Category Archives: Lawsuits

Articles about personal injury lawsuits in New York, lawsuits for accidents, and insurance lawsuits.

Do Insurance Companies Spy on You With Private Investigators and Video Surveillance?

Yes. Insurance companies spy on you when you have an insurance claim by hiring private investigators to follow you and do video surveillance.

Insurance companies also look for existing video recordings from video cameras belonging to the insured and video cameras at an accident scene that are not under the control of the insurance company. They will look for videos that show the accident and what was happening both before and after the accident.

Eyes looking through window blinds. It's the insurance company spying on you!

For What Insurance Claims Do Insurance Companies Use Video Surveillance?

Video surveillance can be used to spy on you for any kind of claim, from fire claims to theft claims, but insurance companies frequently use video surveillance for disability claims and personal injury claims such as:

How Often Do Insurance Companies Use Private Investigators to Do Surveillance?

Insurance companies don’t use video surveillance as often as people think, but it isn’t uncommon.

As a personal injury lawyer, it’s pretty easy for me to know when an insurance company will spy on our clients using a private investigator to follow our clients around with video surveillance.

You can see below if you’re likely to be a target of video surveillance in a personal injury case. When a case gets to that point, we warn our clients that private investigators may be sent to do video surveillance.

But you can also see, below, almost the exact time during your personal injury case when you are most likely to come under the video surveillance of a private investigator.

How Can I Know if an Insurance Company Will Use Private Investigators to Spy on Me?

It’s fairly easy to predict when an insurance company will hire a private investigator to follow you to spy on you with video surveillance.

Insurance companies are most likely to hire private investigators to follow you and do video surveillance of you when:

  1. The insurance company has a large insurance policy covering the accident, usually when the insurance policy is $250,000 or more.
  2. Your case has moved from the claim stage to your lawyer filing a lawsuit in court.
  3. Your lawsuit has progressed to your testifying at a deposition.
  4. You are claiming that you still have pain and difficulty with daily activities and/or
  5. You are claiming a serious injury.

When Will an Insurance Company Use Private Investigators to Spy on Me?

The most common time during a personal injury case when you can expect to be followed by a private investigator to spy on you with video surveillance is within days to weeks after you testify at your deposition.

Why Will You Be Surveilled After Your Deposition?

After you testify at your deposition, the insurance company will know what you claim to be your injury and how you claim it affects you during your daily activities and life.

The insurance company will get a written transcript of everything you said during your deposition so they know what they want to find out about you. The insurance company will probably give a copy of your transcript to the private investigator.

See what a deposition is and how to prepare for a deposition.

Will I Know When Private Investigators are Spying on Me?

It’s not likely. We have had clients who thought someone was parked in a car outside their house or saw a strange car driving by too frequently, but there is no way for us to know if those incidents were insurance investigators.

In every case where an insurance company sent us surveillance video, the clients never knew they were being followed and recorded.

Investigators are experienced in surveillance. It’s not like on TV where an actor sees a car following right behind them. Investigators can use two cars and stay far away from you. When not driving, investigators use cameras with telephoto lenses and can stay far away from you.

If you were caught on surveillance video and your personal injury lawyer isn’t happy, call us. We don’t care. We know how to counter video surveillance during settlement discussions and at trial.

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Why Do Insurance Companies Use Private Investigators to Do Video Surveillance?

Insurance companies use video surveillance to defeat claims or minimize the amount of money the insurance company will have to pay to settle your claim.

The insurance company will use video surveillance to dispute what you have testified to at your deposition. That’s why the most common time the insurance company will spy on you is after your deposition.

If I Have a Legitimate Claim, Will the Insurance Company Still Spy on Me?

Yes. An insurance company will request investigators to obtain video surveillance if your case meets the conditions in the above paragraph, How Can I Know if an Insurance Company Will Use Private Investigators to Spy on Me?

We always advise our clients to be careful when outside of their house. You could be carrying an empty box, and when caught on video, no one can tell if the box was empty or heavy.

How Do Insurance Companies Use the Video Surveillance?

The insurance company will use the video to show that you either exaggerated or lied about what you cannot do or have difficulty doing.

Woman Caught on Video Surveillance Doing Something Embarrassing in a Car

In one of our cases, our client testified at her deposition that she suffered severe pain from a TMJ injury with two surgeries and that the injury prevented her from lifting heavy things and dancing, which she liked to do frequently. See what a TMJ injury is.

There was a large insurance policy for a national company with unlimited assets, and our client had a serious injury, so the insurance company hired a private investigator to follow her and do video surveillance.

The private investigator parked on the street where she lived to begin surveillance of her. The private investigator obtained a video of her taking out the garbage, which the insurance company used to show that she could lift things.

The private investigator also followed her to a nightclub waiting in the parking lot all night. Later in the night, the private investigator obtained a video of her in a man’s car appearing to show her giving oral sex to the man who was not her husband. Not only did this pose a potential embarrassment for her, but what she appeared to be doing was not good for someone who claimed she couldn’t open her mouth because of severe pain from a TMJ injury!

BTW, I knew that my client really did have a serious TMJ injury with very severe pain. I also knew that she was able to go to the nightclub and do what she was doing in the car only because she would drink heavily, which killed the pain. When I was at a wedding with extreme back pain, I found out that alcohol does, indeed, kill all pain but only for a short time. Find out how to prevent back pain after a car accident.

Because of the video, the insurance company would not offer a reasonable settlement, and the case went to trial, where a jury awarded our client $1.3 million, which was reduced by the judge to $567,000.

Woman Seen on Store Video Not Falling in the Hole

In a trip and fall case, a woman tripped and fell while walking out of a supermarket and injured her back. The exit was smooth asphalt with a hole that looked like it was designed to trip people, so she and we thought she was tripped by the hole.

The store signed an affidavit that there was no video, but after her deposition, the store found one! Unfortunately, the video showed she did not trip on the hole.

We filed a motion to get a court order prohibiting the store from using the video at trial but also, unfortunately, the court allowed the store to use the video.

Fortunately, we were able to settle the case at a mediation for a reasonable settlement. For some reason, the insurance company never mentioned the video.

Elevator Video Showed Our Client Flirting With Firefighters

In an elevator accident case, our client said she got a lower back injury when an elevator fell and crashed with six people inside the elevator.

The elevator was stuck below the floor, and the doors wouldn’t open, so the New York City Fire Department was called. Firefighters opened the doors and pulled everyone out of the elevator.

Our client was seen on a video camera in the hallway in front of the elevator, walking around, taking pictures, and flirting with the firefighters.

We were still able to settle her case for a lot of money.

Can Insurance Companies Find Out Where You Live?

Yes, of course. That’s easy for almost anyone, but insurance companies have access to investigative tools that will show every address you have ever resided at and much more. We have the same investigative tools.

Insurance Company Surveillance Tactics

Usually, investigators just do video surveillance, but investigators have been known to do some tricky things, underhanded things, and sometimes illegal things to get a video of you.

It was reported on the news that in a case where an employee was on disability complaining of severe back pain and unable to bend down, an investigator placed a few coins on the ground near the driver’s car door after the driver parked to go into a store. When the driver returned, he was seen on video bending over to pick up the money.

In another case, while a disability claimant was in the courthouse, an investigator let the air out of his rear tire. Apparently, the claimant offered to drive his lawyer back, but when they got to the car, he found a flat tire. No problem, he changed the tire. He was photographed with his lawyer standing behind him, watching. The photo was on the front page of the newspapers, and the lawyer was in trouble.

In this case, an insurance defense law firm, Baker Donelson, and American Family Insurance were sued for $13.2 Billion Dollars for allegedly conspiring to spy on an injured car accident victim with electronic devices that were illegally placed on private property.

According to the ABA Law Journal, an investigator from Martinelli Investigations testified at a deposition that they entered the plaintiff’s property to “attach GPS devices to her vehicles and to mount trail cameras on her property.”

Do Insurance Companies Use Drones to Spy

A drone could be useful, in some circumstances, to a private investigator doing surveillance on an insurance claim, but we have never seen a drone used for video surveillance in a personal injury case.

Videos and Photos Obtained From Facebook and Social Media

Insurance companies also pay investigation companies to watch what is being posted on social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, YouTube, LinkedIn, and others. That’s why some personal injury lawyers want their clients to close their social media accounts.

Anything that you post online can be used against you. Photographs and videos can be used to unfairly make it look like you could do things that you said at your deposition you could not do.

What Should I Do If I See an Insurance Investigator Following Me?

If you see an insurance investigator following you or parked outside your house, just call 911 and report a suspicious car or person.

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Attorney Franckel is a well-known personal injury lawyer, Founding Partner of 1-800-HURT-911® New York Injury Attorneys, member of the Personal Injury Dream Team™, and a former Member Board of Directors of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association. He has an Avvo Top 10  Rating, Avvo Client’s Choice Award with all 5-star reviews, Avvo Top Contributor Award, Multi-Million Dollar Trial Lawyers Award, and other awards. See Mr. Franckel’s bio for areas of expertise.

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Because any delay could cause you to lose viable rights and benefits, please call HURT-911® Founding Partner Rob Plevy, Esq. right now for a free consultation to find out your rights days/nights/weekends.
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Philip L. Franckel, Esq. is one of the HURT911® Dream Team™ Founding Partners at 1-800-HURT-911® New York; He has a 10 Avvo rating; Avvo Client’s Choice with all 5-star reviews; Avvo Top Contributor; and a former Member of the Board of Directors of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association.

