Category Archives: Lawsuits

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

What Is Umbrella Insurance? Is It Worth the Cost?

What Is Umbrella Insurance?

Umbrella insurance is an additional insurance policy that provides liability coverage above the liability coverage limit of your underlying (basic) insurance policies, such as homeowner’s or apartment renter’s, vacation home, automobile, motorcycle, boat insurance, etc.

Umbrella insurance coverage is for people who need additional protection against an insurance claim or lawsuit.

colorful umbrellas in the sky signifying umbrella insurance over underlying insurance

Who Can Buy Umbrella Insurance?

Both individuals and corporations can buy umbrella insurance, but this article will discuss umbrella insurance in the context of an individual interested in purchasing umbrella coverage.

Note: We do not sell insurance. I am a personal injury lawyer and Founding Partner at 1-800-HURT-911®.

How Does an Umbrella Insurance Policy Work?

When you buy an insurance policy for your car or home, you can also buy umbrella insurance.

If a claim or lawsuit is filed against you, your underlying auto or home insurance will handle the claim. If a lawsuit is filed, your underlying auto or home insurance will assign a defense lawyer to represent you.

Your umbrella insurance company will also assign a claims representative to oversee the claim’s progression and, if a lawsuit is filed, will also assign a defense lawyer to represent you. The defense lawyers who work for umbrella insurance companies are usually better lawyers and have smaller caseloads than the first-line defense lawyers.

Your umbrella insurance policy will provide additional coverage and pay any settlement or judgment amount that is more than your underlying auto or home insurance liability limit and only if 100% of your underlying auto or home insurance liability limit has been paid.

An umbrella insurance policy may also provide coverage for claims like libel or slander that may not be covered by your other insurance liability policies.

For information about the different types of automobile and motorcycle insurance coverages, see our motorcycle insurance guide.

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What Does Umbrella Insurance Protect?

Umbrella insurance will protect your net worth, which includes your income and personal assets.

Personal assets include what most people understand, such as a house. If you own a corporation, your corporation is not a personal asset, but the shares you own in the corporation are a personal asset.

What Does Umbrella Insurance Cover?

Umbrella insurance coverage will protect you against a lawsuit filed against you for an injury or property damage you cause to someone else because of your negligence.

The types of accidents or claims most frequently covered by umbrella insurance are car accidents, slip and fall or trip and fall accidents at your house, and dog bites.

What Is Not Covered By Umbrella Insurance?

What Does Umbrella Insurance Pay For?

Umbrella insurance will pay for the following:

  1. A claims representative to handle the claim against you, whether successful or not. The claims representative will oversee the claims handling by the underlying carrier and will take over claims handling if the underlying carrier offers to pay the entire policy.
  2. Legal fees of defense attorneys to defend a personal injury claim against you, whether successful or not.
  3. A settlement, up to the limit of your umbrella insurance policy, of a successful claim against you for injuries you caused because of negligence.
  4. A judgment, up to the limit of your umbrella insurance policy, against you after trial for injuries you caused because of negligence.

An overlooked but vitally important benefit is that you will be provided a defense lawyer by your umbrella insurance company at their expense. The cost of that defense could be astronomical.

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What Happens if a Claim Is Settled by the Umbrella Insurance Company?

If the claimant or plaintiff accepts a settlement offer, your insurance company will require the claimant or plaintiff to sign a general release, releasing you from any further obligation.

Your insurance company has a contractual obligation to protect you, which is why a release is required before paying a settlement.

What if a Judgment Is Obtained Against Me?

If the plaintiff obtains a verdict against you after a trial, the plaintiff will usually settle with your insurance company for an amount within your insurance policy limit or umbrella insurance policy limit. If a settlement cannot be reached, an appeal may be filed by either side.

If the judgment is settled, your insurance company will require the plaintiff to sign a general release.

If the judgment is not settled, the appeal will go forward. If the judgment is upheld or increased by the appellate court, hopefully, the amount is less than your umbrella insurance policy limit.

If I’m Sued, Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Find My Assets?

Yes, very easily. We pay a fee to use a database that even the FBI uses.

