Category Archives: Lawsuits

How To Change My Personal Injury Lawyer In New York

Can I Change My Personal Injury Lawyer In New York?

Yes. You can change to a new personal injury lawyer in New York at any time, for any reason, and as many times as you want without any extra cost to you.

TIP: Get a free consultation with another personal injury lawyer for a second opinion before you fire your current personal injury lawyer.

Be aware that although you are allowed to change your personal injury attorney, you may not be able to find another personal injury lawyer willing to take your accident case. That’s why you should get a second opinion before you fire your current personal injury lawyer.

If you already changed your personal injury lawyer and are trying to change your personal injury lawyer again to a 3rd lawyer, it may be more difficult unless you have a very valuable personal injury case.

Note: You should get a second opinion if you went to a personal injury lawyer who did not want your case or after taking your case your personal injury lawyer no longer wants to represent you.

We have represented many personal injury clients who were turned down by other personal injury lawyers. We settled a car accident case for $750,000 for a client in the Bronx who had back pain and went to a lawyer who didn’t want the case until she got some medical treatment. If that lawyer took her case, she probably wouldn’t have been happy with him and he probably would have settled it for $15,000.

New York Serious Injury Attorney Rob Plevy offers a second opinion

Can I Get A Second Opinion From A Personal Injury Lawyer?

Yes. People frequently get a second opinion from another doctor. It’s the same with lawyers and personal injury lawyers don’t charge a fee for a consultation or even a second opinion!

You Think You Hired The Wrong New York Personal Injury Lawyer

Often you liked the personal injury lawyer when you signed the retainer but afterward, the lawyer doesn’t seem interested in you or your case and the lawyer won’t communicate with you anymore.

12 reasons people change their personal injury lawyer:

  • My lawyer doesn’t return phone calls, emails, or texts and I cannot get to speak with my lawyer.
  • I only get to speak to my lawyer’s secretary.
  • I can’t find out what’s going on with my case.
  • I’m not getting my No-Fault disability checks and my lawyer isn’t helping.
  • I get the feeling that I am bothering my lawyer.
  • My lawyer actually said, “I’m too busy to handle your case”.
  • My lawyer is rude.
  • My lawyer wants me to settle my case for too little.
  • My lawyer doesn’t want to take my case to trial.
  • My lawyer isn’t interested in my case.
  • My lawyer doesn’t seem to know me or my case when I call.
  • My lawyer doesn’t want to represent me anymore.

We recently became the second law firm for a client because he was unhappy that Cellino & Barnes wanted him to settle his accident case for $25,000. We settled his case for the entire $100,000 insurance policy.

See the New York State required Statement of Client’s Rights

What If My Personal Injury Lawyer Doesn’t Want To Represent Me Anymore?

Surprisingly, we get a lot of calls from people who said their personal injury lawyer said he or she doesn’t want to represent them anymore.

4 reasons that your lawyer may tell you to get another lawyer:

  • Your lawyer doesn’t get along with you.
  • Your lawyer no longer thinks you have a good case.
  • Your lawyer disagrees with you about how much your case is worth.
  • Your lawyer wants you to settle for a lot less money than you want.

If your personal injury lawyer told you that he or she doesn’t want to represent you anymore, call us now!

Will It Cost Me Any More Money To Change My Personal Injury Lawyer?

No. Your legal fee will remain the same at 1/3 of what the personal injury lawyer gets you, no matter how many times you change your personal injury lawyer.

We will work out with your previous lawyer how much of the 1/3 legal fee will be paid by us to your previous personal injury lawyer.

Will Changing Lawyers Hurt Or Delay My Personal Injury Case?

No. Another lawyer will probably be able to get you more money and maybe even quicker. If you are unhappy with your current lawyer it’s probably for a good reason. The sooner you get a new personal injury lawyer, the better it will be for you.

Do I have To Call My Personal Injury Lawyer To Change Lawyers?

No. Your new personal injury lawyer will contact your previous personal injury lawyer to arrange to transfer your file.

What Should I Do Now?

Just call us or give your name and number to the operator in the chat window for a free second opinion with no pressure. If you sign a retainer with us, we will contact your personal injury lawyer and arrange everything. You won’t have to speak with your lawyer or do anything!

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Get the HURT911® Personal Injury Dream Team™ on your side and become a member of our family!

“Knowing I had a team of great lawyers on my side gave me a sense of power and peace of mind. They took care of everything for me. When a settlement was negotiated, I saw the difference a team of lawyers makes.”
—Lia Fisse

Please take a look at some of our:

No Win — No Fee — No Expenses — Guaranteed!

Call HURT911® Dream Team Partners Rob Plevy & Phil Franckel right now for a free consultation and find out your rights days/nights/weekends. 
1-800-HURT-911
1-800-487-8911

Then continue to speak, text, or email with us whenever you want throughout your case and afterward, days/nights/weekends, and experience our famous personal service.

Partner Phil Franckel, Esq. talks about difficult cases and the 1-800-HURT-911® Personal Injury Dream Team

HURT911® Dream Team Partner Attorney Rob Plevy, Esq.

Partner Rob Plevy, Esq.

Get the HURT911® Personal Injury Dream Team™ on your side!
Call Attorneys Rob Plevy & Phil Franckel days/nights/weekends for a free consultation
1-800-HURT-911

1-800-487-8911

New York Serious Injury Lawyer logo

 

Why Are There Too Many Lawsuits?

time for truth about law suits

The truth is that the number of personal injury lawsuits is not excessive and there is no evidence which shows that they are. If the actual number of personal injury lawsuits is increasing it’s only because the population is increasing.

Besides providing compensation for damage to a person or property caused by the negligence of someone else, lawsuits have several beneficial effects on society. Besides the obvious replacement of violence with civility, the biggest beneficial effect is that it makes life safer.

If it were not for lawsuits, there would be no need to make cars safer. Within a few years, no one will ever be injured in a car again. In fact, Volvo advertises by the year 2020, no one will ever be seriously injured or killed again in a new Volvo car or SUV.

Many states have enacted laws which make it more difficult to bring a personal injury lawsuit. In some states, it’s disgusting how difficult they made it because many times people with real injuries are unable to be compensated.

In New York, many people with lifelong, painful soft tissue injuries, such as a neck or back injury from a car accident find their case dismissed by the court because the court didn’t think the injury was serious enough.

The only people who complain about lawsuits are:

  1. People who have been sued because of their negligence and believe that the plaintiff wasn’t injured. But in most of our cases, it would not have been possible at the time of the accident to determine whether our client was injured. We have even had many cases where our client had a broken bone and required surgery but didn’t realize he was injured at the time of the accident. Often, even the hospital doesn’t see a broken bone but after pain sets in, it’s diagnosed a day or two later by a doctor.
  2. People who have not yet sustained an injury because of someone else’s negligence. Those people always change their attitude once they get injured. We have represented several of those people.

John Stossel is one of those people. He did many anti-lawsuit stories on TV but when he was slapped in the face by a professional wrestler, he ran to a personal injury lawyer to file a lawsuit and apparently got $425,000!