1-800-HURT-911® Founding Partner and Personal Injury Lawyer Rob Plevy, Esq.

Founding Partner Rob Plevy, Esq.

Robert Plevy, Esq. is one of the HURT911® Dream Team™ Founding Partners at 1-800-HURT-911® New York. Rob began his legal career in 1993 as an Assistant Corporation Counsel defending The City of New York against personal injury lawsuits.

Get the HURT911® Dream Team on your side!
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Can You Get Surgery Before Your Defense Medical Exam?

Will your personal injury case be dismissed if you don’t show up for your medical exam and then get surgery before your exam is rescheduled with the insurance defense doctor?

After your deposition (EBT) in a personal injury case, the defense attorney hired by the insurance company will send you to one or more of their doctors to examine your injuries.

Every personal injury lawyer in New York has had clients who had surgery after their deposition and before the defense doctor had the opportunity to examine the injury prior to its surgical “repair”. We certainly have had quite a few cases like that.

Every time our client had surgery just before the defense medical exam, the defense doctor simply rescheduled the exam for two or three months after the surgery. Defense doctors never want to risk further injuring someone after surgery.

surgeons performing surgery

Hey, Let’s Try to Get the Plaintiff’s Case Dismissed!

In the case below, an out-of-the-box thinking defense lawyer thought, hey, let’s try to get the plaintiff’s case dismissed or at least prevent the plaintiff from using the surgery at trial as punishment for having surgery before the defense doctor could examine the plaintiff.

There is a principle in law called spoliation of evidence that occurs when the plaintiff or defendant fails to preserve evidence or intentionally destroys the evidence.

An example is a video showing the accident. For instance, an injured person has a slip and fall accident in a store that was captured on video. The personal injury lawyer will send a letter to the store requiring the store to preserve the video so it can be viewed later and used at a trial.

If the store then loses the video or says they can’t find the video (this happens a lot), the personal injury lawyer will ask the court to impose severe penalties on the defendant.

Can Your Case Be Dismissed for Getting Surgery Before the Defense Medical Exam?

So, can a defendant subject the plaintiff to severe penalties when the injured plaintiff fails to preserve their injured body in its pre-surgically repaired condition for a medical examination by the defense doctor?

In an unusual personal injury case, Gillian v. UNI Holdings, the defense lawyer claimed you do have to preserve your body, remain in pain, and even risk making the injury worse, until you are examined by the defense doctor. Unbelievably, the New York Supreme Court agreed!

Fortunately, smarter minds at the Appellate Division disagreed and stated, “…the condition of one’s body is not the type of evidence that is subject to a spoliation analysis.”

The Appellate Division stated this is what the defense lawyer wanted,

“After completing the ME [Medical Exam], defendant moved to dismiss plaintiff’s complaint, pursuant to CPLR 3126, claiming that plaintiff’s surgery resulted in the spoliation of critical evidence, and alternatively, sought an order issuing spoliation sanctions for plaintiff’s failure to appear for an ME and intentional destruction of evidence. Defendant argued that plaintiff was obligated to preserve the condition of her spine as it was evidence and the surgery “drastically” altered the spine’s condition thereby prejudicing defendant. Further, defendant stated that because there was nothing submitted by plaintiff suggesting that the surgery was urgent, her pre-ME discectomy amounted to willful alteration of evidence.”

What Happened?

In the personal injury case of Jekeya Gilliam, she was struck by a part of the bathroom ceiling when it fell on her in her Bronx apartment. The falling ceiling injured her lumbar spine causing lower back pain and her personal injury lawyer in the Bronx filed a lawsuit against the building owner and landlord in New York Supreme Court in The Bronx.

The New York Supreme Court ordered the plaintiff to appear for an “independent” medical examination within 45 days of her deposition. It is common in every case to order the exam within 45 or 60 days of the deposition.

What is an IME, ME, or DME?

Defense lawyers and insurance companies call their exams an IME for “Independent” Medical Exam, ostensibly, to be misleading.

Ostensibly misled, the New York Supreme Court incorrectly called the exam an “Independent” Medical Examination.

The Appellate Division correctly called the exam simply an ME for Medical Examination.

We call these exams a DME for Defense Medical Examination because they are NOT independent.

Failed to Appear at the Defense Medical Exam

After her deposition, the defense designated Daniel Feuer, M.D. to conduct the medical examination of the injury. We have had many clients examined by Dr. Daniel Feuer.

The injured plaintiff, Jekeya Gilliam, was required to appear for an “independent” medical examination (IME) to be conducted by the defense doctor in March 2019.

The injured plaintiff failed to appear at the defense medical examination and the examination was rescheduled for May, but in April the plaintiff had surgery for a discectomy to her lumbar spine and the defense doctor was no longer able to examine her in her pre-surgery condition.

The New York Supreme Court found that getting surgery prior to appearing for the examination was spoliation of evidence, and sanctioned the plaintiff. The New York Supreme Court did not dismiss her personal injury case but ordered that she was not allowed to offer any evidence regarding an injury or surgery to her L4-L5 disc or from receiving any money for that injury or surgery.

The Appellate Division reversed the Supreme Court order and held, that a person’s body is fundamentally different from inanimate evidence to which spoliation sanctions apply.

The Appellate Division stated,

To find that a person has an “obligation,” to preserve his or her body in an injured state so that a defendant may conduct an ME, is antithetical to our belief in personal liberty and control over our own bodies.

It would be absurd for courts to require a plaintiff to forego surgery (or other medical treatment) for an injury so as not to potentially compromise a lawsuit against the party(s) alleged to have caused the injury.

The Appellate Division held, that the defense lawyer’s claim that the plaintiff’s surgery was not an emergency, and therefore could have been delayed, did not have any bearing on the decision.
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Attorney Franckel is a well-known personal injury lawyer, Founding Partner of 1-800-HURT-911® New York Injury Attorneys, member of the Personal Injury Dream Team™, and a former Member Board of Directors of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association. He has an Avvo Top 10  Rating, Avvo Client’s Choice Award with all 5-star reviews, Avvo Top Contributor Award, Multi-Million Dollar Trial Lawyers Award, and other awards. See Mr. Franckel’s bio for areas of expertise.

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Get the 1-800-HUR-T911® 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

No Win — No Fee — No Expenses — Guaranteed!

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Attorneys who can get you the most amount of money AND provide personal service!

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Please take a look at some of our:

What will happen when I call 1-800-HURT-911 or chat?

  1. Our call center operators and chat operators are available 24/7.
  2. Just give your contact info to our operator and Founding Partner Rob Plevy, Esq. will call you within 5-10 minutes for your free, no-obligation consultation during the hours of 8 am – 10 pm. After hours, Rob will call you in the morning or at the time you want.
  3. Then just text or call us any time you want during your case!

Because any delay could cause you to lose viable rights and benefits, please call HURT-911® Founding Partner Rob Plevy, Esq. right now for a free consultation to find out your rights days/nights/weekends.
1-800-HURT-911
1-800-487-8911

You can speak, text, or email with us whenever you want throughout your case and afterward, days/nights/weekends, and experience our famous personal service. You’ll even get our personal phone numbers so you can call or text anytime!

Watch Founding Partner Phil Franckel, Esq. talk about New York Serious Injury Attorneys.com, difficult cases, and the 1-800-HURT-911® Dream Team™


Philip L. Franckel, Esq. is one of the HURT911® Dream Team™ Founding Partners at 1-800-HURT-911® New York; He has a 10 Avvo rating; Avvo Client’s Choice with all 5-star reviews; Avvo Top Contributor; and a former Member of the Board of Directors of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association.

1-800-HURT-911® Founding Partner and Personal Injury Lawyer Rob Plevy, Esq.

Founding Partner Rob Plevy, Esq.

Robert Plevy, Esq. is one of the HURT911® Dream Team™ Founding Partners at 1-800-HURT-911® New York. Rob began his legal career in 1993 as an Assistant Corporation Counsel defending The City of New York against personal injury lawsuits.

Get the HURT911® 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

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Have a question about Can You Get Surgery Before Your Defense Medical Exam? Leave a comment!

Lawsuit Loan Calculator – Calculator to Compare Lawsuit Loans

The HURT911® personal injury pre-settlement lawsuit loan calculator and comparison tool shows you:

  • How much your lawsuit loan will cost (how much interest you will pay for your lawsuit loan).
  • How much money you will pay back to payoff your lawsuit loan.
  • How much you will receive at the end of your case after your lawsuit loan is paid off.
  • How much money you will really receive after your lawsuit loan is paid off.
  • How much you would receive at the end of your case if you do not get a lawsuit loan.
  • Compares the interest, expenses, and costs of one lawsuit loan company vs another lawsuit loan company so you can see which is the best lawsuit loan.

This is the only lawsuit loan calculator on the internet that will give you all the information you need about your pre-settlement lawsuit loan and the only calculator to compare one lawsuit loan company vs another lawsuit loan company.

We are personal injury lawyers and we do not provide lawsuit loans which means the HURT911® lawsuit loan calculator is unbiased.

