If you have recently been involved in an accident, you will understandably have many questions. Listed below are general answers to our prospective clients’ most frequently asked questions.
No two cases are exactly alike. The specific facts of an incident and the way in which an injury might affect a particular individual will vary from case to case.
To receive detailed answers to questions regarding your particular issues, please contact Seiden & Kaufman.
- Q: HOW CAN I RECEIVE A FREE CASE EVALUATION FROM SEIDEN & KAUFMAN SO THAT I KNOW WHETHER OR NOT I SHOULD PURSUE AN ACTION?
- Whether you contact Seiden & Kaufman by telephone, e-mail, or we meet in your home, the hospital, or our office, we will provide a free detailed analysis about your particular case and will answer every question that you have without any obligation.
- Q: DOES SEIDEN & KAUFMAN HANDLE CASES NOT SPECIFICALLY LISTED IN THE PRACTICE AREAS OF THIS WEBSITE?
- Of course. The information on this website only provides a general outline of the types of accident cases that Seiden & Kaufman handles. For decades, Seiden & Kaufman has practiced exclusively personal injury law and we have represented thousands of clients who have been injured as the result of an endless variety of accident types.
- For example, outside of the types of accidents noted in the “practice areas” menu, some of the clients Seiden & Kaufman has successfully represented include: A child who developed a seizure disorder from eating peanut butter, a student whose finger was traumatically amputated when his teacher carelessly shut a classroom door, a man who sustained a debilitating back injury when a restaurant’s chair collapsed, a woman who suffered burns and disfigurement when her apartment’s oven exploded, a child who sustained devastating injuries due to an improperly monitored swimming pool, a man who sustained food poisoning when a restaurant served him contaminated food, a child who sustained facial scarring due to a carelessly swung golf club, and a woman who sustained crippling ankle fractures due to the negligent entrustment of a dangerous instrumentality (a moped) to a child.
- If you were injured as the result of any type of accident, please call Seiden & Kaufman for a free consultation.
- Q: HOW DOES SEIDEN & KAUFMAN GET PAID?
- Your initial consultation with Seiden & Kaufman is always free. In the event that you elect to retain Seiden & Kaufman as your attorneys, we receive a legal fee only if we recover money for you. As our fee is based on a percentage of any recovery (pursuant to Court Rules), Seiden & Kaufman shares in our clients’ successes. In the unlikely event that you do not recover any money, you will not owe Seiden & Kaufman any fee.
- Additionally, throughout the litigation Seiden & Kaufman advances all expenses necessary to prosecute your action. You do not pay any of the expenses during the litigation. At the conclusion of the action, any expenses are deducted from the total recovery (pursuant to Court Rules); the client then receives two-thirds of the balance, with Seiden & Kaufman retaining the remaining one-third as our fee.
- Q: WHO WILL PAY FOR MY MEDICAL BILLS AND LOST EARNINGS?
- The specific details of how your incident occurred will determine who will pay your bills, lost earnings, and other benefits.
- If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident, all of your medical bills and part of your lost wages will be paid by the insurance carrier for the vehicle that you occupied or the vehicle that struck you if you are a pedestrian or bicyclist. Pursuant to the New York State Insurance Law, these benefits are paid regardless of fault. To obtain these benefits, a no-fault application must be properly completed and filed with the appropriate insurance carrier within thirty days of the accident. Seiden & Kaufman will prepare and file the no-fault application on your behalf at no charge.
- If you are injured during the course of your employment, your employer’s workers’ compensation carrier is responsible for paying your medical bills and lost wages.
- If you are not eligible for no-fault or workers’ compensation benefits, and you do not have any type of medical insurance coverage, Seiden & Kaufman will help find a doctor willing to provide your necessary treatment on a lien basis. The doctor will wait until the conclusion of the action to be paid.
- Q: CAN I CHANGE ATTORNEYS IF I AM NOT SATISFIED WITH MY PRESENT ATTORNEY?