In just a couple of minutes, we can find all your real estate, mortgages, cars, boats, and planes anywhere in the U.S. A report will also give us all of your personal information, business information, known associates, relatives, and neighbors.

We can also find all insurance policies that someone has which can cover our client’s injuries caused by the accident.

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Can You Buy Umbrella Insurance Without Underlying Insurance?

No. You cannot buy umbrella insurance without an underlying (basic) insurance policy. You will be required to have minimum liability limits on the underlying insurance policy. Different umbrella insurance policies require different minimum liability limits.

For instance, you may be required to have $300,000 or $500,000 liability insurance coverage on your automobile policy. The minimum liability limits required on the underlying insurance policy are determined by the company selling the umbrella insurance.

How Much Does Umbrella Insurance Cost?

The premium cost of an umbrella insurance policy is generally $200 to $350 per year for a $1 million umbrella policy. For each additional $1 million purchased, the cost is approximately $100 to $200 per million of coverage.

You can buy an umbrella insurance policy from the same company as your automobile or homeowner’s insurance company, or you can buy it from another insurance company. This means that you can shop around for the best coverage at the lowest premium cost.

What Are the Best Umbrella Insurance Companies?

We always recommend that you buy insurance from an independent insurance broker, never directly from an insurance company or from an insurance company agent. People who buy directly from an insurance company often make mistakes. Insurance company agents are only salespeople and are not required to give you advice.

An independent insurance broker does not work for only one insurance company but is licensed to sell insurance policies from several different insurance companies. An insurance broker represents you, while an insurance agent works for an insurance company.

With umbrella insurance, it’s really important to buy from an independent broker because only an independent broker:

  1. Will take the time to review your specific needs to determine how much umbrella insurance you need for the protection you want and can afford.
  2. Can shop for the best coverage at the best premium cost for you.
  3. Represents you.
  4. Has a legal responsibility to give you the correct advice.
  5. Will not cost you any additional money.

How can you find an independent insurance broker? You can try one of these searches on Google or click the first link below to search:

  • independent insurance brokers near me
  • “independent insurance brokers in my city or county (replace my city or county like this, “independent insurance brokers in Nassau”)
  • “independent insurance brokers in my state” (replace my state like this, “independent insurance brokers in new york”)

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Are Umbrella Insurance Policies a Good Idea?

Umbrella insurance is definitely worth the cost of the premium if, either, you own a house, have assets of $500,000 or more, or have an income of $150,000 or more.

Not only will umbrella insurance protect your money and assets, but you can sleep well without having to worry about paying $400 per hour for lawyers to defend a personal injury lawsuit.

Should I Buy Umbrella Insurance?

If you have income or assets to protect, you should buy umbrella insurance.

If you don’t own a home, apartment, or other assets and earn less than $50,000 per year, you don’t need to buy umbrella insurance. If you own a car and want additional liability insurance coverage or don’t want to worry about a personal injury lawsuit against you, consider buying higher limits on your auto insurance.

Some people have more risk than others. The following are some things that create more risk if you own any of these:

  • House or apartment
  • Car
  • Motorcycle
  • Boat
  • Dog, or
  • Gun.

if you have a higher risk, you may be more interested in buying umbrella insurance, but I recommend looking only at your financial situation when considering whether to buy or not because I have seen many serious accidents when the risk was low.

How Much Umbrella Insurance Do I Need?

You can determine the exact amount of your assets that could be at risk or use a ballpark number.

You could use only the equity you have in your house instead of the gross value of your house, but remember that your house will increase in value, and the amount due on your mortgage will decrease.

Money in employer-sponsored retirement accounts (e.g., 401(k) or 403(b) accounts) and up to $1 million in individual retirement accounts (IRAs) are generally protected from civil liability judgments under the provisions of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). So, you could exclude those amounts from your computations to decide how much umbrella insurance to buy.

So after you decide how much net worth you have to protect, you should buy at least 75% of that amount, but it would be best to buy 100% or even more in the event you accumulate more money.

