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Queens Personal Injury Lawyer

Queens, NY Personal Injury Attorneys

Michael Pyrros NY Workers Comp Attorneys

Car Accidents | Pedestrian Injuries | Bus and Train Accidents | Elevator Accidents | Slip, Trip and Fall | Construction Site Injuries | Wrongful Death

When you have been hurt because of the careless behavior of another person, your life can change in an instant. Serious or catastrophic injury will prevent you from working. You may not have disability insurance to cover your basic needs and may require extensive medical treatment, including long-term rehabilitation or physical therapy. You may have to give up activities that have brought joy and meaning to your life.
To hold liable parties responsible for the harm they caused, it is important to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney after an accident to protect your legal rights.
At Pyrros, Serres & Rupwani, our lawyers can ensure that you get the help you need. Retaining an attorney as soon as possible is vital to the outcome of your case. A statute of limitations sets for the time you have to file a claim. If you miss the deadline, you will forever lose you right to recovering damages, even if you had grounds for a lawsuit.
Contact our Astoria, Queens, New York law firm online or call us at (718) 626-7730 to schedule free initial consultation.

Common serious injury accidents

Our law firm provides legal services to help victims of a broad range of serious accidents, including:

  • Car accidents
  • Drunk driving accidents
  • Truck accidents
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Construction site accidents
  • Premises liability
  • Workplace accidents
  • Pedestrian accidents
  • Bus, train and other mass transit accidents
  • Elevator accidents
  • Slip, trip and fall

Our lawyers also represent surviving family members in wrongful death claims.

At Pyrros, Serres & Rupwani, you will find skilled legal help to hold liable parties responsible and pursue damages for all your losses, including wages, medical expenses, loss of companionship or consortium and physical pain and suffering.

Personal Injury Lawyer, Astoria, Queens NY

Personal Injury Lawyer, Astoria, Queens NY

If you sustain an avoidable injury because someone was careless, you have the right to seek compensation. You can do so by filing an insurance claim or a civil lawsuit, but you may benefit from speaking to a personal injury attorney about your options.

Personal injuries can be devastating, leaving you with mounting medical expenses and unpaid bills while you cannot work. Having an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side can help you get the financial compensation you need faster to get your life back on track.

What Common Accidents Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Handle?

New York personal injury lawyer handling various accident cases leading to severe injuries or death.

New York personal injury lawyer handles a broad range of accidents that result in serious injuries or even death. The most common cases in personal injury law include:

  • Auto accidents. Auto accident cases include collisions involving commercial trucks, standard passenger vehicles, motorcycles, bicycles, public transportation, and pedestrians. This category also contains accidents pertaining to specific human behaviors, such as drunk driving, drowsy driving, reckless driving, and ridesharing.
  • Premises liability accidents. The most common premises liability cases involve slip, trip, and fall accidents. A slip and fall may occur in a public space, such as a restaurant or supermarket, or on private property, such as a person’s home. 
  • Product liability accidents. Product liability cases are highly complex and require extensive legal knowledge. The defendants in these cases are often large corporations, and proving liability is often challenging. You likely need an experienced personal injury attorney to help you navigate the process.
  • Construction site accidents. Accidents that happen on construction sites often result in severe injuries, given the dangerous nature of the job. If the injured person is a construction worker, they can typically file a workers compensation claim in addition to a civil action without difficulty, but sometimes they hit roadblocks that may require further legal action.
  • Wrongful death. When someone’s careless behavior results in the death of another person, the executor of their estate or personal representative, which is often a close family member, may file a wrongful death lawsuit to seek compensation for financial and emotional losses associated with the death.

You can file a personal injury claim or lawsuit yourself without legal representation. However, representing yourself in a person injury case is difficult as there are many rules, procedures as laws that need to be followed in order to be successful.

In addition, most personal injury lawyers work on contingency. Therefore, you have nothing to lose by consulting with one before taking the matter into your own hands.

What Role Does Fault Play in Personal Injury Cases?