To get all the information you have to enter a little more data than other calculators but you can leave some fields blank and get a little less info. See the instructions below to enter data in the fields.

personal injury client using a lawsuit loan calculator

 

How Do I Know If I Can Get a Personal Injury Pre-Settlement Lawsuit Loan?

If you’re injured in an accident because of the negligence of someone and/or a company, you may need to borrow money with a lawsuit loan. Lawsuit loans are only available if you have a personal injury lawyer representing you.

What Is a Personal Injury Pre-Settlement Lawsuit Loan?

Lawsuit loans are really not loans. They are an early advance of some of your settlement money also known as a pre-settlement advance, lawsuit cash advance, and lawsuit funding. They are technically a non-recourse note or agreement. See how pre-settlement funding is described in this article about a class-action lawsuit against Oasis Legal Finance which provides pre-settlement funding for personal injury lawsuits.

The advantage of it not being a loan is that you don’t have to pay it back if your personal injury case is not successful.

The disadvantage is that lawsuit loan companies can charge more interest than allowed for a loan because they are taking the risk of losing all their money if your personal injury case is not successful.

Should I Borrow Money on My Personal Injury Case?

There are a lot of times when getting a lawsuit loan is beneficial, times when it is not, and times when it can even hurt your case or result in you losing your case. Please see our article, Lawsuit Loan FAQs to find out if a lawsuit loan is good for you.

How To Use The Lawsuit Loan Calculator

Compare Lawsuit Loans to Determine Which Is The Best Lawsuit Loan

Use the lawsuit loan calculator just to see how much a lawsuit loan will cost you or to compare the interest and costs of one lawsuit loan company vs. another lawsuit loan company. If you’re not looking to compare lawsuit loans, you can enter the data for just one.

COMPANY A already has the Monthly Rate (2.5%), Annual Monitoring Fee ($100), Compounding Method (Annual), and Application fee ($400) entered for the lawsuit pre-settlement loan company we use. The lawsuit funding company we use charges a one-time $100 Annual Monitoring Fee no matter how many times you get a cash advance and uses an annual Compounding Method which will cost you less.

Entering Your Data In The Lawsuit Loans Calculator

The lawsuit loan calculator already has the information entered for an actual case we just settled (our client had a broken finger in a construction accident) to show you an example of the cost between two lawsuit settlement cash advance companies. Please change the amounts to your situation.

  1. Case Settlement > Enter the amount you think your case will settle for.
  2. Legal Fee > The default is already set to 1/3 for New York and most states.
  3. Expenses > Leave blank if you can’t estimate. Enter the estimated amount of case expenses. Depending on your settlement amount, a range of $1,500 to $15,000 is fairly typical.
  4. WC & Medical Liens > Leave blank if you can’t estimate. WC is your Worker’s Compensation lien if you were working when you were injured. You can estimate the amount WC paid for your medical treatment and deduct 1/3 for a lien reduction to get an estimate to enter.
  5. Annual Monitoring Fee > Find out what the lawsuit pre-settlement funding companies will charge. You can leave this blank if you don’t know it.
  6. Compounding Method > Find out which method the lawsuit pre-settlement funding companies will use.
  7. Settlement Date > Enter the approximate date you can estimate for when your personal injury case will settle.
  8. LAWSUIT FUNDING COMPANY A > Press the Clear All Data button to enter your own data. Then enter the Date, Amount, Application Fee, and Monthly Rate of at least one funding (aka cash advance aka lawsuit loan). On smartphones, move the screen left to enter the Monthly Rate.
  9. To Compare Two LAWSUIT FUNDING COMPANIES > Enter the Application Fee and Monthly Rate for COMPANY B.

After using the lawsuit loan calculator enter the lawsuit loan Payoff Amount in our Personal Injury Settlement Calculator.

Questions or suggestions? Please leave a comment below.

The Personal Injury Lawsuit Loans Calculator

lawsuit cash advance comparison Calculator
Estimated Settlement Amount
Legal Fee
Estimated Case Expenses
Estimated WC & Medical Liens
Company A Annual Monitoring Fee
Company B Annual Monitoring Fee
Company A Compounding Method
Company B Compounding Method
Estimated Settlement Date
Clear
lawsuit funding company a
Funding Date of Funding Amount Funded Application Fee Monthly Rate Payoff Amount
1 $0.0
2 $0.0
3 $0.0
4 $0.0
5 $0.0
6 $0.0
7 $0.0
8 $0.0
Total Funded $0.0
Clear Company A
compare with lawsuit funding company b
Funding Date of Funding Amount Funded Application Fee Monthly Rate Payoff Amount
1 08/06/2021 $0.0 $0.0
2 08/06/2021 $0.0 $0.0
3 08/06/2021 $0.0 $0.0
4 08/06/2021 $0.0 $0.0
5 08/06/2021 $0.0 $0.0
6 08/06/2021 $0.0 $0.0
7 08/06/2021 $0.0 $0.0
8 08/06/2021 $0.0 $0.0
Total Funded $0.0
Clear Company B
 
company a
company b
Interest Cost
$0.0
$0.0
Payoff Amount
$0.0
$0.0
Estimated Case Settlement
$0.0
$0.0
Legal Fee
$0.0
$0.0
Estimated Case Expenses
$0.0
$0.0
Estimated Total WC & Medical Liens
$0.0
$0.0
Amount to Client at Settlement
$0.0
$0.0
Net Settlement Amount Including Cash Advanced
$0.0
$0.0
Amount You Would Have Received Without Cash Advance
$0.0
$0.0

See more answers to FAQs

comments button for the HURT911® Personal Injury Lawsuit Loans Calculator

Attorney Franckel is a well-known personal injury lawyer, Founding Partner of 1-800-HURT-911® New York Injury Attorneys, member of the Personal Injury Dream Team™, and a former Member Board of Directors of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association. He has an Avvo Top 10  Rating, Avvo Client’s Choice Award with all 5-star reviews, Avvo Top Contributor Award, Multi-Million Dollar Trial Lawyers Award, and other awards. See Mr. Franckel’s bio for areas of expertise.

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1-800-HURT-911® Personal Injury Lawyers "As Seen On TV" ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, , WOR, WPIX logos

Get the 1-800-HUR-T911® 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

No Win — No Fee — No Expenses — Guaranteed!

Personal Injury Lawyer Screened by Google

Attorneys who can get you the most amount of money AND provide personal service!

Free Personal Injury Consultation call button  Chat to get your free Personal Injury consultation right now button

Please take a look at some of our:

What will happen when I call 1-800-HURT-911 or chat?

  1. Our call center operators and chat operators are available 24/7.
  2. Just give your contact info to our operator and Founding Partner Rob Plevy, Esq. will call you within 5-10 minutes for your free, no-obligation consultation during the hours of 8 am – 10 pm. After hours, Rob will call you in the morning or at the time you want.
  3. Then just text or call us any time you want during your case!

Because any delay could cause you to lose viable rights and benefits, please call HURT-911® Founding Partner Rob Plevy, Esq. right now for a free consultation to find out your rights days/nights/weekends.
1-800-HURT-911
1-800-487-8911

You can speak, text, or email with us whenever you want throughout your case and afterward, days/nights/weekends, and experience our famous personal service. You’ll even get our personal phone numbers so you can call or text anytime!

Watch Founding Partner Phil Franckel, Esq. talk about New York Serious Injury Attorneys.com, difficult cases, and the 1-800-HURT-911® Dream Team™


Philip L. Franckel, Esq. is one of the HURT911® Dream Team™ Founding Partners at 1-800-HURT-911® New York; He has a 10 Avvo rating; Avvo Client’s Choice with all 5-star reviews; Avvo Top Contributor; and a former Member of the Board of Directors of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association.

1-800-HURT-911® Founding Partner and Personal Injury Lawyer Rob Plevy, Esq.

Founding Partner Rob Plevy, Esq.

Robert Plevy, Esq. is one of the HURT911® Dream Team™ Founding Partners at 1-800-HURT-911® New York. Rob began his legal career in 1993 as an Assistant Corporation Counsel defending The City of New York against personal injury lawsuits.

Get the HURT911® Dream Team on your side!
Call Attorneys Rob Plevy & Phil Franckel days/nights/weekends for a free consultation
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What kind of attorney do I need if someone damaged my property or building?

The type of lawyer you need for property damage will depend upon the amount of damage. Following are general recommendations when to represent yourself or hire a lawyer for property damage:

  1. Property damage less than $5,000 – sue in Small Claims Court.
  2. Property damage less than $25,000 – represent yourself in a higher court.
  3. Property damage more than $25,000 – represent yourself or hire a general practice lawyer.
  4. Property damage more than $100,000 – hire a personal injury lawyer.
  5. Collision damage to your car or motorcycle when you are also injured – hire a car accident lawyer or a motorcycle accident lawyer.

Property Damage Less Than $5,000

If the damage is very minor, you will need to represent yourself in Small Claims Court because the cost of hiring a lawyer will be more than your damage. In New York, you can sue in Small Claims Court for up to $5,000.

Where Do I Have to File a Lawsuit in Small Claims Court?

You will have to file a lawsuit in the county where the defendant resides.

Court TV Shows

When you file suit in Small Claims Court, you will probably be contacted by court TV shows and have the opportunity to resolve your claim on one of the court TV shows. If you don’t mind appearing on TV, there are significant benefits to resolving your claim on one of the court TV shows. Both the plaintiff and the defendant have to agree to resolve the claim on a court TV show.