Even a $1 million umbrella insurance policy is better than nothing and will cover most accidents. Don’t forget, $1 million is not that much money anymore. We got a $465,000 jury verdict for a motorcyclist for a torn meniscus with arthroscopic surgery in his knee. See some examples of what injuries can be worth.

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What’s the Difference Between Umbrella and Excess Insurance?

Umbrella insurance provides additional liability limits but also expands coverage to other policies and some incidents not covered by an underlying policy. Umbrella insurance is the type typically purchased by an individual.

Excess insurance provides additional liability limits to an underlying policy but does not extend coverage beyond the underlying policy. An excess liability insurance policy is typically purchased by a business, but businesses may purchase umbrella insurance.

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Does Umbrella Insurance Cover a Private Plane or Aircraft?

Umbrella insurance policies exclude aviation and do not cover private planes, helicopters, or other aircraft.

What can you do if you own a plane or helicopter and want additional insurance coverage for liability?

  • Increase your liability coverage on your aircraft insurance policy.
  • Purchase a separate excess liability policy (mentioned above). This is one of the situations when someone would buy an excess liability insurance policy instead of an umbrella insurance policy.

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Beware of a Gap Between Underlying Insurance and Umbrella Insurance

There are a few situations that can cause a gap in coverage when the maximum liability limit of your underlying insurance, such as your car insurance, is less than that required by your umbrella insurance.

If you are sued when you inadvertently had a gap in coverage, personal injury lawyers like us will seek a judgment against your umbrella insurance, and that will make you responsible to pay the amount of the gap.

Example 1: You buy a $1M umbrella policy, which renews annually, and you increase your auto liability to the required $300,000 single-limit liability coverage. Six months later, when your auto insurance renews, you decide to lower your auto policy to $100,000/$300,000 to save some money or change to another company and buy a $100,000 /$300,000 auto liability policy. But your umbrella insurance is still in force because you paid an annual premium. If you are negligent in causing a car accident injuring our client, you can be responsible for the first $300,000! It’s guaranteed that a personal injury lawyer will sue you because you have a $1M umbrella policy.

Example 2: You own a house and buy a $1M umbrella policy. When you miss a premium payment on your home insurance policy with $500,000 liability coverage, your mortgage bank replaces your home insurance policy with a fire insurance policy that does not have coverage for liability (the bank only cares if your house burns down). A guest trips on a hose you left across your front entrance and sues you for injuries. But your umbrella insurance is still in force because you paid an annual premium. If you are negligent in causing a trip and fall accident injuring our client, you can be responsible for the first $500,000!

Tips to prevent a gap:

  • Buy all your insurance policies through the same insurance broker.
  • Have the same expiration date for your umbrella policy and the underlying policies.
  • Make sure that your umbrella insurance company is notified by your underlying policies of any change.

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Phil Franckel is a well-known personal injury lawyer in New York since 1989. He is a Founding Partner of 1-800-HURT-911, LLP®, the Personal Injury Dream Team™, and a former Member of the 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 others. See Mr. Franckel’s bio for areas of expertise.

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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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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 showing the accident and what was happening 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 may be used to spy on you for any claim, from fire claims to theft claims. But insurance companies frequently use video surveillance for disability claims and personal injury claims such as:

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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 them with video surveillance.

You can see below if you’re likely to be a video surveillance target 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.

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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.

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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 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 give the private investigator a copy of your transcript.

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

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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.

Call us if you were caught on surveillance video and your personal injury lawyer isn’t happy. 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 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.

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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 houses. 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.

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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 that 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. Hence, 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 a 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!

By the way, I knew that my client really had a serious TMJ injury with severe pain. I also knew that she could 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 settled 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.

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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 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.”

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Do Insurance Companies Use Drones to Spy

In some circumstances, a drone could be useful to a private investigator conducting surveillance on an insurance claim. Still, 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.

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Do Insurance Companies Use Spyware on Your Computer?

This is the first time I’ve heard of an insurance company that may have used spyware!

A proposed class action alleged that Liberty Mutual Insurance uses spyware on its website in violation of a state’s electronic surveillance law.

Although it was likely for marketing purposes, who knows if an insurance company will try to use spyware to defend itself against insurance claims?