- You have the right to change attorneys at any time and for any reason. If you are dissatisfied with the legal representation that you are receiving, you should contact Seiden & Kaufman immediately to discuss your concerns. We will provide a candid, accurate response as to whether there are potential benefits to substituting Seiden & Kaufman for your current attorney. If you subsequently decide to retain Seiden & Kaufman after our free no-obligation consultation, you will need to sign only one document. You will never have to speak, or have any other contact, with your prior attorney. Seiden & Kaufman will handle all communication with your prior attorney and arrange for a prompt transfer of your file. If your prior attorney is entitled to any fee, it will be paid directly out of Seiden & Kaufman's share. You will not pay, or be responsible for, any additional attorney’s fee if you decide to retain Seiden & Kaufman.
- Q: SHOULD I CONTACT AN ATTORNEY IMMEDIATELY AFTER MY ACCIDENT?
- Personal injury and wrongful death cases are often complex and can consume a substantial amount of time and financial resources.
- There are numerous reasons why you should immediately contact an experienced personal injury attorney.
- First, any delay prior to commencing a thorough investigation could result in the permanent loss of crucial evidence. Photographs of a damaged vehicle may prove the severity of a collision and establish points of impact. Photographs of a hazardous condition taken before its repair or modification may determine whether liability can ultimately be established. Witness statements must be obtained while witnesses can be located and before memories fade. Retained experts must perform on-sight inspections before any conditions change.
- Second, depending on how your particular accident occurred, there are most likely numerous strict deadlines for the filing of various documents. If you are involved in a motor vehicle related incident, your application for no-fault benefits must be filed within thirty days of the accident, your potential uninsured or underinsured claims must be timely filed, and New York State Law requires that your accident report be filed with the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles within ten days of the accident.
- If your action is against a municipality, municipal agency, or the State of New York, your claim usually must be filed within ninety days after the incident.
- Numerous statutes of limitations set the outside date for when a particular action may be commenced. Some statutes of limitations are as short as one year. No lawsuit can be commenced once the time limit set by the statute of limitations has run out.
- The easiest and safest way to avoid missing any deadlines and to preserve any crucial evidence is to contact Seiden & Kaufman immediately after your accident.
- Third, you should be aware of the common misperception that the insurance company will offer you everything that you are entitled to receive. It is not the insurance claim representative’s job to maximize your recovery. In fact, it is the claim representative’s job to gather as much information as possible about your incident and injuries, and then resolve your case for an amount less than what the insurance company set aside for your particular case. When an individual cooperates with the insurance company without the assistance of an attorney, this amount that is set aside (also known as the insurance company’s “reserve”) is often significantly lower than the true value of the action. Once set by the insurance company, the reserve becomes substantially more difficult to increase and presents an additional challenge when negotiating resolution of the claim. Therefore, be cautious when an insurance claim representative attempts to contact you after an accident. The representative will surely act friendly, concerned, and may even offer false hope that your claim will be promptly and fairly evaluated.
- The insurance claim representative’s “friendship” will usually last as long as you continue to provide information including statements, authorizations for employment and medical records, etc. After you have complied with all of the insurance company’s requests, the claim representative will then contact you and explain why the insurance company is making no settlement offer or why it is offering you only “nuisance value.” Unlike injured accident victims, insurance claim representatives have extensive experience negotiating hundreds of claims every year and are well versed in the potential value of claims.
- Although Seiden & Kaufman will pursue your action aggressively and expeditiously, we will not resolve your claim prematurely. If your particular injuries are getting worse, are likely to get worse, or may require surgery or additional surgeries, the value of your damages will increase substantially. Knowing when to settle your action is equally important as knowing the true value of your action. In light of Seiden & Kaufman's decades of experience handling only personal injury matters, you can be confident that we will properly assess the value of your claim, optimally time the negotiation of a settlement, and utilize the appropriate strategies to maximize your recovery.