Both the plaintiff and the defendant will be paid an appearance fee and travel will be paid for you. If the plaintiff wins, the plaintiff will be immediately paid by the court TV show and the defendant will not have to pay anything.

Property Damage More Than $5,000

If the damage is more than $5,000, you can still file suit yourself in Small Claims Court but you will not be able to get a judgment or collect more than $5,000.

If you need to get a judgment for more than $5,000, you can either file suit yourself in the next higher court or hire a lawyer.

What Are the Limits I Can Sue For?

Nassau District Court handles civil lawsuits seeking monetary damages up to $15,000. If your claim will be above that amount, you will need to file suit in New York Supreme Court.

Suffolk District Court handles civil lawsuits seeking monetary damages up to $15,000. If your claim will be above that amount, you will need to file suit in New York Supreme Court.

New York City Civil Court handles civil lawsuits seeking monetary jurisdiction up to $50,000.00. If your claim will be above that amount, you will need to file suit in New York Supreme Court.

New York Supreme Court in every county handles civil lawsuits seeking monetary jurisdiction up to any amount.

Tip when representing yourself: go to the court clerk’s office and ask for the Pro Se clerk (pronounced pro say). The Pro Se clerk helps people without a lawyer. Pro Se is a Latin phrase meaning “for yourself.”

Where Do I Have to File a Lawsuit for Property Damage?

In the higher courts, you can usually file a lawsuit in either the county where the plaintiff or defendant resides.

When Does It Make Sense to Hire a Lawyer for Property Damage?

When you have property damage in the approximate range of $25,000 to $100,000, it could make sense to hire a general practice lawyer.

General practice lawyers typically charge an hourly rate not a contingency fee but may offer you a combination of an upfront fee plus a contingency fee. A contingency fee is paid at the end of a case and only if successful.

A general practice lawyer will likely charge $1,500 to $5,000 upfront. This is an initial retainer and you will be requested to advance more money when the money you advanced is used up.

Legal fees for a general practice lawyer will likely reach $10,000 or above.

When You Have Property Damage of More Than $100,000

When you have property damage of more than $100,000, you may be able to hire a personal injury lawyer. We may be interested in representing clients for property damage when the amount of the damage is $150,000 or more and the case is in New York.

Personal injury lawyers are used to taking cases on contingency so you only pay if the case is successful but the property damage needs to be substantial.

When Will We Represent You for Property Damage?

We may be interested in representing clients for only property damage without an injury when the amount of the damage is $150,000 or more and the case is in New York.

We will represent clients for property damage when the property damage was caused by an accident in New York and is in addition to your injury. However, many other personal injury lawyers will not take a property damage case even when representing the client for personal injury.

For instance, if you were injured in a motorcycle accident in New York, your motorcycle was totaled, and you did not have collision damage coverage, we will represent you for the damage to your motorcycle when we represent you for your injury. See how our personal injury legal fee on contingency works.

Usually, in a car accident, people have collision damage coverage and you will not need a lawyer. But if you did not have collision damage coverage for your car, we will represent you for collision damage if you were also injured.

Personal injury lawyers frequently include property damage claims in personal injury lawsuits so a personal injury lawyer is the type of lawyer you want for a property damage case.

Tip: Before hiring a personal injury lawyer for property damage, find out if you have insurance coverage, which can pay the claim, on your own insurance policy. If you have enough insurance coverage on your own insurance policy, you can save the legal fee a lawyer will charge.

Tip: If you are claiming against your own insurance policy but you are disputing the amount of the damage, you can use a public adjuster who is not a lawyer and usually charges only 10%. If you are making a claim against someone else’s insurance policy, you will probably need a lawyer because a lawsuit will likely need to be filed.

Are There Lawyers Who Specialize in Property Damage?

Lawyers do not specialize in property damage because there are very few cases involving enough damage to property to make it worthwhile to pay for the time to litigate the case.

When Do I Need an Attorney for Property Damage?

  • You do not have insurance coverage on your own policy which can pay the claim.
  • You do not have enough insurance coverage on your own policy which can pay the claim.
  • When your insurance company doesn’t pay your claim.

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How Much Must a Property Damage Claim Be Worth for a Lawyer to Represent Me?

That depends on the personal injury lawyer if you’re looking for a lawyer on contingency. The amount of damage you would need to interest a personal injury lawyer would also depend on how it happened and if an expert would need to be hired.

We are interested in looking at claims when your property damage is at least $25,000. We will give you a free consultation.

For smaller claims, you can look for a general practice lawyer who you can pay by the hour but it will likely cost you several thousand dollars.

What Types of Property Damage Are Valuable Enough for a Personal Injury Lawyer?

  • Damage to a building
  • Damage to land
  • Damage to an expensive car

Damage to a Building

When a construction company was dynamiting and caused a crack from the foundation to the roof of a nearby building causing over $175,000 worth of damage, that was enough to take the case on contingency and pay for an expert to testify.

This photo shows the damage created when a dump truck crashed into the side of a building damaging a dental office.
dump truck crashed into the side of a building causing substantial damage

Flood Damage to a Store

We successfully represented an electronics store that had $250,000 of TVs, stereos, surround sound equipment, and other electronics in a basement that were damaged when a pipe burst and caused a flood in the basement.

Damage to an Expensive Car

We successfully represented the owner of a $90,000 BMW which had $28,000 damage in a car accident when it was parked. Since the car was parked, our client wasn’t injured. Our client owned about 10 expensive cars such as Porsche, Ferrari, and Rolls Royce so he decided to self insure and saved $25,000 a year in the cost of collision coverage. Since he didn’t have collision coverage and the insurance company of the car which hit his BMW wasn’t paying for the damage, he hired us.

See more answers to FAQs

comments button for What kind of attorney do I need for property damage?

Attorney Franckel is a well-known personal injury lawyer, Founding Partner of 1-800-HURT-911® New York Injury Attorneys, member of the Personal Injury Dream Team™, and a former Member Board of Directors of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association. He has an Avvo Top 10  Rating, Avvo Client’s Choice Award with all 5-star reviews, Avvo Top Contributor Award, Multi-Million Dollar Trial Lawyers Award, and other awards. See Mr. Franckel’s bio for areas of expertise.

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What will happen when I call 1-800-HURT-911 or chat?

  1. Our call center operators and chat operators are available 24/7.
  2. Just give your contact info to our operator and Founding Partner Rob Plevy, Esq. will call you within 5-10 minutes for your free, no-obligation consultation during the hours of 8 am – 10 pm. After hours, Rob will call you in the morning or at the time you want.
  3. Then just text or call us any time you want during your case!

Because any delay could cause you to lose viable rights and benefits, please call HURT-911® Founding Partner Rob Plevy, Esq. right now for a free consultation to find out your rights days/nights/weekends.
1-800-HURT-911
1-800-487-8911

You can speak, text, or email with us whenever you want throughout your case and afterward, days/nights/weekends, and experience our famous personal service. You’ll even get our personal phone numbers so you can call or text anytime!

Watch Founding Partner Phil Franckel, Esq. talk about New York Serious Injury Attorneys.com, difficult cases, and the 1-800-HURT-911® Dream Team™


Philip L. Franckel, Esq. is one of the HURT911® Dream Team™ Founding Partners at 1-800-HURT-911® New York; He has a 10 Avvo rating; Avvo Client’s Choice with all 5-star reviews; Avvo Top Contributor; and a former Member of the Board of Directors of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association.

1-800-HURT-911® Founding Partner and Personal Injury Lawyer Rob Plevy, Esq.

Founding Partner Rob Plevy, Esq.

Robert Plevy, Esq. is one of the HURT911® Dream Team™ Founding Partners at 1-800-HURT-911® New York. Rob began his legal career in 1993 as an Assistant Corporation Counsel defending The City of New York against personal injury lawsuits.

Get the HURT911® 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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How to Change Your 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.

Note: If your accident was not in New York State, you should change to a personal injury attorney in the state where your accident happened.

Note: If your accident happened in New York State, you must change to a personal injury attorney in New York. Sometimes, lawyers in other states will take your case because you have a big injury, and they think they can get a quick settlement, but they will either screw up your case or settle for pennies on the dollar. If you’re being represented by a lawyer from another state, call us now. Many of our clients were previously represented by a lawyer from another state and called us to find out how they can change their lawyer to us.

3 Tips on How to Change Your Personal Injury Lawyer in New York

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

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.

TIP: If your personal injury attorney doesn’t want to represent you anymore, call other personal injury lawyers but don’t tell them your lawyer doesn’t want to represent you anymore. That’s a big red flag to personal injury attorneys, and they will likely not want to even consider your case.

TIP: 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. The reason is that while it will not cost you any extra money, each of your previous lawyers is entitled to part of the legal fee, leaving less for your last lawyer.

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Can I Change My Personal Injury Lawyer Before Settlement?

Yes. Even if your lawyer already got a settlement offer, but you don’t think the settlement offer is enough, you can still change your lawyer to a new personal injury lawyer. As long as you didn’t sign a settlement release, you can change your personal injury lawyer at any time.

My first personal injury case was for John V., who I met while working part-time at ABC Monday Night Baseball and Wide World of Sports. John was a graphic artist and had a neck injury from a hit-in-the-rear car accident. Two cars hit him in the rear. The rear car had a $300,000 State Farm insurance policy, and the middle car had two insurance policies, one for the owner and one for a repair garage that was working on the car. An unauthorized driver was driving the car for the repair shop, so its insurance denied the claim.