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, call 911 and report a suspicious car or person.

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Phil Franckel is a well-known personal injury lawyer in New York since 1989. He is a Founding Partner of 1-800-HURT-911, LLP®, the Personal Injury Dream Team™, and a former Member of the 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 others. 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!
We’ll immediately protect you from the insurance companies!

“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 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 but before the defense doctor had the opportunity to examine the injury prior to the surgery. We certainly have had quite a few accident cases like that.

Every time our client had surgery just before the defense medical exam, the defense doctor rescheduled the exam for two or three months after the surgery. Defense doctors can’t risk further injuring someone after surgery.

surgeons performing surgery

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

In the personal injury 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.

The argument was that the plaintiff failed to preserve evidence of the injury prior to the surgery.

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.

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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, Gilliam v. UNI Holdings, LLC, No. 2020-34595, 6 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 2020), 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! The court ordered, “that the plaintiff is precluded from offering any evidence regarding an injury or surgery to her L4-L5 disc or recovering any damages for said injury or surgery.”

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.”

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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 for Bronx County.

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 personal injury case to order the exam within 45 or 60 days of the deposition.

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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. You can read at the HURT911.org® Personal Injury Research Library about a DME or Defense Medical Exam and why personal injury lawyers should use an IME companion service to accompany clients at medical exams.

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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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Phil Franckel is a well-known personal injury lawyer in New York since 1989. He is a Founding Partner of 1-800-HURT-911, LLP®, the Personal Injury Dream Team™, and a former Member of the 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 others. See Mr. Franckel’s bio for areas of expertise.

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  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.
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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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Lawsuit Loan Calculator – Calculator to Compare Lawsuit Loans

The HURT911® personal injury pre-settlement loan calculator for personal injury lawsuits and comparison tool will show 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 pre-settlement 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. We are not a pre-settlement funding company 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 non-recourse notes or agreements. 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.

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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 personal injury 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 Cost 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

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Phil Franckel is a well-known personal injury lawyer in New York since 1989. He is a Founding Partner of 1-800-HURT-911, LLP®, the Personal Injury Dream Team™, and a former Member of the 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 others. 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!
We’ll immediately protect you from the insurance companies!

“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

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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 is a guide with general recommendations for when to represent yourself or hire a lawyer in New York 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 and you were NOT injured – file a collision damage claim with your insurance company. If you do not have collision coverage, see # 1, 2, 3, or 4 above.
  6. Collision damage to your car or motorcycle and you were 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 in New York where the defendant resides.

Court TV Shows

When you file a lawsuit 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.

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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 is 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 is 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 is 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.

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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 has been used up.

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

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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 if the property is in New York and the amount of the damage is $150,000 or more.

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 if the property is in New York and the amount of the damage is $150,000 or more.

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 and 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.

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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.

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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 ten 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 that hit his BMW wasn’t paying for the damage, he hired us.

Who Can Represent Me for Property Damage If I Can’t Find a Lawyer?

If your property damage claim isn’t valuable enough to hire a lawyer and you can’t find a lawyer to represent you for your property damage claim, you should look for a Public Adjuster.

A Public Adjuster or independent adjuster or private adjuster is licensed by the State of New York.

A Public Adjuster usually charges a fee of 10% to 20% of the settlement amount they collect for you.

If you need to find a public adjuster, you search on Google for find a public adjuster near me.

See more answers to FAQs

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Phil Franckel is a well-known personal injury lawyer in New York since 1989. He is a Founding Partner of 1-800-HURT-911, LLP®, the Personal Injury Dream Team™, and a former Member of the 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 others. 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!
We’ll immediately protect you from the insurance companies!

“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

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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 from your lawyer 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, but it may be difficult to change your personal injury lawyer more than twice. You can change your lawyer in the middle of your accident case and even at the end of your case before a settlement.

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 should change to a personal injury attorney in New York. Sometimes, lawyers in other states will take your case because you have a serious injury, and they think they can get a quick settlement, but an out-of-state lawyer 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. Some 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 1: 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 always get a second opinion before you fire your current personal injury lawyer.