Read The Truth About Insurance; Tort Reform; Jury Verdicts; Real & Phony Law Suits

The number of automobile, motorcycle, and pedestrian lawsuits have increased because of distracted drivers talking on the phone or texting. However, these cases are going to disappear rapidly due to collision avoidance systems being installed in cars and becoming very advanced.

Some cars already have very sophisticated collision avoidance systems and I predict that within 20 years there will be almost no motor vehicle accidents.

Think the McDonald’s coffee lawsuit is proof lawsuits are out of control? Read the true facts about the McDonald’s coffee lawsuit.

Are There Any Lawsuits Out Of Control?

We don’t think so but commercial litigation is where the real money is. It was reported that the settlement of the lawsuit between Qualcomm and Apple will net Qualcomm between $4.5 billion and $4.7 billion.

In a study by the Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics, the median personal injury award nationwide in state court was $24,000 and the median damage award in federal court was $201,000.

This is pennies compared to commercial litigation in which a company sues another company. Often, insurance policies pay for the defense and the award against the company. Insurance may even pay for the plaintiff’s litigation costs.

Where I live, my village filed a lawsuit against a cell phone company to stop them from putting up antennas on an existing cell tower. At a meeting, I objected to the village filing a lawsuit because I believed the cell phone company would prevail and I didn’t want to pay for the litigation from my taxes.

The village responded by saying it wouldn’t matter because they had insurance which would pay for the lawsuit. I pointed out that this type of expensive and prolonged litigation would likely result in a premium increase and cost me money when the village raises my taxes but that did not stop the village from proceeding with the litigation.

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Get the HURT911® Personal Injury Dream Team™ on your side and become a member of our family!

“Knowing I had a team of great lawyers on my side gave me a sense of power and peace of mind. They took care of everything for me. When a settlement was negotiated, I saw the difference a team of lawyers makes.”
—Lia Fisse

Please take a look at some of our:

No Win — No Fee — No Expenses — Guaranteed!

Call HURT911® Dream Team Partners Rob Plevy & Phil Franckel right now for a free consultation and find out your rights days/nights/weekends. 
1-800-HURT-911
1-800-487-8911

Then continue to speak, text, or email with us whenever you want throughout your case and afterward, days/nights/weekends, and experience our famous personal service.

Partner Phil Franckel, Esq. talks about difficult cases and the 1-800-HURT-911® Personal Injury Dream Team

HURT911® Dream Team Partner Attorney Rob Plevy, Esq.

Partner Rob Plevy, Esq.

Get the HURT911® Personal Injury Dream Team™ on your side!
Call Attorneys Rob Plevy & Phil Franckel days/nights/weekends for a free consultation
1-800-HURT-911

1-800-487-8911

New York Serious Injury Lawyer logo

 

Do I Need a Lawyer If I Am Being Sued for an Accident?

Most people do not need to hire a lawyer when sued for causing an accident because your insurance company is required to defend you and pay any claims against you. However, it may sometimes be necessary to retain a lawyer.

If you are involved in a car accident or someone is injured on your property, your insurance company will provide you with a lawyer, paid by the insurance company, to defend you against a personal injury lawsuit. However, you have the responsibility to do some things.

This article will tell you what to do when:

  1. You had a car accident
  2. Someone had an accident or was injured on your property
  3. You received a letter from a personal injury lawyer stating the lawyer is making a claim against you
  4. You received legal papers called a Summons and Complaint

Do This to Get a Free Lawyer from Your Insurance Company

Report the Accident to Your Insurance Company

Report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible after your car accident or after someone has an accident on your property. Make sure you get a claim number and write it down.

Do not rely on reporting the accident to your insurance agent or broker. You must report the accident to your insurance company.

Most insurance companies have telephone numbers for 24-hour claims reporting. When you report to the accident, make a note of the claims number to prove you reported the claim.

sideswipe damage to car from accident

This car was sideswiped in Brooklyn. If this happens to you, you should call the police to file a report and then call your insurance company to report the accident.

What Will Happen after I Report an Accident to My Insurance Company?

Your insurance company will begin work on the claim which will include determining if and how much at fault you are for causing the accident and the amount of any damage to property and people.

What to Do If You Did Not Immediately Report the Accident

If you did not report the accident, you must report the accident as soon as you receive a claim letter from a personal injury lawyer indicating that a claim is being made against you.

Do not rely on reporting the accident or sending a copy of the attorney’s claim letter to your insurance agent or broker. You must report the accident and send a copy of the claim letter to your insurance company.

You can report the claim to your insurance company by telephone but you should also send a copy of the attorney’s claim letter to your insurance company by certified mail return receipt requested.

You should not have a problem with your insurance company for not reporting the accident immediately after the accident if you did not know that there was a possibility a claim would be made against you.

If you have not yet received a claim letter from a personal injury attorney by the time you’re reading this article, it’s a good idea to report the accident now.

What to Do If You Receive a Claim Letter from a Personal Injury Attorney

If you receive a claim letter from a lawyer advising that the claim is being made against you or you may be sued:

  • Call your insurance company immediately to report the claim
  • Get a claim number, right down and keep it
  • Send a copy of the claim letter to your insurance company immediately.

Do not rely on reporting the accident or sending a copy of the attorney’s claim letter to your insurance agent or broker. You must report the accident and send a copy of the claim letter to your insurance company.

What Will Happen after I Receive a Claim Letter from a Personal Injury Lawyer?

After you send a copy of the attorney’s claim letter to your insurance company, your insurance company will contact the personal injury lawyer and request the lawyer to send copies of all the medical records concerning the injuries claimed.

Your insurance company may attempt to settle the claim. If the claim cannot be settled, a lawsuit will usually be started by the personal injury lawyer.

What to Do When You Are Served with Legal Papers Called a Summons and Complaint

You may be served with legal papers starting a lawsuit, called a Summons and Complaint. This can occur right away, a long time later, or even years later. The person who called me today said that he had a car accident in Brooklyn almost three years ago and wanted to know if he needed to hire a lawyer.

When a Summons and Complaint is served on you, you should immediately forward a copy of the Summons and Complaint to your insurance company by certified mail return receipt requested. If you have not previously obtained a claim number, get one now.

Do not rely on sending a copy of the Summons and Complaint to your insurance agent or broker.

You should send a copy to your insurance company no matter how you were served. A common misconception is that you must be served personally or you must agree to be served by accepting the papers and it cannot be left at your door. This is not true.

What Will Happen after I Am Served with a Summons and Complaint?

Upon receipt of the Summons and Complaint, your insurance company will immediately assign a lawyer to represent you. You should receive a letter from your lawyer advising that you are being represented for the defense of your alleged negligence.

The lawyer assigned to represent you will be paid by the insurance company. This is one of the important benefits of your insurance policy. Although the lawyer is paid by your insurance company, the lawyer must represent you and not your insurance company.

If your lawyer fails to communicate with you or keep you apprised of important aspects of your case such as a settlement offer, you should send a letter to your insurance company requesting a new lawyer.

