Frequently Asked Questions


Frequently Asked Questions


Q: How long do I have to commence litigation?

A: The legal term for the time within which one must commence a lawsuit is the “statute of limitations.” The statute of limitations depends on the type of accident you were involved in and the parties you are suing. Generally, there is three year statute of limitations for personal injury cases in New York State. However, this time can be shortened if the entity you are seeking to sue is  New York City or another municipal entity. In those cases there is a requirement to file a document known as a notice of claim, typically within 90 days of the happening of the accident. The litigation must be commenced within a year and 90 days of the happening of the accident. The statute for medical malpractice is also different, generally standing at 2 1/2 years, but again shortened if the defendant is a municipal or state owned hospital. The statute of limitations is also different in cases, commenced in federal court, against the State of New York or the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. The safest course of action is to contact Talisman & DeLorenz, P.C. immediately upon the happening of an accident so that we can advise you of the  applicable statute of limitations.

Q: Who will pay for my medical bills while litigation is pending?

A: This depends on how and where your accident occurred. In most instances, individuals involved in a motor vehicle accident will file a no fault claim to their or the offending driver’s motor vehicle insurance carrier. There are criteria and deadlines that must be met in order for the bills to be paid through this type of insurance. People injured while in the course of their employment can have medical bills submitted to their employers’s workers’s compensation insurance carrier. Depending on the facility where treatment is rendered, private insurance can sometimes be used and individuals are also sometimes able to treat on a lien with providers who do not accept their insurance. This means that the treating facility will bill the injured client and then recover at the end of the case only if money is recovered. It is critical to contact Talisman & DeLorenz, P.C. as soon as possible after an accident occurs so that we can guide you on the proper steps to submit your medical insurance claims to the appropriate insurance carrier.

Q: If I am dissatisfied, with my lawyer, can I switch? If I do so, will my fee increase?

A: You can switch attorneys during a litigation. Switching attorneys will not increase your legal fee. In New York State, legal fees are generally one-thirds of the total amount recovered. If you use more than one attorney, they will negotiate how to split the fee but it will not exceed one-third of the total amount recovered.

Q: Is the amount recovered during a personal injury litigation taxable?

A: No, it is not. Monetary recovery for a personal injury is not taxable.

Q: Can someone under the age of 18 bring a claim for personal injuries?

A: If you are under the age of 18, New York State considers you an “infant“ for legal purposes. An infant cannot bring a claim on their own behalf. Rather, a guardian, typically the infant’s mother or father, brings the claim on the infant’s behalf. If the matter is settled prior to the infant reaching the age of eighteen, a judge must approve the settlement in a process called an infant’s compromise hearing. If the judge approves the settlement, the money must be placed in a bank account or other fund, typically called an annuity, that can only be accessed by the infant upon him or her turning eighteen years of age.

Q: What happens if I’m involved in a motor vehicle accident with a vehicle that is uninsured?

A: In New York, State, there is an organization known as the Motor Vehicle Accident Indemnification Corporation (typically known as “MVAIC”). It was created to provide coverage (up to $25,000 for an injured person or up to $50,000 for someone killed in a motor vehicle accident) for those involved in accidents with uninsured vehicles. This is either a known vehicle whose insurance has lapsed or an unknown hit-and-run vehicle. An accident with a hit and run/unknown vehicle does require the injured person to file a police report within 24 hours of it’s happening.

*The facts and circumstances of each accident varies. These answers are for general informational purposes only and are not a substitute for consultation with and legal advice from a licensed attorney.

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