TIP 2: Never fire your current personal injury lawyer. Have your new personal injury lawyer fire your current lawyer and transfer your case to the new lawyer.

TIP 3: 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 even want to consider your case.

BONUS TIP: If you can’t find a new personal injury lawyer, keep your current lawyer.

Note: If you already changed your personal injury lawyer and are trying to change your personal injury lawyer again to a 3rd lawyer, be careful. It may be more difficult to find a new lawyer 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 money for your new lawyer.

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Founding Partner Attorney Rob PlevyInjured? Call 1-800-HURT-911® New York’s Personal Injury
Dream Team™ right now for your free consultation!

We’ll call you back within minutes!
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How Can I Find a New Personal Injury Lawyer?

Since you are looking for information about how to change your personal injury lawyer, you may realize that already made a mistake once when looking for a personal injury lawyer.

So, how can you be sure not to make a mistake again? Read our tips about the signs of a bad attorney and How to Find a Top-Rated Personal Injury Lawyer Near Me.

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Reasons Why You May Want to Change Your Lawyer

The most common reason we hear that someone wants to change their personal injury lawyer is that after they signed a retainer, that was the last time they were able to speak with their lawyer.

You were able to speak with your personal injury lawyer and see your 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.

I frequently get calls from people who have a lawyer and want to ask me a question about their case. They are either afraid to ask their lawyer or their lawyer doesn’t return their calls.

There are many reasons why you may want to change your lawyer to a new lawyer, but here are a few reasons people told us they wanted to change their personal injury lawyer:

  1. I want to be able to speak with my lawyer when I call.
  2. I’m afraid to ask my lawyer questions.
  3. I get the feeling that I am bothering my lawyer.
  4. I haven’t been able to speak with my lawyer since the day he/she took my case.
  5. My lawyer doesn’t return my phone calls, emails, or texts, within two days.
  6. I only get to speak to my lawyer’s secretary.
  7. I don’t get along with my lawyer.
  8. My lawyer isn’t interested in my case.
  9. My lawyer actually said, “I’m too busy to handle your case.”
  10. My lawyer wants me to get my medical records.
  11. My lawyer hasn’t filed a lawsuit since 12 months after my accident.
  12. My case is taking too long to settle.
  13. My lawyer wants me to settle my case for too little.
  14. My lawyer doesn’t want to take my case to trial.
  15. I can’t find out what’s going on with my case.
  16. My lawyer doesn’t seem to know me or my case when I call.
  17. My lawyer doesn’t want to represent me anymore.

If you want to change your personal injury lawyer, call us for a free consultation. If you ever have difficulty speaking with your lawyer at 1-800-HURT-911®, call me, Founding Partner Phil Franckel. Just use the chat on this page and tell the chat operator you want to speak with Phil Franckel. I’ll call you right back!

We Got 4X More Than Cellino & Barnes!

We had a client who changed his lawyer from Cellino & Barnes to us because he was unhappy that they wanted him to settle his accident case for $25,000. We settled his case for the entire $100,000 insurance policy.

He had a motorcycle accident when his motorcycle was hit by a car. The car then drove into a gas station. The driver denied being involved in the motorcycle accident, and her insurance company denied the claim filed by Cellino & Barnes. Cellino & Barnes wanted their client to settle for his $25,000 uninsured policy for a hit-and-run accident, and that’s when he called us to change his lawyer.

We investigated, got the video from the gas station, and forced the driver’s insurance company to pay their entire $100,000 insurance policy.

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Why Is My Lawyer Taking So Long to Settle My Case

There are many reasons why your case may be taking a long time to settle. The two biggest reasons are that

  1. Your lawyer has been ignoring your case.
  2. The court is very slow, and once your case is on the trial calendar, it can take a couple of years of waiting.

If you think your personal injury case is taking too long and want to know how long a personal injury case takes, see our timeline of a personal injury case. If you want to change your personal injury lawyer, call us!

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Can I Change My 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 who 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.

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Can I Change My Personal Injury Lawyer Before a Trial?

Yes. You can still change your lawyer to a new personal injury lawyer even if your case is about to go to trial. It may be more difficult to change your lawyer at this stage of your personal injury case, but it is possible, especially if you have a serious injury.