If your insurance company refuses to provide you with a new lawyer, you can retain a lawyer to force your insurance company to do that or to oversee the case to protect your interests.

Is There Anything I Need to Do When I Was Served with a Summons and Complaint?

After a lawsuit is started, you will probably have to testify at a deposition.

What Should I Do If I Receive a Bad Faith Letter or My Insurance Company Refuses to Settle?

A bad faith letter is a letter from the personal injury lawyer advising that the plaintiff is demanding payment of your entire insurance policy to settle the case and advises that if the entire insurance policy is not paid the lawyer will go after your income and personal assets.

The purpose of a bad faith letter is to put a time limit on when the amount of your entire insurance policy will be accepted in settlement of the claim or lawsuit. The amount of time is usually 30 days, after which the plaintiff will no longer settle and will go to trial seeking a judgment against you to try to collect more money than your insurance policy limit.

If you receive a bad faith letter from a personal injury lawyer before a lawsuit is started or from your insurance company or your defense attorney after the lawsuit is started, you should consult with your own private attorney immediately. Your own attorney will put pressure on your insurance company to settle.

Do I Want My Insurance Company to Settle the Claim against Me?

Yes. When your insurance company settles the claim against you, you will no longer have any personal liability for the injuries caused by your negligence.

Do you think you weren’t negligent for causing the injuries or do you think that the plaintiff wasn’t injured? That’s dangerous thinking!

In almost every successful case against a defendant, the defendant thought he or she wasn’t negligent. When you find out at the time of trial that the court or jury found you to be either 100% negligent or partially negligent, you will have a nasty surprise.

Additionally, defendants always think that the plaintiff wasn’t injured because he or she looked fine at the accident. We had many cases where even the plaintiff didn’t know he or she was injured but later found out there was a serious injury. We even had clients who didn’t know at the accident scene that they broke a bone which needed surgery.

If your insurance company refuses to settle the claim against you, the case will go to trial. If a jury verdict is more than your insurance policy limit, the plaintiff’s lawyer may hold you responsible to pay the amount of money above your insurance policy limit.

Is My Salary and Assets at Risk When I Am Being Sued for an Accident?

Yes. Hopefully, you have a liability insurance coverage limit which is more than the amount that you could be held responsible for. One of the advantages of having insurance is that your insurance company will provide you with a free lawyer to defend you. Unfortunately, insurance companies frequently don’t do a good job.

When your insurance company settles the claim against you, you will no longer have any personal liability for the injuries caused by your negligence.

When Should I Consider Hiring My Own Lawyer?

When your insurance company refuses to settle and you’re concerned about personal liability, you may want to consider hiring a lawyer to review the file to determine if a settlement is warranted. Your lawyer can put pressure on your insurance company to settle and obtain a release to release you from further liability.

You Might Not Have Caused the Accident or You May Only Be Partially at Fault

Just because someone filed a lawsuit against you, that doesn’t mean you were at fault or 100% at fault for causing the accident. In many car accidents, both drivers are partially at fault for causing the accident.

In New York, if we can prove that the other driver was even 1% at fault, you are entitled to 1% of the value of your injury.

If you were injured in an accident that you believe was your fault, call us for a free consultation. We have recovered money for injured clients who looked like they were at fault but we were able to get money by proving the other driver was partially at fault.

Some of the personal injury settlements we obtained for clients who were mostly at fault for causing the accident is:

  • The entire $25,000 insurance policy for a client who ran a stop sign
  • The entire $100,000 insurance policy for a client who ran a red light
  • $155,000 for a client who was very drunk when he had a motorcycle accident
  • The entire $100,000 insurance policy for a client who pulled out of a parking spot and hit a truck

accident damage to parked car

The other driver claimed our client pulled out of a parking spot in the Bronx and struck his truck. Our client didn’t know he was injured at the time of the accident but he needed two surgeries. We settled this case for the entire $100,000 insurance policy.

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Get the HURT911® Personal Injury Dream Team™ on your side and become a member of our family!

“Knowing I had a team of great lawyers on my side gave me a sense of power and peace of mind. They took care of everything for me. When a settlement was negotiated, I saw the difference a team of lawyers makes.”
—Lia Fisse

Please take a look at some of our:

No Win — No Fee — No Expenses — Guaranteed!

Call HURT911® Dream Team Partners Rob Plevy & Phil Franckel right now for a free consultation and find out your rights days/nights/weekends. 
1-800-HURT-911
1-800-487-8911

Then continue to speak, text, or email with us whenever you want throughout your case and afterward, days/nights/weekends, and experience our famous personal service.

Partner Phil Franckel, Esq. talks about difficult cases and the 1-800-HURT-911® Personal Injury Dream Team

HURT911® Dream Team Partner Attorney Rob Plevy, Esq.

Partner Rob Plevy, Esq.

Get the HURT911® Personal Injury Dream Team™ on your side!
Call Attorneys Rob Plevy & Phil Franckel days/nights/weekends for a free consultation
1-800-HURT-911

1-800-487-8911

New York Serious Injury Lawyer logo

 

My Lawyer Dropped My Accident Case

If you were injured in an accident in New York and you’re in one of these situations, call us:

  1. I spoke to other accident lawyers who don’t want my case.
  2. My personal injury lawyer told me they don’t want my case anymore.
  3. My personal injury lawyer sent me a letter saying they are dropping my case and should look for another accident lawyer.

lawyer who rejected accident case

Did Your Lawyer Reject Your Case?

If Your Lawyer Rejected Your Accident Case, We Want to Speak with You!

We often take cases other personal injury lawyers don’t want. In fact, we just agreed to represent a client whose eight-year-old daughter was injured at school but no other lawyer wanted the case. We believe it’s a very good case, but she called several other lawyers, none of whom were willing to take the case. We told her immediately that we want to represent her.

If you can’t find a personal injury lawyer to take your case or if a personal injury attorney was representing you and drop your case, call us immediately.

Attorney Rob Plevy, Esq.

We’re happy to speak with you and probably will take your case!

We successfully represented both:

  1. Clients whose lawyer dropped their accident case; and
  2. Clients who called several lawyers but couldn’t find a lawyer who wants their accident case.

Examples of Cases Other Personal Injury Lawyers Didn’t Want but We Successfully Settled

More details about these cases can be found on our personal injury settlement and verdict results page.

Clients Who Were Dropped by Their Accident Lawyers

We settled a case for $750,000 for a woman in the Bronx who was rejected by a Bronx lawyer. She injured her back in a car accident but the lawyer she went to wasn’t interested because she only had back pain. We took her case immediately. Although she had a previous existing back injury with years of treatment right up until her car accident we were able to settle the case for $750,000.

Lia slipped and fell on ice at a restaurant. The insurance company offered $0 to settle. She was originally represented by Kramer & Pollock who dropped her case and then by Cellino & Barnes. Although Cellino and Barnes say “we’ll put our best attorneys on your case”, they also dropped her case. We settled her case for $55,000.