Stages of Proof in a Personal Injury Case

Determining and proving fault are one of the central concerns in a personal injury case. If you file a lawsuit against the person or persons that caused your injury, it is your responsibility to provide evidence that supports your claim.

This means that you have three stages of proof to go through. They are:

  1. You must prove that the defendant was responsible for protecting your safety in your given situation. For example, if you slip and fall at a supermarket, the property owner has a responsibility to maintain the store and parking lot in a safe condition for shoppers.
  2. You must prove that the defendant failed to uphold that responsibility. For example, if the supermarket owner did not remove snow and ice from the parking lot within a reasonable timeframe, they breached their duty.
  3. You must prove the defendant’s breach of duty resulted in your accident and injuries. For example, if you slip and fall on the ice and break your wrist, you must provide evidence to prove that your broken wrist occurred in that parking lot.

Ideally, you could prove the defendant was entirely responsible and, therefore, must cover the damages in your case. However, that is not always the case. For example, if you share liability with the defendant, meaning you are both responsible, you can still claim compensation under the comparative fault law conditions.

Pure Comparative Fault Law

New York uses the pure comparative fault law in cases of shared responsibility. This is one of two types of comparative fault, which states that you can still recover a proportion of damages as long as you are not entirely responsible for the accident.

The other type of comparative fault, known as modified comparative fault, states that the defendant must be more at fault for you, the plaintiff, to receive any compensation. Whether the threshold for responsibility is 50% or 51% depends on the state.

In New York, pure comparative fault states that your percentage of responsibility does not matter as long you are not entirely responsible. In action, if the court values all damages in your case at $500,000 and decides that you are both equally responsible for the accident, you can only receive $250,000 of the award.

The process for determining the percentage of fault is complex, but your NY personal injury lawyers can help you understand how the specifics of your accident could affect compensation.

What Losses Can You Recover in a Personal Injury Case?

Recovering losses in personal injury cases, explaining compensatory and exemplary damages.

For your accident to qualify for a personal injury lawsuit, it must result in damages, and damages can encompass many variations of loss depending on how serious the accident was and the severity of your injuries.

Generally, there are two types of damages related to personal injuries: compensatory damages and exemplary damages.

Compensatory Losses

Compensatory losses refer to the financial and emotional repercussions of your accident and injuries. The economic damages include:

  • The expenses related to your medical treatments
  • The cost of any future medical treatments for injuries requiring prolonged care
  • The wages lost as a result of missed work
  • The future lost wages as a result of missed work or a permanent inability to fulfill the duties of your job
  • Property damage, which is common in motor vehicle accident cases
  • All other expenses related to your case, including the cost of hired help for the home or childcare, the cost of transportation to medical treatments, and any other out-of-pocket expenses

The emotional repercussions, known as the non-economic damages, are not innately quantified, but New York personal injury lawyers can help you understand how to value these losses.

Examples of non-economic damages include:

  • The pain and suffering associated with physical injuries
  • Losing the ability to enjoy life as you did before your accident
  • The mental and emotional anguish, such as depression or anxiety, related to physical trauma or losing a loved one
  • Disfigurement, dismemberment, or disability
  • The loss of companionship 
  • The loss of consortium for spouses of someone who died in an accident
  • The loss of a fetus

Every personal injury accident is unique. If you have questions about the value of your compensatory losses, contact a New York personal injury attorney to learn more about what you can request in your claim.

Exemplary Damages

Exemplary damages, often called punitive damages, are not available in every personal injury lawsuit. Instead, the court reserves these damages for cases where the defendant’s actions displayed gross misconduct or negligence.

For example, a judge may award payment of punitive damages to a plaintiff who lost a loved one in a drunk driving accident. However, the amount is subject to the defendant’s overall wealth. 

Therefore, punitive damages in a car accident case may be significantly less than punitive damages in a product liability case involving a large company.

When Might You Need a NY Personal Injury Attorney?

When Might You Need a NY Personal Injury Attorney?' with info on hiring one for injury cases due to negligence.