His lawyer never tried to get settlement offers from the middle car. He did get an insurance company settlement offer of $75,000 from State Farm for the rear car and recommended that John take the offer, but John wasn’t happy with the settlement offer and asked me what I thought. I told John I would like to represent him.

After I took his case, I got a settlement offer of $300,000, another $10,000 from the middle car’s insurance (the entire minimum insurance at that time), and another $10,000 from John’s uninsured policy (the entire minimum insurance at that time).

John’s previous lawyer never filed an uninsured claim, and by the time I got the case, it was too late. I filed anyway and still got the entire insurance policy.

John used his personal injury settlement money to buy a house. I used my legal fee for a deposit on my house.

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 a second opinion.

You Think You Hired the Wrong Personal Injury Lawyer in New York

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 Should I Do if My Personal Injury Lawyer Dropped My Case?

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

Find out what to do if your personal injury lawyer dropped your case, or just call us now!

4 Reasons Your Lawyer May Fire You or 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.

Will It Cost Me 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.

How to change your personal injury lawyer and get enough personal injury settlement money to fill these money bags

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.

Should I Call Another Personal Injury Lawyer if a Lawyer Didn’t Want My Case?

Yes. You should always 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 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.

What Should I Do Now?

Now that you know how to change your personal injury lawyer in New York, 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!

See more answers to FAQs

comments button for How To Change Your Personal Injury Lawyer In New York

Attorney Franckel is a well-known personal injury lawyer, Founding Partner of 1-800-HURT-911® New York Injury Attorneys, member of the Personal Injury Dream Team™, and a former Member Board of Directors of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association. He has an Avvo Top 10  Rating, Avvo Client’s Choice Award with all 5-star reviews, Avvo Top Contributor Award, Multi-Million Dollar Trial Lawyers Award, and other awards. See Mr. Franckel’s bio for areas of expertise.


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“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

No Win — No Fee — No Expenses — Guaranteed!

Personal Injury Lawyer Screened by Google

Attorneys who can get you the most amount of money AND provide personal service!

Free Personal Injury Consultation call button  Chat to get your free Personal Injury consultation right now button

Please take a look at some of our:

What will happen when I call 1-800-HURT-911 or chat?

  1. Our call center operators and chat operators are available 24/7.
  2. Just give your contact info to our operator and Founding Partner Rob Plevy, Esq. will call you within 5-10 minutes for your free, no-obligation consultation during the hours of 8 am – 10 pm. After hours, Rob will call you in the morning or at the time you want.
  3. Then just text or call us any time you want during your case!

Because any delay could cause you to lose viable rights and benefits, please call HURT-911® Founding Partner Rob Plevy, Esq. right now for a free consultation to find out your rights days/nights/weekends.
1-800-HURT-911
1-800-487-8911

You can speak, text, or email with us whenever you want throughout your case and afterward, days/nights/weekends, and experience our famous personal service. You’ll even get our personal phone numbers so you can call or text anytime!

Watch Founding Partner Phil Franckel, Esq. talk about New York Serious Injury Attorneys.com, difficult cases, and the 1-800-HURT-911® Dream Team™


Philip L. Franckel, Esq. is one of the HURT911® Dream Team™ Founding Partners at 1-800-HURT-911® New York; He has a 10 Avvo rating; Avvo Client’s Choice with all 5-star reviews; Avvo Top Contributor; and a former Member of the Board of Directors of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association.

1-800-HURT-911® Founding Partner and Personal Injury Lawyer Rob Plevy, Esq.

Founding Partner Rob Plevy, Esq.

Robert Plevy, Esq. is one of the HURT911® Dream Team™ Founding Partners at 1-800-HURT-911® New York. Rob began his legal career in 1993 as an Assistant Corporation Counsel defending The City of New York against personal injury lawsuits.

Get the HURT911® 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

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Have a Question About How To Change Your Personal Injury Lawyer In New York? Leave a Comment!

Why Are There Too Many Lawsuits?

clock showing time for truth about law suits

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

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

Safer Cars Mean Fewer Lawsuits

Some cars already have very sophisticated collision avoidance systems and I predict that within a few years, there won’t be any car or motorcycle accidents. When personal injury lawsuits from car accidents disappear, don’t believe for a moment that car insurance will be cheap.

Cars are becoming safer in two ways.

The first is protecting the occupants. Some cars like Volvo are well-known for keeping passengers safe. In fact, we have never represented a client injured in a Volvo!

Volvo has a large animal detection feature that will avoid hitting a deer or moose.

The second is that cars are getting better at protecting people outside of the car like pedestrians. Volvo has already had pedestrian detection for many years and it keeps getting better.

Beneficial Effects of Lawsuits

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.

There Are Many Laws Designed to Eliminate Lawsuits

Many states like New Jersey have enacted laws that 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.

Interestingly, auto insurance rates in New Jersey are among the highest in the U.S., and New Jersey’s restrictions on lawsuits have done nothing to reduce insurance premiums.

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.

Who Complains About Lawsuits?

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, our clients didn’t know they were 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 and wrongly think lawsuits affect their insurance premium. 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

Are 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.

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

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 that would pay for the lawsuit. I pointed out that this type of expensive and prolonged litigation potentially costing hundreds of thousands of dollars 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.

See more answers to FAQs

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Attorney Franckel is a well-known personal injury lawyer, Founding Partner of 1-800-HURT-911® New York Injury Attorneys, member of the Personal Injury Dream Team™, and a former Member Board of Directors of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association. He has an Avvo Top 10  Rating, Avvo Client’s Choice Award with all 5-star reviews, Avvo Top Contributor Award, Multi-Million Dollar Trial Lawyers Award, and other awards. See Mr. Franckel’s bio for areas of expertise.


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1-800-HURT-911® Personal Injury Lawyers "As Seen On TV" ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, , WOR, WPIX logos

Get the 1-800-HUR-T911® 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

No Win — No Fee — No Expenses — Guaranteed!

Personal Injury Lawyer Screened by Google

Attorneys who can get you the most amount of money AND provide personal service!

Free Personal Injury Consultation call button  Chat to get your free Personal Injury consultation right now button

Please take a look at some of our:

What will happen when I call 1-800-HURT-911 or chat?

  1. Our call center operators and chat operators are available 24/7.
  2. Just give your contact info to our operator and Founding Partner Rob Plevy, Esq. will call you within 5-10 minutes for your free, no-obligation consultation during the hours of 8 am – 10 pm. After hours, Rob will call you in the morning or at the time you want.
  3. Then just text or call us any time you want during your case!

Because any delay could cause you to lose viable rights and benefits, please call HURT-911® Founding Partner Rob Plevy, Esq. right now for a free consultation to find out your rights days/nights/weekends.
1-800-HURT-911
1-800-487-8911

You can speak, text, or email with us whenever you want throughout your case and afterward, days/nights/weekends, and experience our famous personal service. You’ll even get our personal phone numbers so you can call or text anytime!

Watch Founding Partner Phil Franckel, Esq. talk about New York Serious Injury Attorneys.com, difficult cases, and the 1-800-HURT-911® Dream Team™


Philip L. Franckel, Esq. is one of the HURT911® Dream Team™ Founding Partners at 1-800-HURT-911® New York; He has a 10 Avvo rating; Avvo Client’s Choice with all 5-star reviews; Avvo Top Contributor; and a former Member of the Board of Directors of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association.

1-800-HURT-911® Founding Partner and Personal Injury Lawyer Rob Plevy, Esq.

Founding Partner Rob Plevy, Esq.

Robert Plevy, Esq. is one of the HURT911® Dream Team™ Founding Partners at 1-800-HURT-911® New York. Rob began his legal career in 1993 as an Assistant Corporation Counsel defending The City of New York against personal injury lawsuits.

Get the HURT911® Dream Team on your side!
Call Attorneys Rob Plevy & Phil Franckel days/nights/weekends for a free consultation
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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. However, it may sometimes be necessary to retain a lawyer.

If you received a claim letter from a lawyer or lawsuit papers called a Summons and Complaint from a lawyer who is suing you for an accident and you had insurance on the day of the accident, don’t panic! It is very unlikely that you need to hire a lawyer.

Note: If you were injured, it’s always best to call a personal injury lawyer before you call your insurance company. See what to know and if you should give a statement to your insurance company.

If a claim is made against you because of a car accident or someone is injured on your property, your insurance company is required to do the following:

  1. Provide you with a claims representative, paid by the insurance company, to handle claims against you.
  2. Provide you with a defense lawyer, paid by the insurance company, to defend you from a personal injury lawsuit filed against you,
  3. Pay any claim settlement or judgment against you up to the liability limits of your insurance policy.

However, you have the responsibility to do some things. Keep reading to see the four things you need to do after an accident so you don’t have to worry about being sued.

This man is wondering do I need a lawyer if I am being sued for an accident?

This article will tell you when you might want to consult with a lawyer if you are being sued and 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, starting a lawsuit, called a Summons and Complaint.