We settled Kristine’s case for the entire insurance policy of $25,000. Kristine went to Rosenberg & Gluck, a personal injury law firm in Holtsville, NY. She was injured in a pedestrian accident in Suffolk County when a car ran over her foot. Rosenberg & Gluck dropped her accident case because they were unable to locate the driver of the car or his insurance company. We found the driver in Virginia and his insurance company paid the entire $25,000 insurance policy.

Clients Who Were Rejected by Other Personal Injury Lawyers

We obtained the entire $100,000 insurance policy for a client injured in a bicycle accident when he ran a red light and was struck by a car which had a green light in Queens. Our client was rejected by two other personal injury lawyers.

We obtained the entire $25,000 insurance policy for a client injured in a motorcycle accident when he ran a stop sign and was struck by a car in Suffolk. Our client admitted to the police officer that he did not see the stop sign. Our client spoke with two other lawyers who would not take his case.

We obtained a $155,000 settlement for a motorcyclist who had only $25,000 uninsured coverage and was drunk with .203 BAC when he was injured in a hit and run motorcycle accident on the Belt Parkway in Brooklyn. Our client could not find a personal injury lawyer to take his case until he called us.

We settled a case for a motorcyclist whose motorcycle skidded on grease in a parking lot behind a shopping mall. He went to Rosenberg & Gluck but they were not interested in his case. Almost 3 years later, he called them again but they still did not want his case. We were hesitant to take the case only because there were only a few months left to the statute of limitations but we decided to take the case and successfully settled it.

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Get the HURT911® Personal Injury Dream Team™ on your side and become a member of our family!

“Knowing I had a team of great lawyers on my side gave me a sense of power and peace of mind. They took care of everything for me. When a settlement was negotiated, I saw the difference a team of lawyers makes.”
—Lia Fisse

Please take a look at some of our:

No Win — No Fee — No Expenses — Guaranteed!

Call HURT911® Dream Team Partners Rob Plevy & Phil Franckel right now for a free consultation and find out your rights days/nights/weekends. 
1-800-HURT-911
1-800-487-8911

Then continue to speak, text, or email with us whenever you want throughout your case and afterward, days/nights/weekends, and experience our famous personal service.

Partner Phil Franckel, Esq. talks about difficult cases and the 1-800-HURT-911® Personal Injury Dream Team

HURT911® Dream Team Partner Attorney Rob Plevy, Esq.

Partner Rob Plevy, Esq.

Get the HURT911® Personal Injury Dream Team™ on your side!
Call Attorneys Rob Plevy & Phil Franckel days/nights/weekends for a free consultation
1-800-HURT-911

1-800-487-8911

New York Serious Injury Lawyer logo

 

Can You Trust Your Personal Injury Lawyer?

Unfortunately, personal injury lawyers frequently get in trouble for “borrowing” or stealing client settlement money from their escrow accounts.

Some lawyers eventually get arrested if they stole client money from their attorney escrow account but many lawyers only get disbarred when they “borrowed” client money from their attorney escrow account. Lawyers are not allowed to borrow money from escrow accounts, even if the money is immediately replaced.

A quick search on Google for “lawyer arrested escrow” or “lawyer disbarred escrow” and other similar searches will discover quite a few lawyers who have taken client money from escrow accounts. The Queens DA says these two Long Island lawyers stole over $7 million from clients.

untrustworthy lawyer

Do you trust your personal injury lawyer? This lawyer will stab you in the back!

When choosing a New York personal injury lawyer to represent you for your injury from an accident, how do you know whether you can trust your lawyer?

It’s not easy to find out and you probably would feel uncomfortable asking a prospective employer. Even if you did have the courage to ask, what lawyer would admit to having borrowed money from their attorney escrow account?

There are only two ways you can discover potential problems.

One way which is not very effective is to search the attorney’s name on the New York Attorney Registration Search page which will reveal if the attorney ever had any disciplinary action. A search of Avvo.com will also reveal that information. However, by the time that information is listed, the attorney is probably no longer working.

Another way is to look at the attorney’s FICO credit score. A poor credit score indicates an inability to pay bills on time. A lawyer with a poor credit score is more susceptible to “borrowing” or stealing money from the attorney escrow account.

But again, would you have the courage to ask for proof of a personal injury attorney’s credit score? And if you did, it’s doubtful that an attorney would disclose it. There is no way you can check an attorney’s credit rating without permission.

That’s why I’m disclosing my credit score here which shows a FICO credit score of 850 out of a possible 850. My credit score typically ranges from 835-850 depending upon factors such as opening a new account which usually temporarily lowers a score.

FICO Score 850

If you already have a personal injury lawyer representing you for your accident and you’re wondering why you haven’t received your settlement check yet, read: How long does it take to get my settlement check after settling my accident case?

Before deciding on which personal injury lawyer to use for your accident case, read the Questions To Ask Before Hiring a Personal Injury or Accident Lawyer.

Philip L. Franckel, Esq.

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See the fees and services provided by New York Serious Injury Attorneys at HURT911®

See How to Compare Personal Injury Lawyers in New York

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Get the HURT911® Personal Injury Dream Team™ on your side and become a member of our family!

“Knowing I had a team of great lawyers on my side gave me a sense of power and peace of mind. They took care of everything for me. When a settlement was negotiated, I saw the difference a team of lawyers makes.”
—Lia Fisse

Please take a look at some of our:

No Win — No Fee — No Expenses — Guaranteed!

Call HURT911® Dream Team Partners Rob Plevy & Phil Franckel right now for a free consultation and find out your rights days/nights/weekends. 
1-800-HURT-911
1-800-487-8911

Then continue to speak, text, or email with us whenever you want throughout your case and afterward, days/nights/weekends, and experience our famous personal service.

Partner Phil Franckel, Esq. talks about difficult cases and the 1-800-HURT-911® Personal Injury Dream Team

HURT911® Dream Team Partner Attorney Rob Plevy, Esq.

Partner Rob Plevy, Esq.

Get the HURT911® Personal Injury Dream Team™ on your side!
Call Attorneys Rob Plevy & Phil Franckel days/nights/weekends for a free consultation
1-800-HURT-911

1-800-487-8911

New York Serious Injury Lawyer logo

 

How to Find a Personal Injury Lawyer near Me

Because of the Internet and modern technology, finding a personal injury lawyer near me is no longer necessary.

But we are New York personal injury lawyers near you with office locations throughout the New York City and Long Island metropolitan area. You can come to us, we can come to you or you can sign a retainer by email so we can begin working on your case immediately after your accident.

There Used to Be Two Advantages of a Personal Injury Lawyer Near Me

  1. Your attorney is near the court where your case is.
  2. It’s easy to see your attorney anytime you want.

The first reason is no longer necessary and the second reason is a delusion.

Your Attorney Is Near the Court Where Your Case Is

Lawyers previously had to go to court all the time. Your lawyer would have to go to court to purchase an index number to start your personal injury lawsuit and go back to court to file various papers.

Several court appearances were necessary for motions (a motion is a written argument submitted to the court asking for a court order). Motions used to be filed in court on paper but the lawyer also had to go to court to orally argue the motion.