When Is It Too Late to Fire Your Attorney

Technically, it’s never too late to fire your lawyer. However, it can be very difficult, if not impossible, to hire a new lawyer at certain times or under certain conditions.

For example, it can be difficult or impossible to hire a new personal injury lawyer when:

  • You had too many prior lawyers, and a new lawyer won’t earn enough money after sharing the 1/3 contingency fee with your prior lawyers.
  • You have a case that may have unseen legal problems. A new lawyer may be afraid that your current lawyer made tactical errors that could destroy your case, especially after you already had a deposition. We have seen many situations like this, such as a slip and fall on ice during a snowstorm. We did not take the case because we had concerns. Eventually, the first lawyer lost the case because he made a fatal error.
  • Your case is too close to a trial date, so a new lawyer doesn’t have time to review the case file and prepare for trial.

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.

What Are My Rights as a Client of a Lawyer?

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

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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 much less money than you want.

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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

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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.

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What Should I Do Now?

Now that you know how to change your personal injury lawyer in New York to a new lawyer, 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 for you. You won’t have to speak with your previous lawyer or do anything!

See more answers to FAQs

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Phil Franckel is a well-known personal injury lawyer in New York since 1989. He is a Founding Partner of 1-800-HURT-911, LLP®, the Personal Injury Dream Team™, and a former Member of the 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 others. See Mr. Franckel’s bio for areas of expertise.


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We’ll immediately protect you from the insurance companies!

“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

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

Can I Sue for an Injury If There Is No Damage to the Car?

Can I Sue for Injury If There Is No Damage to the Car?

A. Yes. A driver or passenger injured in a car accident can have a successful personal injury claim even if both cars didn’t have any damage.

The amount of car damage has nothing to do with the value of an injury. We have obtained large personal injury settlements for many clients who were seriously injured in car accidents with little or no damage to the cars.

Can a Driver Have an Injury if the Car Didn’t Have Any Damage?

A. Yes, a driver or passenger can be injured even if the car did not have any damage from the accident. Whether a car had damage or not from a car accident, doesn’t have anything to do with causing an injury.

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What Injuries Can Be Caused When There Is No Damage to the Car?

The most common injuries from a minor car accident when the car did not have any damage include a neck injury from whiplash, a back injury, a knee injury, and other soft tissue injuries.

However, we have seen other injuries from minor car accidents. We even had a client with a breast implant rupture from a car accident from a minor car accident.

Injuries people often get in car minor accidents with little or no damage:

If There Is No Damage to the Car a Soft Tissue Injury Can Be Worth a Lot of Money

I frequently hear from someone, “There was no damage to the car and your client was walking around and wasn’t injured. How could your client have needed surgery?” That’s because these injuries don’t cause immediate pain until the next day and then get worse over the next few days after the car accident.

Soft tissue injuries often get worse over time and eventually require surgery. One example is our client, Nyda, who had surgery more than a year after her car accident.

This can result in a substantial personal injury settlement. Just watch Nyda’s video, and you’ll see her soft tissue back injury settlement gave her enough money to buy her dream apartment on the Hudson River in New York.

After we settled Nyda’s back injury from a car accident in The Bronx, she bought her dream apartment on the Hudson River!

 

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At the time of a car accident, you may think your neck pain or back pain is a minor strain and will go away in a few days, but it can get worse, and you could eventually need surgery.

This video shows how minor neck pain from whiplash can worsen over time.

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Other Serious Injuries Can Also Be Caused by a Car Accident Without Any Collision Damage

Other serious injuries can also be caused by a car accident without any collision damage. A driver or passenger may suffer a broken bone, concussion, or brain bleed without realizing it immediately after the car accident.

We have had many cases with a driver or passenger who was seriously injured in a car accident when there was no damage to the car, and they didn’t know they were injured until after they got home, sometimes even days after the car accident.

Example of Someone With a Fracture When There Was No Damage to the Car

We had many clients with injuries from car accidents with little or no damage. The insurance company may suspect the injury is fake because there was little or no damage to the car. But when we prove the injuries were caused by the car accident, the insurance company has to pay.