Famous Defense Attorney Isidore Franckel

Isidore Franckel Was a Famous Attorney in Paris, France

What You Need to Do to Get a Free Lawyer From Your Insurance Company

Four things you need to do after a car accident or after someone has an accident on your property like a trip and fall accident:

  1. Report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible.
    1. Get a claim number and note the claim number in your file.
  2. If you receive a letter from a lawyer representing someone else in the accident, send a copy of the letter with the claim number you got (when you reported the accident) to your insurance company immediately.
    1. If you didn’t report the accident to your insurance company yet, do it now and tell them you received a claim letter from a lawyer.
  3. If lawsuit papers, called a Summons and Complaint, are served on you or are left at your door, send a copy of the Summons and Complaint with your claim number to your insurance company immediately.
    1. If you didn’t report the accident to your insurance company yet, do it now and tell them you received a Summons and Complaint from a lawyer.
  4. Cooperate with your insurance company and appear at a deposition if they tell you to.

Should I Report Every Accident to My Insurance Company?

Yes, it is definitely recommended. See why you should notify your insurance company after an accident when there is no damage to the car and what else you have to do.

How to Report the Accident to Your Insurance Company

  1. Call your insurance company and report the accident as soon as possible after your accident.
  2. Make sure you get a claim number from your insurance company 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 the accident, make a note of the claim 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 assign a claims representative to begin work on the claim which will include determining if and how much at fault you were for causing the accident and the amount of damage to property and people.

If a lawsuit is later filed against you, your insurance company will assign a defense lawyer to represent you.

What Is the Difference Between a Claim Letter From a Lawyer and a Lawsuit?

A lawsuit is not a claim letter from a personal injury lawyer. A claim letter starts the claim against you and is not filed in court. It is just a letter. Lawsuit papers are filed in court and are also served on you.

Lawsuit papers do not look like a letter. Lawsuit papers are called a Summons and Complaint and are several pages long.

What to Do If You Did Not Report the Accident to Your Insurance Company

If you did not report the accident and you received a claim letter from a personal injury lawyer indicating that a claim is being made against you, report the accident 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.

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 did not report the accident at the time of the accident or even after receiving a claim letter from a lawyer, and now you have been served with lawsuit papers, called a Summons and Complaint, you MUST report the accident IMMEDIATELY and give a copy of the papers to your insurance company immediately. If you fail to do that, the plaintiff’s personal injury lawyer can get a default judgment 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, write it 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 who represents the person injured in the accident.

What to Do If Someone Sues You For an Accident

When someone sues you for a car accident or any accident, you will 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. Someone called us while I was writing this article and said he was injured in a car accident in Brooklyn almost three years ago and wanted to know if he should hire a lawyer. We took his personal injury case.

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 they 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 to 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 After I Am Served with a Summons and Complaint?

After a lawsuit is started, you will probably have to testify at a deposition. All you have to do is cooperate with your insurance company by showing up at your deposition. Learn how to testify at a deposition.

Should I Sign an Affidavit of No Other Insurance From My Insurance Company?

If you have a personal injury lawyer, have your lawyer look at it first. Otherwise, you can sign an affidavit that you do not have any other insurance if it is true. Make sure that the affidavit doesn’t say you are admitting to having caused the accident.

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 advising 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 the settlement of the claim or lawsuit against you. 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 scene. 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 that 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 for paying the amount of money above your insurance policy limit.

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

Yes. Hopefully, you have a liability insurance coverage limit that 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.

Do I Need to Hire a Lawyer if I’m Being Sued for More Than My Insurance Policy Limit?

In New York State, lawyers are no longer allowed to sue for a certain amount of money. Now, lawyers will have to wait until the trial when allowed to ask for a specific amount of money, so you will not know if you are being sued for more than your insurance policy liability limit.

In almost all cases, you will not need to hire your own lawyer. The majority of personal injury cases with serious injuries are settled for the insurance policy limit. This is because it can be extremely difficult to impossible to get more money from the defendant. However, we have done that.

If the lawsuit against you is settled, your insurance company will require the plaintiff to sign a release, releasing you from all further liability.

If you have a lot of money or assets and you have a small insurance policy, this might be a situation where you should at least consult with a personal injury lawyer who also does defense. Some personal injury lawyers also work for insurance companies representing defendants.

Example: Your insurance policy has a $25,000 liability limit, you live in a $1,000,000+ house and earn a lot of money when you cause an accident resulting in someone being very seriously injured. This is a good time to consult with a personal injury defense lawyer. If you were drunk when you caused the accident, it’s an even better time to consult with a personal injury defense lawyer.

A personal injury lawyer will be able to look at the file and determine if the injury is really worth a lot of money. You cannot assume that the injury was not serious because the plaintiff looked fine after the accident. We have settled many cases for over $1,000,000 where the plaintiff looked fine after the accident.

Tip: Get an insurance liability limit as high as the amount of your net worth or the value of your assets plus one year of gross salary. Umbrella insurance is cheap additional protection that not only protects your income and assets but also pays for a lawyer to defend you.

Also, get underinsured coverage matching (as high as) the liability limit. Underinsured coverage pays you when someone else has too little insurance. Find out how much underinsured coverage you need or use our underinsured coverage calculator.

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 driver's side fender on car hit when parked

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.

Can Someone Sue Me if There Was No Damage to the Car and They Weren’t Injured?

Yes. While there may be insurance fraud, it frequently happens that there is no damage and no apparent injuries but later someone finds out they have a very real injury.

We have had several cases where someone had a serious injury including fractures requiring surgery when there was no damage to the car. Some of these people left without calling the police because there was no damage and they didn’t know they were injured.

Usually, the person knows about an injury within hours to a day or two but injuries like a torn meniscus or rotator cuff are often thought to be a sprain and not diagnosed until 4–8 weeks later.

Usually, these people call us soon after but sometimes much later. As long as it’s within the statute of limitations a lawsuit can be filed.

While people often think it’s insurance fraud, insurance companies are not ignorant. They require proof that the accident caused the injury before they will pay one dollar.

What Do I Do if Someone Is Falsely Claiming to Be Injured in an Accident?

Notify your insurance company of the claim and tell your insurance company why you believe either the accident or the claimed injury is fraudulent. If the claim is phony or fraudulent, your insurance company will find out. They usually do, even if you don’t tell them.

Your insurance company won’t pay any money unless they are convinced you are at least partially at fault for causing the accident AND they will carefully examine all the medical records to make sure the claimant has an injury that was caused by the accident.

There are several ways that fraudulent claims can be made against insurance policies. These are three examples of what can happen.

Claiming to Be Injured When There Was No Real Injury

This happens and almost happened to me (see the next example, “Phony Fraudulent Accidents”). However, most of the time, the person being sued thinks there was no injury when there really was.

It is common for people to have an accident and not appear to be injured. They often don’t even know, at the time of the accident, that they were injured.

Two reasons why people don’t always know they were injured at the time of the accident:

  1. Shock masks pain from injuries
  2. Many injuries don’t exhibit symptoms until hours or days later

This video shows how a motorcycle police officer was in shock after being hit in the rear in a horrific crash by a car that ran a red light. He thought he was ok and didn’t know he was injured until later.

 

The most common injuries that do not always exhibit symptoms until hours, days, or even weeks later, are neck and back injuries, torn ligaments such as a rotator cuff tear in a shoulder, and a meniscus tear in a knee.

We have even had clients who didn’t know they had a broken bone until hours or days after their accident.

Phony Fraudulent Accidents

This happened to me in Queens, New York coming off the 59th Street Bridge. A car intentionally cut me off causing me to hit the car. The male driver came out screaming that I hit his car and a female passenger came out screaming that I killed her baby. I took out my police shield and they jumped in their car and quickly drove off. My car had no damage but their car had a nice dent.

If this happens to you, call 911. Always call 911 when you have an accident and report everything to your insurance company.

False Medical Claims by Doctors

Some medical clinics will fraudulently treat people in an accident to make money. We represented a client for a neck injury in a case that was settled for $1 Million. During the case, she had another accident and only injured her breast. She received a call from a medical clinic sounding like the hospital. She went to the clinic and was told to see several doctors for neck and back treatment. Fortunately, she refused the treatment. They then asked her to see a psychologist which she also refused.

Find out how you’re being scammed and how you could ruin your case if you go to a doctor’s office when they call you and you didn’t call them.

I reported the incident to her insurance company and she testified for her insurance company at an examination under oath. Had she been treated by those doctors, she could have ruined her case.

Related Articles

Can I Settle My Own Accident Case Without a Lawyer?

How Do I Change My Personal Injury Lawyer In New York

How to Compare Personal Injury Lawyers in New York

See more answers to FAQs

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Attorney Franckel is a well-known personal injury lawyer, Founding Partner of 1-800-HURT-911® New York Injury Attorneys, member of the Personal Injury Dream Team™, and a former Member Board of Directors of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association. He has an Avvo Top 10  Rating, Avvo Client’s Choice Award with all 5-star reviews, Avvo Top Contributor Award, Multi-Million Dollar Trial Lawyers Award, and other awards. See Mr. Franckel’s bio for areas of expertise.


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Get the 1-800-HUR-T911® 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

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What will happen when I call 1-800-HURT-911 or chat?

  1. Our call center operators and chat operators are available 24/7.
  2. Just give your contact info to our operator and Founding Partner Rob Plevy, Esq. will call you within 5-10 minutes for your free, no-obligation consultation during the hours of 8 am – 10 pm. After hours, Rob will call you in the morning or at the time you want.
  3. Then just text or call us any time you want during your case!