Today, a lawsuit is started by uploading the Summons and Complaint online at the court website and paying for the index number by credit card. Motions are uploaded electronically to the court’s website and are no longer orally argued.

In fact, all case documents are uploaded electronically to the court’s website and are immediately served on all parties through the court’s website by email. Your lawyer doesn’t have to go to court anymore unless your case goes to trial.

uploading personal injury papers to court by computer

Almost everything is done in court electronically through the Internet

Your accident lawyer can work on your case anywhere there is an Internet connection.

I have answered calls from clients on the Av. des Champs-Élysées in Paris and while cruising the Mediterranean. I answered emails, researched Westlaw and uploaded motion papers from my balcony on a cruise ship in the Mediterranean, just like I was in my office in New York.

working on personal injury case from cruise ship balcony

Answering emails and working on personal injury court papers from my cruise ship balcony on the Mediterranean

If Your Accident Lawyer Is Near You It’s Easier for You to See Your Lawyer

The reality is that most personal injury clients can’t see their lawyer when they want to.

If you were injured in an accident before, you probably already know that you couldn’t get an appointment to see your lawyer when you wanted to discuss your case. Chances are you couldn’t even speak to your lawyer and could only get a paralegal on the phone.

invisible lawyer who won't see his clients

You won’t see this personal injury lawyer after he gets your case!

The only time most personal injury attorneys meet their clients is to sign up the case and if a lawsuit is started, maybe an hour before their deposition. See how we prepare our clients in our office.

Some personal injury lawyers will have you come to the office every time they want you to sign papers. But you won’t see your lawyer, you’ll just see a paralegal. We don’t ask our clients to come to the office to sign papers. We can either mail the papers to you with a self-addressed stamped envelope or email them to you which gets your case moving faster.

We have office locations throughout the New York City and Long Island metropolitan area but we usually have new personal injury clients sign a retainer by email so we can begin working on your case immediately after your accident.

If it’s convenient for you and you would like to meet with us, we can meet with you in the first week, no matter where you are. We can even come to see you if you’re in upstate New York.

We make ourselves available seven days/nights by phone so you don’t have to come into our office just to ask a question or find out the status of your case. We’re serious about answering the phone seven days/nights. That’s why I took calls from clients in Paris and the Mediterranean.

We have many personal injury clients we never met. Often our clients develop a personal relationship with us by phone and when it’s time to send a settlement check, they ask if they could come to meet us. Of course, any time our clients want to come meet us, we welcome that.

If I Don’t Need to Find an Accident Lawyer Near Me, What Do I Need?

You need access by phone to speak with your accident lawyer, not a paralegal, whenever you have a question. Sometimes, a paralegal can answer your question but many times you really want to speak with your lawyer.

See our personal injury FAQs but feel free to call us anytime.

Since personal injury lawyers no longer need to be near you, many out-of-town and even out of state law firms like Morgan and Morgan are advertising for personal injury clients and accidents in New York.

While out-of-state law firms like Morgan and Morgan can handle your New York accident case, do you really think you’ll ever get to speak to your lawyer?

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Get the HURT911® Personal Injury Dream Team™ on your side and become a member of our family!

“Knowing I had a team of great lawyers on my side gave me a sense of power and peace of mind. They took care of everything for me. When a settlement was negotiated, I saw the difference a team of lawyers makes.”
—Lia Fisse

Please take a look at some of our:

No Win — No Fee — No Expenses — Guaranteed!

Call HURT911® Dream Team Partners Rob Plevy & Phil Franckel right now for a free consultation and find out your rights days/nights/weekends. 
1-800-HURT-911
1-800-487-8911

Then continue to speak, text, or email with us whenever you want throughout your case and afterward, days/nights/weekends, and experience our famous personal service.

Partner Phil Franckel, Esq. talks about difficult cases and the 1-800-HURT-911® Personal Injury Dream Team

HURT911® Dream Team Partner Attorney Rob Plevy, Esq.

Partner Rob Plevy, Esq.

Get the HURT911® Personal Injury Dream Team™ on your side!
Call Attorneys Rob Plevy & Phil Franckel days/nights/weekends for a free consultation
1-800-HURT-911

1-800-487-8911

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Should I Use a Union Lawyer for a Construction Accident?

Workers injured on a worksite in a construction accident are usually referred to a construction accident lawyer recommended by the union. But is that a good idea?

There are two problems with using a personal injury lawyer recommended by your union for your construction accident injury.

construction worker injured in an accident

When you have a construction accident like this, you need the right lawyer on your side

First, unions try hard to make sure that every union member goes to the construction accident lawyer they recommend. There has to be a reason for that. We have heard that these law firms pay money to union leaders to get the cases.

But there is another reason. Almost every construction accident is caused by a violation of law. When a construction worker is injured in an accident, it’s likely that a construction supervisor is concerned about getting in trouble. Additionally, the construction company is worried about their insurance rates going up. Everyone but you has an interest in your case settling quickly and inexpensively.

untrustworthy lawyer

Be careful when choosing your construction accident lawyer

Only our construction accident clients are entitled to our HURT911® Personal Medical Manager and may be entitled to our HURT911® Injury Concierge Service

Our legal fee is only 1/3 of what we get for you and is paid at the end of your case out of the money we get for you. We never charge a legal fee if we don’t get money for you. Additionally, we never nickel and dime our clients with many expenses other personal injury lawyers charge.

Take a look at our personal injury settlements and verdicts and our reviews.

Then take a look at our personal injury legal fees and services.

Instead of calling a union lawyer when you’re injured in a construction accident, call the HURT911® Personal Injury Dream Team right now 7 days/nights for a free consultation with no obligation at 1-800-HURT-911 >> 1-800-487-8911

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Get the HURT911® Personal Injury Dream Team™ on your side and become a member of our family!

“Knowing I had a team of great lawyers on my side gave me a sense of power and peace of mind. They took care of everything for me. When a settlement was negotiated, I saw the difference a team of lawyers makes.”
—Lia Fisse

Please take a look at some of our:

No Win — No Fee — No Expenses — Guaranteed!

Call HURT911® Dream Team Partners Rob Plevy & Phil Franckel right now for a free consultation and find out your rights days/nights/weekends. 
1-800-HURT-911
1-800-487-8911

Then continue to speak, text, or email with us whenever you want throughout your case and afterward, days/nights/weekends, and experience our famous personal service.

Partner Phil Franckel, Esq. talks about difficult cases and the 1-800-HURT-911® Personal Injury Dream Team

HURT911® Dream Team Partner Attorney Rob Plevy, Esq.

Partner Rob Plevy, Esq.

Get the HURT911® Personal Injury Dream Team™ on your side!
Call Attorneys Rob Plevy & Phil Franckel days/nights/weekends for a free consultation
1-800-HURT-911

1-800-487-8911

New York Serious Injury Lawyer logo

 

Should I Use a Legal Plan Lawyer for My Accident?

Q. Should I use a legal plan lawyer for my accident case?
A. No. While you will get a discounted legal fee, will get a much lower settlement.

