Protect Your Rights

Protect Your RightsTips to Protect Your Rights and Ensure You Are Not the Victim of Someone Else’s Negligence

Slip and Fall If you were involved in a slip and fall accident immediately report the accident to the store manager, landlord, homeowner, or person in charge of the facility where you fell. It is important that you do not sign anything without first speaking to a lawyer. Remember, you are not legally required to answer any questions. You should know your rights before resolving your claim. Your lawyer is the best person to explain all of your legal rights.

If your injury occurred because of a negligent, dangerous or hazardous condition, you may be able to pursue a claim against the owner of the property or the landlord. It is the property owner’s duty and responsibility to ensure that the property is safe to walk on. A property owner should take the initiative to make the surrounding area safe by putting a caution sign or placing an object, such as an orange cone, in the hazardous area to indicate warning. If your injury occurred on government owned property in New York you may also pursue a claim for damages against the state, city or county.

Be sure to collect all information, such as the property owner’s name and phone number as well as information of any witnesses. It is important to take notes of any conditions that may have contributed to the accident. Such conditions may include a cracked sidewalk, a spill that wasn’t cleaned up, and snow that was not cleared for an unreasonable amount of time. It is always a good idea to take pictures of the area surrounding where you fell to show evidence that the area was hazardous. To protect yourself and show proof of your injuries you should visit a doctor for a physical examination, and get x-rays if necessary.

Vehicle Accident

If you are involved in a vehicle accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence, one of the first things you should do is write down everything about the accident, including how the accident happened and the injuries you sustained. It is always a good idea to take pictures of the scene of the accident to show actual proof. If there were any witnesses to the accident, be sure to get their contact information. Witnesses can be very valuable as they can back up your story and confirm what happened.

The first few days immediately following an accident are often the most important for finding and preserving evidence. The best ways to preserve evidence of your injuries are by promptly reporting them to a doctor, and by photographing any visible cuts, bruises or swelling. Without photos and an early medical record of all your injuries, it will be more difficult to later convince an insurance company that you were injured in the way you say you were. Returning to the scene of the accident a few days later is also helpful because you may find something you were not aware of when the accident occurred, such as a traffic light that isn’t working.

In the days following your accident, make daily notes of any kind of pain and discomfort your injuries cause. If you don’t make specific notes of your injuries immediately, you may not remember exactly what to include in your demand for settlement weeks or months later. Be sure to tell your doctor about all of your injuries so that those injuries can become part of your medical record. Your medical record will be helpful as it will provide evidence that such injuries were caused by the car accident and not a previous medical condition.

Medical Malpractice

Being proactive about medical care is certainly the best step. Patients should do research on a doctor and medical facility before considering their medical services. Always take responsibility for your health and well being. Asking questions is a sure way of knowing that the medical practitioner understands what you are suffering from and will not make wrong diagnoses. Never agree to something you do not understand fully. Whenever a doctor wants to perform any medical procedure such as surgery, make sure you understand the risks involved with the procedure. Don’t be intimidated by the medical provider. Speak up for your own well-being. If you sense that something is wrong, tell your health-care provider. Don’t be afraid to get a second opinion and don’t be afraid to find a new doctor if you feel you’re not receiving proper medical care. Your health is too important to place in the hands of a provider who hasn’t earned your confidence and isn’t giving you adequate attention.

Workplace Accidents

Construction is considered to be one of the most dangerous jobs in New York. Machinists, steelworkers, electricians and other craftsmen experience dangerous situations on a regular basis. With such a high risk of receiving an injury, it is important that employers make every effort to ensure that their worksites are safe. According to OSHA’s safety protection rules, employers must provide their employees with all necessary safety equipment for the job. By law, workers are entitled to working conditions that do not create a risk of serious injury. Protect your rights and make sure your employer is not neglecting OSHA’s safety protection rules.

For more information about protecting your rights, visit the Resource page.