Because any delay could cause you to lose viable rights and benefits, please call HURT-911® Founding Partner Rob Plevy, Esq. right now for a free consultation to find out your rights days/nights/weekends.
1-800-HURT-911
1-800-487-8911

You can speak, text, or email with us whenever you want throughout your case and afterward, days/nights/weekends, and experience our famous personal service. You’ll even get our personal phone numbers so you can call or text anytime!

Watch Founding Partner Phil Franckel, Esq. talk about New York Serious Injury Attorneys.com, difficult cases, and the 1-800-HURT-911® Dream Team™


Philip L. Franckel, Esq. is one of the HURT911® Dream Team™ Founding Partners at 1-800-HURT-911® New York; He has a 10 Avvo rating; Avvo Client’s Choice with all 5-star reviews; Avvo Top Contributor; and a former Member of the Board of Directors of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association.

1-800-HURT-911® Founding Partner and Personal Injury Lawyer Rob Plevy, Esq.

Founding Partner Rob Plevy, Esq.

Robert Plevy, Esq. is one of the HURT911® Dream Team™ Founding Partners at 1-800-HURT-911® New York. Rob began his legal career in 1993 as an Assistant Corporation Counsel defending The City of New York against personal injury lawsuits.

Get the HURT911® 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

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

What Should I Do If My Lawyer Dropped My Accident Case

If your lawyer dropped your accident case. Call another personal injury lawyer. If your accident was in New York, we hope you will call us.

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

  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

This Lawyer Dropped Your Case

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

We often take cases other personal injury lawyers don’t want. Sometimes, lawyers reject or decline an accident case immediately, and sometimes lawyers drop a case after they have been working on the case.

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 dropped your case, call us immediately. We’re happy to speak with you and probably will take your case!

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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 Declined or 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 that 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 and declined to take 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.

See what to do if you want to know how to change your personal injury lawyer in new york.

See more answers to FAQs

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Attorney Franckel is a well-known personal injury lawyer, Founding Partner of 1-800-HURT-911® New York Injury Attorneys, member of the Personal Injury Dream Team™, and a former Member Board of Directors of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association. He has an Avvo Top 10  Rating, Avvo Client’s Choice Award with all 5-star reviews, Avvo Top Contributor Award, Multi-Million Dollar Trial Lawyers Award, and other awards. See Mr. Franckel’s bio for areas of expertise.

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1-800-HURT-911® Personal Injury Lawyers "As Seen On TV" ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, , WOR, WPIX logos

Get the 1-800-HUR-T911® 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

No Win — No Fee — No Expenses — Guaranteed!

Personal Injury Lawyer Screened by Google

Attorneys who can get you the most amount of money AND provide personal service!

Free Personal Injury Consultation call button  Chat to get your free Personal Injury consultation right now button

Please take a look at some of our:

What will happen when I call 1-800-HURT-911 or chat?

  1. Our call center operators and chat operators are available 24/7.
  2. Just give your contact info to our operator and Founding Partner Rob Plevy, Esq. will call you within 5-10 minutes for your free, no-obligation consultation during the hours of 8 am – 10 pm. After hours, Rob will call you in the morning or at the time you want.
  3. Then just text or call us any time you want during your case!

Because any delay could cause you to lose viable rights and benefits, please call HURT-911® Founding Partner Rob Plevy, Esq. right now for a free consultation to find out your rights days/nights/weekends.
1-800-HURT-911
1-800-487-8911

You can speak, text, or email with us whenever you want throughout your case and afterward, days/nights/weekends, and experience our famous personal service. You’ll even get our personal phone numbers so you can call or text anytime!

Watch Founding Partner Phil Franckel, Esq. talk about New York Serious Injury Attorneys.com, difficult cases, and the 1-800-HURT-911® Dream Team™


Philip L. Franckel, Esq. is one of the HURT911® Dream Team™ Founding Partners at 1-800-HURT-911® New York; He has a 10 Avvo rating; Avvo Client’s Choice with all 5-star reviews; Avvo Top Contributor; and a former Member of the Board of Directors of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association.

1-800-HURT-911® Founding Partner and Personal Injury Lawyer Rob Plevy, Esq.

Founding Partner Rob Plevy, Esq.

Robert Plevy, Esq. is one of the HURT911® Dream Team™ Founding Partners at 1-800-HURT-911® New York. Rob began his legal career in 1993 as an Assistant Corporation Counsel defending The City of New York against personal injury lawsuits.

Get the HURT911® 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

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Can You Trust Your Personal Injury Lawyer?

Unfortunately, some personal injury lawyers cannot be trusted. Too many lawyers get in trouble for “borrowing” or stealing client settlement money from their escrow accounts.

How Do I Know if I Can Trust a Personal Injury Lawyer?

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.

Both attorneys Phil Franckel and Rob Plevy are members of Ethical Lawyers of America

Ethical Lawyers of America logo

What Happens to a Lawyer When the Lawyer Takes Money From an Escrow Account

Lawyers are not allowed to borrow money from escrow accounts, even if the money is immediately replaced.

Some lawyers eventually get arrested when they steal client money from their attorney escrow account. Other lawyers have only been suspended or disbarred when they “borrowed” client money from their attorney’s escrow account.

I personally know a personal injury lawyer who was arrested for taking $2.5 million from his escrow account. He was disbarred and served 2.5 years in prison. I also know another lawyer who took $5 million from his escrow account and was disbarred.

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.

In another case, the Queens District Attorney announced that a former Queens personal injury lawyer was sentenced to prison for bilking more than 50 clients out of nearly $2 million in personal injury settlement money.

untrustworthy lawyer holding a knife behind his back

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

What Happens if My Lawyer Took My Money From an Escrow Account

The Lawyers’ Fund For Client Protection Of the State of New York provides financial protection for clients whose money was stolen by their lawyer.

You may be reimbursed for the loss of your money caused by the dishonest conduct of your lawyer, up to a maximum of $400,000 for each client loss.

What Does My Attorney Need to Do With My Money?

See a plain-English guide to current disciplinary and court rules, statutes, and bar association ethics opinions relating to attorney trust accounts, and accounting standards for law offices.

Will My Lawyer Get Paid By the Defense or Insurance Company to Settle My Case?

No. I can’t believe that any personal injury lawyer would ever or even ever that that in the past.

Many years ago, personal injury lawyers were known to pay insurance claim reps to pay more money to settle, but not less. Today, it’s just too easy to get caught.

Some personal injury lawyers work for both plaintiffs (people injured in accidents) and do insurance defense. We have never done insurance defense and never will. We will never, ever represent an insurance company!

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

How to Compare Personal Injury Lawyers in New York

12 questions to ask before hiring a personal injury lawyer

See more answers to FAQs

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Attorney Franckel is a well-known personal injury lawyer, Founding Partner of 1-800-HURT-911® New York Injury Attorneys, member of the Personal Injury Dream Team™, and a former Member Board of Directors of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association. He has an Avvo Top 10  Rating, Avvo Client’s Choice Award with all 5-star reviews, Avvo Top Contributor Award, Multi-Million Dollar Trial Lawyers Award, and other awards. See Mr. Franckel’s bio for areas of expertise.


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Get the 1-800-HUR-T911® 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

No Win — No Fee — No Expenses — Guaranteed!

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Attorneys who can get you the most amount of money AND provide personal service!

Free Personal Injury Consultation call button  Chat to get your free Personal Injury consultation right now button

Please take a look at some of our:

What will happen when I call 1-800-HURT-911 or chat?

  1. Our call center operators and chat operators are available 24/7.
  2. Just give your contact info to our operator and Founding Partner Rob Plevy, Esq. will call you within 5-10 minutes for your free, no-obligation consultation during the hours of 8 am – 10 pm. After hours, Rob will call you in the morning or at the time you want.
  3. Then just text or call us any time you want during your case!

Because any delay could cause you to lose viable rights and benefits, please call HURT-911® Founding Partner Rob Plevy, Esq. right now for a free consultation to find out your rights days/nights/weekends.
1-800-HURT-911
1-800-487-8911

You can speak, text, or email with us whenever you want throughout your case and afterward, days/nights/weekends, and experience our famous personal service. You’ll even get our personal phone numbers so you can call or text anytime!

Watch Founding Partner Phil Franckel, Esq. talk about New York Serious Injury Attorneys.com, difficult cases, and the 1-800-HURT-911® Dream Team™


Philip L. Franckel, Esq. is one of the HURT911® Dream Team™ Founding Partners at 1-800-HURT-911® New York; He has a 10 Avvo rating; Avvo Client’s Choice with all 5-star reviews; Avvo Top Contributor; and a former Member of the Board of Directors of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association.

1-800-HURT-911® Founding Partner and Personal Injury Lawyer Rob Plevy, Esq.

Founding Partner Rob Plevy, Esq.

Robert Plevy, Esq. is one of the HURT911® Dream Team™ Founding Partners at 1-800-HURT-911® New York. Rob began his legal career in 1993 as an Assistant Corporation Counsel defending The City of New York against personal injury lawsuits.

Get the HURT911® 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

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Have a Question or Comment About Can You Trust Your Personal Injury Lawyer? Leave a Comment!