Legal plans provide a lot of legal services at cut-rate prices and for some people and some legal issues, that’s good. But for personal injury and accident cases, it’s a bad idea.

legal plan warning sign

For personal injury cases and accidents, legal plans are a bad idea

What Is the Legal Plan Discount for Personal Injury Accidents?

If you’re a member of a legal plan you can also get a discount rate if you have been injured in an accident. The discount for personal injury and accidents is usually a legal fee of 25% instead of 1/3. But when you pay a discount legal fee your lawyer has an incentive to save time and settle your personal injury case cheap.

Is the Legal Plan Discount for Personal Injury a Good Deal?

Personal injury is one area of law where it’s never a good idea to use a legal plan because:

  • No one ever has to pay any money up front to a personal injury lawyer; and
  • You’ll get a lot less money for your injury when your lawyer is looking for a quick settlement because he or she doesn’t have time.

Speaking to an attorney friend who owns a law firm working for a legal plan, prompted this article.

My friend said their law firm does all kinds of legal work and is a high-volume law firm. She described it as a law firm with $2 per hour legal plan lawyers for people looking to pay $1 per hour.

Example Showing the Possible Difference between a Legal Plan and a Personal Injury Lawyer

If you need an uncontested divorce, a legal plan can probably give you a great price but if you have been injured in an accident, it could mean the difference between settling a case for $35,000 or $750,000.

Using this example, with a legal plan, you’ll pay a legal fee of $8,750 and take home $26,250. With a personal injury lawyer who has the time to get the most amount of money for you, you’ll pay a legal fee of $250,000 and take home $500,000. Do you still want to use a legal plan?

Our legal fee is only 1/3 of what we get for you. Our legal fee is paid at the end of your case out of the money we get for you and we never charge a legal fee if we don’t get money for you. Additionally, we never nickel and dime our clients with many expenses other personal injury lawyers charge.

Take a look at our personal injury settlements and verdicts and our reviews.

Then take a look at our personal injury legal fees and services.

Never call a legal plan when you’re injured in an accident. Always call a real personal injury lawyer.

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Get the HURT911® Personal Injury Dream Team™ on your side and become a member of our family!

“Knowing I had a team of great lawyers on my side gave me a sense of power and peace of mind. They took care of everything for me. When a settlement was negotiated, I saw the difference a team of lawyers makes.”
—Lia Fisse

Please take a look at some of our:

No Win — No Fee — No Expenses — Guaranteed!

Call HURT911® Dream Team Partners Rob Plevy & Phil Franckel right now for a free consultation and find out your rights days/nights/weekends. 
1-800-HURT-911
1-800-487-8911

Then continue to speak, text, or email with us whenever you want throughout your case and afterward, days/nights/weekends, and experience our famous personal service.

Partner Phil Franckel, Esq. talks about difficult cases and the 1-800-HURT-911® Personal Injury Dream Team

HURT911® Dream Team Partner Attorney Rob Plevy, Esq.

Partner Rob Plevy, Esq.

Get the HURT911® Personal Injury Dream Team™ on your side!
Call Attorneys Rob Plevy & Phil Franckel days/nights/weekends for a free consultation
1-800-HURT-911

1-800-487-8911

New York Serious Injury Lawyer logo

 

How to Compare Personal Injury Lawyers in New York

Consider the following questions to answer when choosing a personal injury lawyer in New York to represent you when you’re injured in an accident.

Choose a Law Firm That Practices Exclusively in Personal Injury

Many law firms represent clients in accidents and other areas such as immigration or criminal law and possibly other areas.

Each of these practice areas has become extremely complicated in the last 20 years and continue to become more complicated. It’s difficult to become proficient in just one area of practice. It’s just not possible to be equally proficient when practicing more than one area of law and dividing your time between subject areas.

Additionally, it’s distracting when a lawyer divides time between personal injury cases and other types of cases.

We only represent people injured in accidents.

Is Your Personal Injury Lawyer Highly Experienced?

Choose a personal injury lawyer with at least 8-10 years of experience exclusively in personal injury.

The knowledge needed to handle personal injury cases is not learned in law school. This knowledge comes from working with personal injury cases over several years.

We have far more than 10 years of experience exclusively in personal injury.

Has the Personal Injury Lawyer Represented Other Lawyers?

One indication of a good lawyer is when the personal injury lawyer has represented other lawyers who were injured in an accident. We have represented lawyers injured in accidents.

One lawyer came to us when her 20-year-old son who was not married and had no children was killed in a motorcycle accident. She knew that most lawyers settle cases like that for less than $200,000. We settled the case for $500,000.

Should You Use a Solo Personal Injury Lawyer?

There are many advantages which a law firm with more than one lawyer has over a solo law firm with one lawyer practicing alone.

The biggest advantage is that there is always another personal injury lawyer around to discuss issues. There are always decisions to be made and it’s often advantageous to discuss ideas with someone else. While a solo lawyer can always call a friend, it’s not the same as when you’re working with other lawyers.

Your case may move faster in the court system when there is more than one lawyer available to work on your case. It’s less likely that court appearances will have to be adjourned because of conflicts such as when a lawyer has a court appearance in the Bronx and Nassau County at the same time. We have 12 lawyers available for court appearances.

A law firm with partners will likely have more money to invest in your personal injury case. The old adage, “it takes money to make money” applies to personal injury.

When there is enough insurance coverage to compensate you for your injuries, it makes sense to spend money on your case. Insurance companies frequently try to save money, while we like to spend money on experts. Where it makes sense, we spend $30,000-$40,000 on a case and this has given us million-dollar verdicts.

Choose a Personal Injury Lawyer Who Only Represents Plaintiffs

Insurance companies with attorneys on staff will frequently hire outside attorneys and many insurance companies don’t even have attorneys on staff.

Some personal injury law firms represent injured plaintiffs but also work for insurance companies, representing defendants.

We never work for insurance companies. We only represent people injured in accidents.

What You Should Know about Results Shown by Personal Injury Lawyers

Settlement and verdict results posted on personal injury attorney websites don’t demonstrate competence without knowing more.

Anyone can settle a case for $10 million when it was worth $15 million. It’s important to know the facts of the case when looking at case results.

Possibly, better indicators are cases where a lawyer obtained the entire insurance policy for a difficult case such as where the client ran a red light, stop sign or was drunk. Many lawyers won’t take those cases because they don’t know how to get money on them. This is where experience becomes important.

We have obtained the entire insurance policy in many cases where our client ran a red light, stop sign or was drunk. If you have a serious injury, we will take your case when other lawyers won’t.

See our personal injury settlements and verdicts.

Is the Personal Injury Lawyer Willing to Take Your Case Immediately?

Many personal injury lawyers will ask you to get medical treatment before they will agree to take your case. We see this a lot. If the personal injury lawyer isn’t sure if he or she wants your case, call us.

In one example, our client injured her back in a car accident. She went to see a personal injury lawyer in the Bronx and was told to go for treatment at a medical clinic and to come back to the lawyer in a few weeks. She wasn’t happy with the personal injury lawyer or the medical clinic he sent her to and she called us.

Our client had been seeing an orthopedic surgeon for her back injury prior to her car accident, so we sent her back to her orthopedic surgeon. We settled her case for $750,000.