You can hire a personal injury lawyer for any case involving injuries caused by another’s negligence. However, examples of when which you may benefit most from legal representation include:

  • You suffered severe injuries resulting in significant injuries.
  • You filed a claim with the insurance company and received pushback.
  • You are unsure about liability in your case.

The most common type of personal injury case involves car accidents, and residents of New York, a no-fault state, often assume that they cannot file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver because of the laws requiring personal injury protection insurance.

However, suppose you suffered severe injuries, such as broken bones or temporary limitation to a bodily function or organ. In that case, you can sue for the non-economic damages not covered under PIP insurance.

What Are the Advantages of Hiring Queens Personal Injury Lawyers at Pyrros, Serres & Rupwani?

Queens Personal Injury Lawyers at Pyrros, Serres & Rupwani - Advantages of Hiring Them

At Pyrros, Serres & Rupwani law firm, you can speak to a personal injury attorney about your case with no financial risk. The advantage of letting us handle your case include:

  • We represent personal injury victims in all negotiations with the insurance company.
  • We know how to accurately determine the worth of your claim and will investigate your accident to ensure you have all the evidence you need to support it.
  • We will fight to protect your legal rights and ensure that you receive fair compensation.
  • If your case must go to trial, we will prepare everything and represent you in the courtroom.
  • We have decades of experience handling personal injury cases and will put it to use for you.

As personal injury attorneys, we understand the heavy burdens that plague victims of negligent action. Our goal is to offer unwavering support and help alleviate those burdens by charging no fees until we secure a settlement or award for you.

Serving Astoria, Queens County, and NYC Borough’s accidents victims for over 30 years. Call our law offices any time of day at (718) 626-7730 for a free consultation or contact us using our online form.

How Do I Know If I Have a Personal Injury Case?

This is a common question, and our attorneys hear it often here at Pyrros, Serres & Rupwani. It’s a good question, too. In short, you don’t necessarily have a viable case just because you’ve been in an accident. For a valid case, you’ll need to prove the other party (a driver or store owner, for instance) acted negligently and that you suffered injuries.

If you’re wondering, “How do I know if I have a personal injury case?” we’re here to help. Below, learn what qualifies as a personal injury claim from a personal injury lawyer in New York.

Determining Personal Injury Case Eligibility

Assessing eligibility for a personal injury lawsuit is all about negligence. Did the other party act negligently, and did their negligence cause your accident? If so, you may have a  viable case.

However, you can’t just point fingers at someone and blame them for your injuries. Your personal injury attorney in New York will have to prove four things to win your case:

  • The other party owed you a duty of care.
  • They breached this duty of care.
  • Their breach of duty contributed to or caused your accident.
  • You suffered compensable injuries.

The terms “duty of care” and “breach of duty” can be confusing, so let’s go over some examples of what these terms mean in plain English.

  • A nurse has a duty to protect the health and safety of her patients. She breaches this duty by giving a patient medication that they’re allergic to.
  • A driver has a duty to obey traffic laws. He breaches his duty by speeding and running a red light.
  • A dog owner has a duty to keep his animal safely secured if he knows it’s aggressive. However, he allows the dog to run free, and it bites someone.

Examples of Valid Personal Injury Cases

If you’re still wondering, “How do I know if I have a personal injury case?” refer to these examples to help with identifying grounds for a personal injury lawsuit.

Car Accidents

Car accidents are incredibly common on our roads. More than 6,700 collisions occurred throughout New York City in February 2024 alone.

Here’s an example of a valid car accident case: Charlie stopped at a red light, and moments later, another driver slammed into the back of his car. If Charlie suffered injuries he can sue this driver because they’re clearly at fault.

In New York, you can have a valid case even if you’re partially at fault. The court would simply lower your award by your degree of fault.

Slip-and-Fall Accidents

Slips, trips, and falls are extremely common. In 2021, 44,686 people perished in falls at work and at home.

Here’s a valid slip-and-fall case example: Michael is at the grocery store. In a nearby aisle, an employee has just finished washing the floor, but they neglect to put up a “wet floor” sign. Michael strolls down this aisle and slips on the slick floor and is injured. He could sue the store for their negligence.