How to Find a Top Rated Personal Injury Lawyer Near Me

Are you wondering how to find a personal injury lawyer near me? Because of the Internet and modern technology, finding a personal injury lawyer near me is easy. But some out-of-state law firms claim to be near you, especially some of the largest personal injury law firms.

1-800-HURT-911® NY Top Rated Injury Lawyers Are “Near Me”

1-800-HURT-911® NY Top Rated Injury Lawyers with top personal injury settlements have a location near you in New York including:

New York City

  • Manhattan
  • Bronx
  • Brooklyn
  • Queens

Long Island

  • Nassau
  • Suffolk

The only NYC borough where we do not have a location is in Staten Island but we are nearby and can have a personal injury lawyer come to you.

In addition to an injury lawyer near me, you’ll have a personal injury lawyer and two 1-800-HURT-911® NY partners who let you call and or text their cell phone anytime, even evenings and weekends.

1-800-HURT-911® the 1-800 Lawyers Near You

New York has several 1-800 lawyers but only 1-800-HURT-911® provides personal service allowing you to call or text two partners anytime during evenings and weekends.

We are the original 1-800-HURT-911® personal injury lawyers in New York near you with office locations throughout the New York City and Long Island metropolitan area.

How Do You Know if a Personal Injury Lawyer Near Me Is Top Rated?

Look at Several Pages of the Injury Lawyer’s Website

Does the lawyer provide useful information showing substantial knowledge of personal injury law or does the website look like it was written by a website company?

Take a look at a couple of our pages:

Ask Your Friends If They Could Call Their Personal Injury Lawyer

Ask your friends if they could call their personal injury lawyer. We bet they could only get to speak with a lawyer when they hired the lawyer. The two voicemails below prove you can call us almost anytime.

Listen to these 2 voicemails from clients who were shocked when Attorney Phil Franckel didn’t answer the phone:

Sue D.
Sue C.

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 within minutes when you call us after your accident.

Look at the Personal Injury Lawyer’s Settlement Results

You can see our results for New York personal injury settlements near you.

Looking for tough high-profile serious injury lawyers and a personal injury law firm near you with impressive results but also provides friendly personal service? You can have it all with us!

Continue reading below this section
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Founding Partner Attorney Rob PlevyCall New York’s 1-800-HURT-911® Personal Injury Dream Team™ right now for your free consultation!

We’ll call you back within minutes!
1-800-487-8911

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GUARANTEED! ™

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See how Nyda got a new house!

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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 Personal Injury 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, lawsuits in New York are started by e-filing court papers. The Summons and Complaint are filed online at the court website and the index number is paid by credit card. Motions are uploaded electronically to the court’s website and are no longer orally argued.

All case documents are uploaded electronically to the court’s website and are immediately served upon 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. According to this article, 97% of cases are settled but with car accidents and motorcycle accidents, almost all are settled because we often get the entire insurance policy limit.

a gavel hitting a computer mouse symbolizing emailing a personal injury retainer so I don't need a personal injury lawyer near me

Almost everything is done in court through the Internet!

Your Personal Injury Lawyer Can Work on Your Case Anywhere There is an Internet Connection

I have answered calls from clients while cruising the Mediterranean and on the Av. des Champs-Élysées in Paris (like Fifth Avenue in New York City).

I answered emails, researched Westlaw, and uploaded motion papers from my balcony on the cruise ship Jewel of the Seas in the Mediterranean, just like I was in my New York personal injury office. Here I am working on my balcony of the cruise ship.

Attorney Phil Franckel working on a personal injury case on a cruise ship balcony but I'm still a personal injury lawyer near you!

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

If My Personal Injury Lawyer Is Near Me is It Easier for Me to See My Lawyer?

Unfortunately, no. The reality is that most personal injury clients can’t see their lawyer when they want to. They can’t even get their lawyer on the phone. Just try to call your lawyer after you sign a retainer. You’ll only speak with a secretary or paralegal. But you can always call one of the Founding Partners at 1-800-HURT-911® on our personal phones.

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.

even if this personal injury lawyer is near me, you won't see this invisible lawyer after signing a retainer

You won’t see this personal injury lawyer near you 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. You don’t have to come to our 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, no matter where you are. We can even come to see you if you’re in upstate New York.

You can call us 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 always take calls on our personal phones, seven days/nights. That’s why I took calls from clients in Paris and the Mediterranean.

There are very rare times when even we can’t be reached but we’ll call back right away or you can try us a couple of hours later. Phil Franckel even answered a client’s call while in the recovery room still groggy from anesthesia!

Listen to these 2 voicemails from clients who were shocked when Attorney Phil Franckel didn’t answer the phone:

Sue D.
Sue C.

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 to meet us, we welcome that.

How to Find a Reputable Personal Injury Lawyer Near Me

Some people search for “how to find a reputable personal injury lawyer”. Partner Attorney Philip L. Franckel, Esq. has always maintained a top credit rating with a FICO score ranging from 840 -850 (850 is the highest score possible). Unfortunately, there seems to be a personal injury lawyer disbarred every month for taking money from a client escrow account. We don’t have money problems and with the highest financial ethics, Phil Franckel has always maintained a high credit score since high school.

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.

Are Morgan and Morgan Personal Injury Lawyers Near Me in New York?

Since personal injury lawyers no longer need to be near you, many out-of-state law firms like Morgan and Morgan, a law firm from Florida, are advertising for personal injury accidents in the New York City area.

Morgan and Morgan recently opened local offices here but 1-800-HURT-911® is originally from New York City and Long Island.

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? You’ll certainly never get to speak with Kohn Morgan. The first time you call Morgan and Morgan, you’ll probably be on hold for a long time with their client advocacy department just to speak with an intake person who’s not a personal injury lawyer. When someone there called me and I called back, I was on hold for 6 minutes.

Morgan and Morgan say size matters but 1-800-HURT-911® is originally from New York and we’re a large personal injury law firm where you can always reach one of the Founding Partners by phone 7 days/nights.

Are Cellino & Barnes Personal Injury Lawyers Near Me in New York?

Since personal injury lawyers no longer need to be near you, some out-of-town law firms like Cellino & Barnes are advertising for personal injury accidents in the New York City area. Cellino & Barnes is a personal injury law firm that started in Rochester, NY, and has its main office there.

Cellino & Barnes opened local branch offices in New York City and Long Island but 1-800-HURT-911® is originally from New York City and Long Island.

While Cellino & Barnes can handle your New York accident case, even though it was a large law firm in Rochester, do you really think you’ll ever get to speak to your lawyer?

Unfortunately, Cellino & Barnes no longer exists because Ross Cellino and Stephen Barnes were suing each other and just after they agreed to part ways, Ross Cellino passed away in a tragic plane accident.

1-800-HURT-911® is originally from New York and we’re a large injury law firm where you can always reach one of the Founding Partners by phone 7 days/nights.

See more answers to FAQs

comments button for Top Rated Personal Injury Lawyers Near Me

Attorney Franckel is a well-known personal injury lawyer, Founding Partner of 1-800-HURT-911® New York Injury Attorneys, member of the Personal Injury Dream Team™, and a former Member Board of Directors of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association. He has an Avvo Top 10  Rating, Avvo Client’s Choice Award with all 5-star reviews, Avvo Top Contributor Award, Multi-Million Dollar Trial Lawyers Award, and other awards. See Mr. Franckel’s bio for areas of expertise.

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1-800-HURT-911® Personal Injury Lawyers "As Seen On TV" ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, , WOR, WPIX logos

Get the 1-800-HUR-T911® 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

No Win — No Fee — No Expenses — Guaranteed!

Personal Injury Lawyer Screened by Google

Attorneys who can get you the most amount of money AND provide personal service!

Free Personal Injury Consultation call button  Chat to get your free Personal Injury consultation right now button

Please take a look at some of our:

What will happen when I call 1-800-HURT-911 or chat?

  1. Our call center operators and chat operators are available 24/7.
  2. Just give your contact info to our operator and Founding Partner Rob Plevy, Esq. will call you within 5-10 minutes for your free, no-obligation consultation during the hours of 8 am – 10 pm. After hours, Rob will call you in the morning or at the time you want.
  3. Then just text or call us any time you want during your case!

Because any delay could cause you to lose viable rights and benefits, please call HURT-911® Founding Partner Rob Plevy, Esq. right now for a free consultation to find out your rights days/nights/weekends.
1-800-HURT-911
1-800-487-8911

You can speak, text, or email with us whenever you want throughout your case and afterward, days/nights/weekends, and experience our famous personal service. You’ll even get our personal phone numbers so you can call or text anytime!

Watch Founding Partner Phil Franckel, Esq. talk about New York Serious Injury Attorneys.com, difficult cases, and the 1-800-HURT-911® Dream Team™


Philip L. Franckel, Esq. is one of the HURT911® Dream Team™ Founding Partners at 1-800-HURT-911® New York; He has a 10 Avvo rating; Avvo Client’s Choice with all 5-star reviews; Avvo Top Contributor; and a former Member of the Board of Directors of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association.

1-800-HURT-911® Founding Partner and Personal Injury Lawyer Rob Plevy, Esq.

Founding Partner Rob Plevy, Esq.

Robert Plevy, Esq. is one of the HURT911® Dream Team™ Founding Partners at 1-800-HURT-911® New York. Rob began his legal career in 1993 as an Assistant Corporation Counsel defending The City of New York against personal injury lawsuits.

Get the HURT911® 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

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