Reviews/Testimonials from Previous Personal Injury Clients

Probably the most important thing to look for in reviews or testimonials from previous clients is how they felt about the way they were treated by the lawyer.

See some of our personal injury reviews.

Besides looking at reviews and testimonials, ask the personal injury lawyer if you can speak with any previous clients directly.

How Easy Will It Be to Speak with Your Personal Injury Lawyer?

It’s usually easy to speak with a personal injury lawyer when looking for a free consultation. If you have trouble getting a personal injury lawyer on the phone for a free consultation, that’s the first sign of problems!

Most personal injury lawyers will be very responsive the first time you call. But how easy will it be to speak with your personal injury lawyer (not a paralegal or secretary) on the phone after you sign the retainer? This is the single biggest complaint we hear about other personal injury lawyers.

Our clients can speak directly with us seven days/nights at our personal phone numbers so you don’t have to go through a secretary or paralegal. On rare occasions, you may have to leave a voicemail and we’ll call you back right away. Listen to two voicemail messages (on our home page) from clients who were surprised we didn’t answer the phone.

Everyone has many questions that arise during their case and you won’t think of them all at once. This is to be expected and we don’t mind how many times you call.

Personal injury cases make a lot of money for personal injury lawyers. This makes you as important to us as a large corporation is to a corporate law firm. Do you think a large corporation will have a problem getting their lawyer on the phone?

Will Your Personal Injury Lawyer Make You Work on Your Own Case?

We hear all the time from clients who switch to us that their previous lawyer made them “do all the work” including getting medical records and sometimes even paying for medical reports.

We don’t do that. Our goal is to remove your burdens, uncertainty, frustrations, and anxiety you may have. We don’t want to burden you with what we should be doing.

One of our current clients had a lawyer who made him get his medical records and other things and then wanted to settle his case for $7,500. When we got the case, we found that there were a lot of medical records missing and we are now demanding the entire insurance policy of $100,000.

See the services we provide for our personal injury clients.

Has Your Lawyer Had a Disciplinary Action?

Has the personal injury lawyer ever been disciplined by the New York State Bar? We have not.

You can find out if a personal injury lawyer has been disciplined at the New York State Court Attorney Search page or Avvo where you can see Attorney Philip L. Franckel, Esq.’s profile. From here, you can search any attorney in New York and the profile will indicate if there is a disciplinary action or not. In the Resume/License section, it will give the status of the lawyer. You can see my profile says Currently registered and We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

Has the Lawyer Ever Served As an Officer of One of the 2 NYS Personal Injury Bar Associations?

Attorney Philip L. Franckel, Esq. is a former Member of the Board Of Directors of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association.

Has the Lawyer Ever Been Sued for Malpractice?

It’s not easy to find out if a lawyer has ever been sued for malpractice. However, you can search for the lawyer’s name at the New York State Court website for lawsuits in Supreme Court against the lawyer. It’s not easy because you will have to search every county. It’s easier to search elaw.com where you will also have to search every county and year with a free account.

We can state in writing which we are doing right here that we have never been sued for malpractice. It would be unethical and we would be disciplined if we were to state that if it were not true.

A caveat is that even the best lawyers could have had a malpractice claim because anyone can make a mistake. The biggest questions when a lawyer has a malpractice claim is why and did the lawyer have malpractice insurance to protect their client.

We have malpractice insurance to protect our clients.

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See the Questions to ask before hiring a personal injury lawyer

See the fees and services provided by New York Serious Injury Attorneys at HURT911®

See How Do You Know If You Can Trust Your Personal Injury Lawyer?

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Get the HURT911® Personal Injury Dream Team™ on your side and become a member of our family!

“Knowing I had a team of great lawyers on my side gave me a sense of power and peace of mind. They took care of everything for me. When a settlement was negotiated, I saw the difference a team of lawyers makes.”
—Lia Fisse

Please take a look at some of our:

No Win — No Fee — No Expenses — Guaranteed!

Call HURT911® Dream Team Partners Rob Plevy & Phil Franckel right now for a free consultation and find out your rights days/nights/weekends. 
1-800-HURT-911
1-800-487-8911

Then continue to speak, text, or email with us whenever you want throughout your case and afterward, days/nights/weekends, and experience our famous personal service.

Partner Phil Franckel, Esq. talks about difficult cases and the 1-800-HURT-911® Personal Injury Dream Team

HURT911® Dream Team Partner Attorney Rob Plevy, Esq.

Partner Rob Plevy, Esq.

Get the HURT911® Personal Injury Dream Team™ on your side!
Call Attorneys Rob Plevy & Phil Franckel days/nights/weekends for a free consultation
1-800-HURT-911

1-800-487-8911

New York Serious Injury Lawyer logo

 

Larry Schachner – Why We No Longer Agree to Arbitrate Personal Injury Cases

Personal Injury Arbitration in New York used to be a fair process and a good way to speed up a personal injury case and save the cost of trial expenses for both the plaintiff and defense.

For many years, we have done many arbitrations and always felt we had a fair decision with fair compensation awarded. However, things have changed.

Personal injury arbitration has become risky. With many judges refusing to arbitrate and after several recent very low arbitration awards from two different arbitration companies, we are no longer agreeing to arbitrate any personal injury cases. We are now taking every case to trial if we can’t settle for the entire insurance policy.

What Happened to Personal Injury Arbitration?

1) There are far fewer retired Supreme Court judges willing to arbitrate personal injury cases. There used to be a lot of retired Supreme Court judges willing to arbitrate but now, most of them will only agree to mediate cases (attempt to negotiate a settlement) and will no longer arbitrate (a binding decision after a hearing).

The judges we previously used who gave fair compensation to our clients are no longer agreeing to do arbitrations.

The alternative to using a retired Supreme Court judge is to use a lawyer as an arbitrator but we had a bad result with an arbitrator who is a lawyer because he wasn’t familiar with New York State law and didn’t read our arbitration brief which pointed out the law.

It was a motorcycle accident which was arbitrated by a lawyer, the arbitrator found the car driver was 100% at fault but awarded very little money and failed to award our client approximately $28,000 in hospital bills because he incorrectly thought it was covered by no-fault. The problem is that New York State law excludes motorcyclists from no-fault coverage and our client was entitled to be reimbursed for his medical costs. Our client was sued by Winthrop Hospital to recover their money.

2) We believe personal injury arbitration awards are much lower than they used to be and favor insurance companies. The arbitration award, below, by Judge Larry Schachner, defies belief.will

Unfortunately, a low arbitration award cannot be appealed but a low jury verdict can be appealed. Additionally, we never had a low jury verdict although we have had low arbitration awards.

Why Supreme Court Judges Don’t Want to Do Personal Injury Arbitration Anymore

There are two reasons I heard why there are fewer Supreme Court judges doing personal injury arbitrations.

A) Mediations require less time. Arbitrations require reading the papers and writing a decision. However, it doesn’t take that long to read the papers and arbitrators charge for any extra time involved. We have always been charged for additional time and we don’t care how much is charged if we get a fair decision.

