Filing a New York Personal Injury Claim

Bringing a personal injury lawsuit in New York State can be a complicated process, but it is made easy with the help of an experienced attorney. The first step is to begin gathering evidence and determining who you want to sue. Once you have established who is responsible for your injuries, you will have to file a document called a “Summons and Complaint” in the correct court. This document must be filed on time. Laws called “statutes of limitations” put time limits on most injury cases.

Determining the correct court means figuring out which courts have personal jurisdiction over the defendant in the case. The court must also have jurisdiction to hear the type of claim you are bringing. For example, a family law court typically cannot hear a lawsuit about medical malpractice. Additionally, certain courts are limited to claims falling below certain dollar amounts. The court must also be considered by the law to be an appropriate venue for the claim. You will also need to decide whether your case belongs in state court or federal court. This is sometimes a matter of choice, but in other situations, the circumstances of the case may dictate this for you.

Your complaint will have to allege that you were injured due to the defendant’s negligence. You will need to lay out your version of the facts and describe your injuries. After filing this document with the court, you will need to serve the complaint to any defendants in the case. This normally requires sending a process server, or another adult who is not part of the case, to physically give the defendant the Summons and Complaint. You will then file “proof of service” with the court, proving that you served the defendant.

The next step is to wait for the defendant’s answer. If the defendant disputes the claim in any way, you can enter into settlement negotiations or eventually proceed to trial. At trial, you will need to prove negligence and damages by providing enough evidence to overcome certain legal burdens and presumptions.

While accident victims and others are allowed to bring their own claim, it is highly recommended that you contact an experienced personal injury lawyer who has an understanding of the legal procedures, court rules and case law involved. While the courts are open to everyone, regardless of whether they have an attorney, the reality is that missing a deadline, incorrectly filling out a form or failing to follow procedure could doom an otherwise promising case.

At the Buffalo law firm of Pusatier Sherman Abbott & Sugarman, LLP, our attorneys have experience bringing all types of injury and wrongful death claims. Our legal team consists of skilled litigators who will aggressively pursue damages for you through a settlement or in court. To arrange a free consultation, contact us online or call us at 716-262-9600.

By Stephen Pusatier | Published July 22, 2015 | Posted in Personal Injury | Tagged accidentsfiling a claimpersonal injury lawsuit