable expenses incurred due to the accident
(limited to $25.00 per day, up to one year after the
accident). These benefits are payable regardless of who was at
fault, hence the popular statutory reference to the "no-fault
However, the no-fault benefits do not cover such important items of
compensation as pain and suffering caused by the
injuries, medical expenses and lost earnings in excess of basic
economic loss (i.e. $50,000), or if the injured person or
person who caused the accident does not have insurance complying
with the New York State minimum required coverage.
Further complicating cases involving automobile injury cases in New
York, is the serious injury threshold
that the injured person must establish in order to bring a lawsuit
to recover compensation in addition to the no-fault
benefits (usually "pain and suffering" claims). The "no-fault" law
(specifically, section 5102(d) of the Insurance Law) has
several different definitions of what qualifies as a "serious
injury". Some of the definitions are clear and obvious, such as
death or a fracture, while others are not so clear, such as a
"significant limitation of a body function or system."
If you are injured in an automobile in New York, you will need an
attorney experienced in handling the unique legal issues
that will arise in such a case. Mr. Summers for over a
decade has both defended and prosecuted automobile negligence
cases, trying cases in both federal and state courts.
Premises liability: Slip and fall accidents, whether occurring at a
residence or commercial establishment are seldom expected
by the injured person, but can result in serious injuries affecting
the personal and professional life of the victim. Usually
some dangerous condition on the property, such as ice or snow, which
has not been removed, or faulty construction or
maintenance of floors, stairs or walkways, or the presence of a
foreign substance is the culprit. Whether the owner or
occupier of the property can be held liable such that he or she must
respond in monetary damages, often depends on what they
knew or should have known about the dangerous condition, and what
steps they took or failed to take to remedy the condition
before the accident occurred.
If the property is owned or occupied by the State of New York, a
municipality or a public corporation, the injured party has
the burden of providing timely written notice of their claim before
commencing a lawsuit seeking compensation. The time to
provide the required written notice is very short, usually 60 or 90
days from the accident. Additionally, the time that the injured person has to actually commence an action against the State
or a municipality is also short, usually one year and
90 days from the date of the accident.
If the injured person fails to provide timely written notice of the
claim and fails to bring the lawsuit within the statute
of limitations, he or she may be barred from ever recovering for
their injuries, regardless of the merits of their claim. If
you are injured as the result of a dangerous condition on a
premises, especially if the responsible party may be the State or
a municipal corporation, an attorney who will give your case prompt,
personal attention is essential, since time may be of
the essence to obtain fair and just compensation.
Medical malpractice: Medical malpractice occurs, generally when the
medical treatment (or lack of treatment) constitutes a
substantial departure from good and accepted medical practice for
the community in which the patient is treated; or the
medical professional failed to obtain the patient's informed consent
before performing a procedure by failing to adequately
advise the patient of the known risks, complications or alternate
treatment. Simply a bad result from a medical procedure,
performed after obtaining informed consent, that was the product of
intelligent medical judgment that conforms to community
standards for medical care, will not constitute medical malpractice.
The time by which an action in medical malpractice must be brought
in New York is usually two and one-half years from the
date of the malpractice or the last scheduled appointment with the
subject medical provider who is providing continuous
treatment. However there are exceptions involving foreign object
cases, so each case must be reviewed individually.
Additionally, in New York there must be a good faith basis for the
lawsuit, which usually means the matter must be reviewed
by a competent medical expert who has advised the attorney that the
case has merit.
When medical malpractice occurs, it can have devastating
consequences. The attorneys at The Summers Law Firm can provide
compassionate advocacy for the victim of medical malpractice and his
or her family.