New York Personal Injury Lawyer in Elmira


Law Office of 
Charles E. Andersen

accidents at intersections duties of motorist where stop sign missing
close followint
sudden stopping skidding car leaving the road extenuating circumstances
child crossings

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Accidents at Intersections


Duties of Motorist where stop sign missing or obscured


Close following


Sudden stopping




Car leaving the road


Extenuating circumstances


Child crossings


Speed limits


Duty of Maintenance


Pedestrian Crossing Street


Responsibility for drivers actions


Double parked vehicles


Unlicensed Drivers


Safety Belt Defense


Infants Comparative Negligence


Mentally Deficient Plaintiff


General Damages


90/180 day rule


Pain and Suffering


Aggravation and activation of injuries


Structured judgments


Non-Recourse Funding


Duty of Driver on Through Highway


Turning Across Traffic


Violating the Rules of the Road




duty of maintenance

Damages Awarded for Personal Injury Offenses in New York



         If you find that the plaintiff is entitled to recover from the defendant, you must render a verdict in a sum of money which will justly and fairly compensate the plaintiff for all loss resulting from the injuries (he, she) sustained. New York Pattern Jury Instructions - Civil, Volume 1A, Third Edition, Unified Court System, 1997, published by West Group.


            The potential damage award is one of the most critical factors in determining case acceptability. Before accepting a plaintiff's case, estimate the client's potential recovery. This requires a complete analysis of the damages sustained, i.e., each element of potential recovery. But, first and foremost, you must determine if the case even qualifies for civil action under New York State Ins. L. Article 51 (the "No-fault" laws). "Serious injury" Requirement of No-fault Law Before estimating the amount of recovery, first determine if the client is entitled to any recovery at all. New York's No-fault law [Insurance Law, Art. 51], restricts the availability of civil damages in auto cases, and consequently limits the exposure of auto accident insurers. Under the No-fault system, to recover any civil damages for "non-economic loss" (e.g., pain and suffering) an auto accident victim must have sustained a "serious injury" as defined by statute. See Ins. L. 5102(c) and (d), 5104, and see 5:50 et seq. for more on definitions of "serious injuries". If an injury fails to meet the serious injury threshold for civil damages, the injured party's recourse is an insurance claim subject to statutory recovery limits

Exception for Motorcycles

Note, however, that when an injured party sues a non-covered party, proof of a serious injury is not required. Ins. L. 5104(b). For example, when a passenger on a motorcycle is injured, he need not suffer a "serious injury" to maintain an action, as motorcycles arc not covered by No-fault, therefore the No-fault laws do not affect the personal injury claim of the passenger against the "non-covered person."


Economic Loss


      Plaintiff is entitled to compensation for:

Generally, all expenses and losses actually incurred up to the date of the verdict that are not collaterally reimbursed. See CPLR 4545 for further clarification.

Losses that, plaintiff reasonably can be expected to incur in the future as a direct result of the occurrence. See Personal Injury Actions, Defenses and Damages 3.03 (1) Matthew Bender. Past damages include past:

Ambulance fees

Emergency room fees

Hospital costs and expenses

Physician's fees

Other medical costs such as nursing and therapy

Prescription and non-prescription drugs

Prosthetic devices, canes, walkers, etc. Lost earnings Reasonable transportation to medical care

Household help

Hospital costs and expenses

Physician's fees

Medical costs such as nursing and therapy

Prescription and non-prescription drugs

Prosthetic devices, canes, walkers, etc.

Reasonable transportation to medical care

Household help

Loss or diminution of earning capacity


Non-Economic Loss requiring proof of serious injury


     Non-economic loss (e.g., pain and suffering) See Personal Injury Actions, Defenses and Damages, 3.04(1) Matthew Bender. 4:13 Case Acceptance Decision "Minor" Injuries Without injury, it does not matter how strong the case for liability. As the factual situation complicates, so too must the analysis. Assume you are approached by a driver with a case that is light on the injuries. There are no fractures and only some slight lacerations that required suturing. Next, evaluate the likelihood of permanent scarring or disfigurement. Obviously, if the scarring is very significant, your decision will be easy. But if it is slight or minimal, you must make a value judgment that you will live with for several years and in which you will be investing several thousand dollars in disbursements. The Fourth Department generally has been sympathetic in scar cases us qualifying under the No-fault statute. A significant factor contributing to a favorable decision is the availability of supporting photographs. If you decide to accept the case, those must be taken to preserve the fresh, and very visible, effects of the injury. In fact, without photographs, the record is not preserved on that issue for judicial review. Photographs were the deciding factor in cases taken to the appellate divisions from unfavorable verdicts in numerous cases such as: Gushing v. Seemann, 247 A.D.2d 891, 668 N.Y.S.2d 791 (Fourth Dept. 1998) (permanent, visible scar on the scalp that is seven (7) inches long)




Pedestrian crossing street Responsibilities for drivers actions double parked vehicles
unlicensed drivers  

No fees unless you win







Auto Accident Facts

Thousands of innocent people per year are injured in car accidents as a result of the careless driving of others. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, nearly 43,000 people died in car accidents in 2002. More than one-quarter of Americans have been involved in a car accident in the last five years.

Every 13 minutes, there is a death caused by a motor vehicle accident. Car accidents claim our very youngest and our very oldest populations. Americans from the ages of 1-33 are more likely to die from a car accident than from anything else. On the other side of the spectrum, elderly adults aged 75 and up are most affected by motor vehicle crashes.

Life Insurance & Auto Accidents

Most don't even have a life insurance policy that could pay for funeral expenses if the unthinkable happened. Considering the prevalence of auto accidents, it is important that automobile drivers educate themselves concerning auto accidents and the legal options that exist should an accident occur.



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What's my case worth?

Safety belt defenses
Infants comparative negligence mentally deficient plaintiff General Damages

200 William St. STE 204A
Elmira, NY 14901
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damages 90/180 day rule pain and suffering aggravation and activiation of injuries
structured judgments non-recourse funding duties of driver on through highway