B) I heard from the owner of an arbitration company and employees of two different arbitration companies that insurance companies have blackballed arbitrators who awarded too much money. What this means is that if the insurance company is not happy with the decisions of an arbitrator, they refuse to use that arbitrator in the future. We even hear this from insurance companies. We have selected numerous retired Supreme Court judges for arbitration only to be told the insurance company will not use them.

Review of Hon. Larry Schachner Decision Shows Why We’re Done With Arbitration

This arbitration was at National Arbitration and Mediation (NAM) using arbitrator Larry Schachner (formerly Justice Larry Schachner of The Bronx Supreme Court).

Personal injury trial verdicts in the Bronx are typically higher than any other county in New York, so you wouldn’t expect a ridiculously low arbitration award from a Bronx Supreme Court judge.

We were extremely prepared for the arbitration. The defense attorney was not well prepared. In fact, arbitrator Larry Schachner admonished the defense attorney when he objected to us introducing medical records because he had not reviewed them but we proved the medical records were sent to the defense.

After reading the arbitration decision, I was wondering if the arbitration award amount was a typo and the arbitrator accidentally left a 0 off the number. The arbitrator awarded $20,000 to the plaintiff. Unfortunately, NAM told me it wasn’t a typo. After legal fees and expenses including the cost of arbitration, the plaintiff will receive just over $10,000.

Is this enough to compensate the plaintiff? Take a look at all the facts below, be the arbitrator and decide for yourself.

The plaintiff was a woman age 74. She was in the red car going straight without a stop sign when she was struck by the silver SUV which ran a stop sign. The insurance policy was $250,000.

door removed from the red car which was struck by the silver SUV

Car door struck in car accident

Damage on the silver SUV which ran a stop sign

Following are the facts of the written arbitration decision:
Read the Personal Injury Arbitration Decision 

  • The defendant insurance company admitted 100% liability (fault for causing the accident), so the arbitration was “solely on the issue of damages” (not who’s at fault).
  • The arbitrator found the plaintiff had no prior injuries.
  • The arbitrator found the plaintiff did not have any medical treatment, prior to the car accident, to the injured body parts.
  • The arbitrator wrote, “While there was evidence of degenerative changes in plaintiff’s spine and shoulder she was asymptomatic (no symptoms) prior to the accident, and living a normal life.”
  • The arbitrator found that the symptoms caused by the accident were consistent.
  • The arbitrator wrote, “…plaintiffs injuries are causally connected to the subject accident.” Thus, he found that all of the plaintiff’s injuries were caused by the accident (see a list of the injuries below).
  • The arbitrator noted that the defense submitted reports from their neurologist and orthopedic surgeon who examined the plaintiff for the defense but the arbitrator did not note any findings from the defense medical exam reports in his decision. Apparently, the arbitrator found the defendant’s medical examinations were not believable.
  • The arbitrator appeared to have found the impact to be substantial when he stated: “Due to the impact…”
  • The arbitrator found that the plaintiff suffered a “Serious injury under the Insurance Law”.
  • The arbitrator found that the plaintiff was not able to work the same number of hours as she did before the accident.
  • The arbitrator found that the plaintiff suffered restrictions in daily living after the accident.
  • The arbitrator noted that the plaintiff submitted in evidence “copies of verdicts and settlements of cases with similar injuries to plaintiff” which ranged from $325,000-$650,000.
  • NAM arbitrator Larry Schachner (formerly Justice Larry Schachner) gave only $20,000 for almost 2 1/2 years past pain-and-suffering and future pain-and-suffering!
  • The arbitrator did NOT give any reasons for awarding only $20,000 compensation.
  • The arbitrator charged for an additional 1 hour to review the documents and write the short decision.

We did a great job. Judge Larry Schachner ruled in our favor on every point we argued. We couldn’t ask for a better decision! The only problem is that he forgot to fairly compensate our client.

Injuries Submitted Which Arbitrator Larry Schachner Found Was Caused by the Accident — Was $20,000 an Appropriate Award?

  1. CLOSED HEAD INJURY
  2. CONCUSSION WITH LOSS OF CONSCIOUSNESS
  3. POST CONCUSSION HEADACHE SYNDROME/TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY WITH PROLONGED SYMPTOMS
  4. EPISODIC DIZZINESS
  5. MEMORY LOSS
  6. LIGHTHEADEDNESS
  7. VERTIGO
  8. CONFUSION
  9. LOSS OF COORDINATION
  10. BRAIN FOG
  11. SLURRED SPEECH
  12. FUMBLING WORDS
  13. ANXIETY
  14. TEAR OF THE LEFT PROXIMAL LONG HEAD BICEPS TENDON WITH SUBACROMIAL-SUBDELTOID BURSITIS IN THE LEFT SHOULDER
  15. CERVICAL RADICULOPATHY REQUIRING A SERIES OF FOUR TRIGGER POINT INJECTIONS
  16. LEFT ARM PAIN AND WEAKNESS
  17. LEFT SHOULDER DERANGEMENT WITH DIMINISHED RANGE OF MOTION REQUIRING A LARGE JOINT INJECTION UNDER ANESTHESIA
  18. MILD LEFT SUPRASPINATUS TENDINOSIS WITH A PARTIAL WIDTH FULL THICKNESS TEAR OF THE ANTERIOR INSERTIONAL FIBERS
  19. MILD INFRASPINATUS AND MODERATE SUBSCAPULARIS TENDINOSIS WITH LOW-GRADE PARTIAL TEARING
  20. MILD GLENOHUMERAL AND MILD-MODERATE ACROMIOCLAVICULAR JOINT DEGENERATIVE CHANGE WITH SMALL JOINT EFFUSIONS
  21. RIGHT UPPER EXTREMITY PAIN THAT RADIATES INTO RIGHT ARM/HAND
  22. LOW BACK PAIN REQUIRING A TRIGGER POINT INJECTION

So, why did arbitrator Larry Schachner award so little money?

After we asked NAM to inquire if there was a typo, Hon. Larry Schachner wrote: “This was a damages only arbitration. Plaintiff was a sweet old lady but she had degeneration in her spine and shoulder. She did have injections and reduced working hours. I think I called it as I saw it, but given her age, and the degenerative changes, I think the award was fair and can not be changed.
Hon. Larry Schachner”

The problems with this argument:

First, he wrote in his decision, “While there was evidence of degenerative changes in plaintiff’s spine and shoulder she was asymptomatic prior to the accident, and living a normal life.”

Second, a bicep tear is not degenerative. A bicep tear is caused by trauma although underlying degeneration may make it more likely to tear. While there may have been underlying degeneration, the bicep was not torn before the accident and Judge Schachner said so in his decision.

Third, everyone begins degenerating by the age of 18. Degeneration should not reduce the compensation awarded to the plaintiff. The injury is far worse when someone has pre-existing degeneration.

I think we got screwed. What do you think?

We were so upset with Judge Larry Schachner’s decision that we waived our legal fee.

Read the Personal Injury Arbitration Decision

Arbitration Decision