For example, one of our clients was injured when hit in the rear by a car in a very slow-speed, low-impact car accident but he didn’t know he was injured and there was no collision damage to either of the cars. The car in the rear was traveling only 3-4 MPH.

Because there was no damage to his car, no injuries, and no one went to the hospital, he didn’t call the police. He almost didn’t even get the other car and driver’s information. As he was about to leave, he decided to get the driver’s information just in case he found damage when he got home.

After our client got home, his pinky finger became swollen and painful. A few hours later, he drove to the hospital to get an X-Ray. Our client hit his pinky finger on the steering wheel, but he wasn’t aware of any injury at the accident scene, even though he is a doctor.

The X-Ray at the hospital showed he had a broken pinky finger and he needed surgery. That’s when he called the car accident lawyers in New York at 1-800-HURT-911®.

He was out of work for two months because he was a dentist and needed his hand to work. Earning a $25,000 per month salary he lost a total of $50,000 in salary.

Allstate Insurance didn’t want to settle this case because they said there was no damage to the cars, the police were not called, and their driver said our client wasn’t injured.

We created this medical illustration to give to Allstate insurance company to show why we were demanding payment of the entire insurance policy to settle the case. The insurance company immediately settled by paying the entire insurance policy.

medical illustration showing 4 images of a broken pinky finger requiring surgery which was caused by a low speed, low impact, rear end car accident with no damage to the cars.

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Dream Team™ right now for your free consultation!

We’ll call you back within minutes!
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See how Nyda got a new house! What will you do with your settlement money?

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How Often Is Someone Injured When the Car Had No Damage?

It’s actually rather common that people are injured in car accidents when there is no damage to the cars. Many of our cases involve people who don’t even realize they were injured at the time of the accident. Obviously, they also don’t look injured at the scene of the accident.

rear bumper of car showing no damage in an accident

You can still be injured even though there’s no damage on this bumper  

 

Frequently, people in car accidents when there is no damage to the cars, don’t know they’re injured at the time of the car accident. When they get home or the next day, their shoulder, knee, or back start hurting, and they go to a doctor. Sometimes, a few months after the accident, they find out that they need surgery.

One of our clients was hit in the rear while exiting the Long Island Expressway in Queens at the Van Dam Street exit in New York City.

He didn’t know he was injured, but when he got home, his knee started hurting. He thought the pain in his knee would go away in a few days, but it didn’t.

Two weeks later, he went to see a doctor who treated him for a sprained knee. When the pain didn’t get better, the doctor sent him for an MRI that showed he had a torn meniscus. We settled his personal injury claim for the entire $100,000 insurance policy.

See how some seemingly minor injuries can become serious injuries.

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Damage to a Car and the Speed of the Car in an Accident Has No Relation to Injury

There is much research that shows that significant injury can be caused by a slow-speed, low-impact car accident.

This study Rear-end impacts: vehicle and occupant response at the National Library of Medicine found, “There is a lack of relationship between occupant injury, vehicle speed and/or damage. There does not seem to be an absolute speed or amount of damage a vehicle sustains for a person to experience injury. Crash tests indicate that a change of vehicle velocity of 4 km/hr (2.5 mph) may produce occupant symptoms. Vehicle damage may not occur until 14-15 km/hr (8.7 mph).”

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Can a Driver or Passenger Be Injured if They Didn’t Have an Injury at the Car Accident?

Often, some injuries, such as internal bleeding, concussion, neck injury, back injury, knee injury, and even broken bones are not immediately apparent.

Injuries are often not noticed until hours or days after a car accident. There may not even be visible damage to the car. See our example above.

These injuries are certainly not visible to the other driver who caused the accident.

People often do not feel any pain from a serious injury, even a broken bone, at the car accident scene because of adrenaline and shock.

Frequently, someone in a car accident will feel pain but think it will go away in a few days. Instead, it gets worse and, eventually, they go to a doctor.

Eventually, when the accident victim goes to a doctor, the doctor will treat the injury therapeutically. If the injury doesn’t resolve (get better) after 3-6 weeks, the doctor will send the patient for an MRI. That’s when a serious injury may be first diagnosed.