On the other hand, Michael may not have a viable case against the store if the accident was his fault. For instance, if he fell while running in the aisles or entering an employee-only area, he might not have a valid case.

Dog Bites

Eleanor owns a dog she describes as “the friendliest puppy ever.” However, the dog has been known to be aggressive at times. The dog snaps one day and bites a child who has reached to pet it. The child’s parents could hold Eleanor liable.

Defective Product Injuries

Harry excitedly buys the latest smartphone model. After charging the phone, it becomes so hot to the touch that it severely burns him. Harry may sue the manufacturer for product liability.

Medical Malpractice

Lisa has surgery to remove her appendix. The surgeon who operates on her is exhausted and accidentally leaves a surgical tool inside her body, which she only realizes after waking up in serious pain. Lisa likely has a valid case for medical malpractice.

Construction Site Accidents

Construction is an incredibly dangerous industry. In 2019, there were nearly 1,000 recorded construction-related fatalities, 400 of which were due to falls from height.

Construction accidents are tricky because you can’t sue your employer if they have workers’ compensation insurance. But if a third party contributed to the accident, you might have a case against them.

Here’s an example: A subcontractor let David borrow one of his ladders. The ladder wasn’t well maintained, and it injured David when he used it. David could hold the subcontractor liable for his injuries.

Elevator Accidents

With so many high-rise buildings in New York, elevators are everywhere you look. While most are safe, some are accidents waiting to happen.

If an elevator falls with you in it, or if you’re injured in an elevator and the emergency communication system doesn’t work, you could hold the building owner or elevator company liable.

Gathering Evidence for Your Personal Injury Case

Even if you have a valid personal injury case, you can’t expect the court to just take your word for it. You’ll need strong evidence to win compensation.

Medical records are excellent evidence for all types of personal injury cases. They connect your injuries to the accident and demonstrate how badly hurt you are.

Photos and videos serve as good evidence, too. In a car crash, you should take pictures of all involved vehicles, road debris, weather conditions, and obscured or damaged road signs. For a slip-and-fall accident, take pictures of what caused you to fall.

Contact a Personal Injury Attorney in New York

Still unsure how to determine if you have a personal injury case? Reach out to Pyrros, Serres & Rupwani for guidance. We can also explain common types of personal injury cases, help you collect strong evidence for your claim, and negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf.

To learn about more factors to consider for a personal injury claim, call (718) 626-7730.

Frequently Asked Questions

What makes a personal injury case strong?

The more severe your injuries are, the stronger your personal injury case. For instance, if you’ve suffered a permanent disability, brain damage, or a spinal cord injury, you likely have a strong case. However, you must prove that the defendant’s negligence caused your injury to win the case.

Why do so many personal injury cases settle?

The majority of personal injury cases settle because going to court is costly and time consuming. Neither side wants to spend thousands on attorney’s fees and months in the courtroom. Settling allows both parties to close the case faster and move on with their lives. It also enables the injured party to recover damages more quickly than they would with a trial.

How much money should I ask for in a settlement?

You should ask for an amount that fully covers your damages. Your damages should include things like pain and suffering, loss of past and future earnings and past and future medical expenses. Always ask your attorney to provide you with an explanation regarding how their settlement demand is calculated.

How do I reject a low settlement offer?

To reject a low settlement offer, have your attorney prepare a letter for the insurance company. In it, state why their offer is too low and provides sound reasoning that backs up your higher demand.

If your settlement offer is too low and you’re wondering, “How do I know if I have a personal injury case?” reach out to Pyrros, Serres & Rupwani.

Meet Our Attorneys

Michael C. Pyrros received his bachelor’s degree from American University in Washington, D.C. in 1985.
Michael Serres is a 1989 graduate of St. John’s University School of Law. Mr. Serres was admitted to practice law in New York.
Nicholas Rupwani has been practicing workers’ compensation law since August 2004.