Surgery may be discussed with the patient at the time the MRI result comes back or months later after further physical therapy doesn’t help.

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Can Less Damage Cause a Bigger Injury?

This video explains why a low-speed impact can cause a more serious injury when the car did not have any damage than a car accident when there is damage to the car because it transfers the energy to the person instead of the car.

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Can a Low-Speed Crash Cause a Brain Injury?

Yes, a driver or passenger can easily have a concussion which is an MTBI, or Mild Traumatic Brain Injury caused by whiplash from even a minor car accident.

This video shows how a low-speed impact that did not cause any damage to the car, can cause whiplash and a neck injury with a bulging disc or herniated disc which is a serious injury.

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Should I Use The Insurance Estimate App To Send a Photo of My Car Damage for an Estimate?

See more answers to FAQs

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Phil Franckel is a well-known personal injury lawyer in New York since 1989. He is a Founding Partner of 1-800-HURT-911, LLP®, the Personal Injury Dream Team™, and a former Member of the 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 others. 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!
We’ll immediately protect you from the insurance companies!

“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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Why Are There So Many Lawsuits in 2024

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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 benefit 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.

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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.

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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 premiums. 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

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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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Phil Franckel is a well-known personal injury lawyer in New York since 1989. He is a Founding Partner of 1-800-HURT-911, LLP®, the Personal Injury Dream Team™, and a former Member of the 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 others. See Mr. Franckel’s bio for areas of expertise.


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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 must 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, keep the claim number that proves 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.

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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.

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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. A lawsuit paper is called a “Summons and Complaint “and are several pages long.

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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.

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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 representing the person injured in the accident.

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What to Do When Someone Sues You For an Accident

When someone sues you for a car accident or any accident, you will be served with legal papers that start the lawsuit. The papers you are served are called a Summons and Complaint. If you are served with legal papers, keep reading.

What to Do When You Are Served Legal Papers

When a Summons and Complaint are 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.

How Long After an Accident Can You Be Served Legal Papers?

You may be served with legal papers starting a personal injury lawsuit immediately after the accident, weeks or months 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.

We also just received a chat message from someone in New York City who said, “We just received papers and are being sued for a car accident my son had over a year ago.”

I had a car accident on the Baldwin Freeport border in Nassau, and the other driver went to a lawyer the next day.

Do I Need a Lawyer if I Am Sued for an Accident?

99.9% of the time, you will not need your own private lawyer to defend you because a lawyer paid by your insurance company will defend you.

Almost all personal injury cases are settled with a release signed by the injured person before your insurance company will issue a settlement check. The release will release you from any further liability or responsibility to pay any money to the person signing the release.

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 to defend the lawsuit against you.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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What Do I Do if Someone Falsely Claims 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 that 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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Phil Franckel is a well-known personal injury lawyer in New York since 1989. He is a Founding Partner of 1-800-HURT-911, LLP®, the Personal Injury Dream Team™, and a former Member of the 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 others. 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!
We’ll immediately protect you from the insurance companies!

“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

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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 accident lawyer dropped your case, call another personal injury lawyer immediately. 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 didn’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 wanted 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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Founding Partner Attorney Rob PlevyInjured? Call 1-800-HURT-911® New York’s Personal Injury
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We successfully represented:

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

Can An Accident Lawyer Drop My Case?

An accident lawyer may drop a case if they do not believe it is worth pursuing.

A personal injury lawyer in New York can drop a case for any reason if a lawsuit wasn’t started. If a lawsuit is started, the lawyer can file a motion with the court asking to be removed from the case.

If a lawyer drops your case, you should look for another lawyer immediately because other lawyers may think your case is worth pursuing.

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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Phil Franckel is a well-known personal injury lawyer in New York since 1989. He is a Founding Partner of 1-800-HURT-911, LLP®, the Personal Injury Dream Team™, and a former Member of the 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 others. 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

New York Serious Injury Lawyer logo

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Comments About, What Should I Do If My Lawyer Dropped My Accident Case?