Interviewer: What kind of expectations do people have when they come to see you? Do they think that they’re going to get all of this money for their accident or do they just want to pay their medical bills?
Ira Perlman: People have many different expectations because people receive advice from other people, people have heard stories. Most people are under a misconception of what they’re entitled to following an accident. There are some people that just simply want to have their medical bills covered. The good thing about the law in New York is that irrespective of whether you decide to sue for pain and suffering money in court or you don’t sue, once there is a motor vehicle accident and there has been medical care and treatment or there is going to be necessary medical care and treatment and doctors are going to be involved or hospitals are going to be involved it is mandatory that the insurance carrier for the vehicle that you were in, driving or struck by, has to step in and pay these necessary expenses. I’m talking about bills for medical care and treatment and any other reasonable expenses that flow from the accident, and that is called No- Fault. Additionally, No-Fault will cover lost wages to a degree. If there are serious injuries then the damages resulting from these injuries such as pain, suffering and the resulting loss of enjoyment in one’s life can only be recovered through a lawsuit in court because they have nothing to do with No-Fault benefits which are always recoverable regardless of whether somebody sues or not.
In New York The Insurance Company that Covers the Car Involved in an Accident is Liable to Pay Damages
It doesn’t matter whose fault the accident is, once you’re in a car as a passenger or you’re driving that car or you even struck as a pedestrian by that car, the insurance company that covers that car is responsible for paying you medical bills under No- Fault Law. That has nothing to do with suing for pain and suffering and what we also refer to as non-economic loss. So, if you have an expectation of just wanting to receive payment for your medical expenses, that will take place and that coverage will be afforded to you under the law but if you want to receive money for your pain and suffering outside of just medical bills, well then you have to comply with the law and prove under the law that you sustained a serious injury which is something that is defined in the statute.
People Are Now Trying to Abuse the Privilege of Being Able to Sue for Pain and Suffering
Interviewer: How hard is it nowadays to get a settlement that really adequately covers any pain and suffering and damages you’ve suffered or is it really tough nowadays?
Ira Perlman: It’s becoming harder and harder because unfortunately there are some people that have abused the privilege of being able to sue for pain and suffering ,and unfortunately, people have come into court claiming a serious injury under the law when in fact some may not have a serious injury. The court system including juries have to filter the vast majority of honest people from those few bad apples. The problem arises when those who have the power to decide cases cannot be impartial because of their own personal views and opinions which cannot be overcome. A lot of people responsible for rendering decisions in the court system have become jaded and they have seen people abuse and try to take advantage of the judicial system in a way that is plainly wrong. This has made it more difficult for all of the honest and deserving victims of accidents because the court is scrutinizing a lot of these motor vehicle cases more and more than they used to and what was deemed or considered a serious injury years ago may not pass muster today. I’m referring to many of the cervical and lumbar, neck and back injuries that people have claimed to be a serious injury under the law. Not to say that it is not a debilitating injury because neck and back injuries are very debilitating but the courts are getting tougher and tougher with neck, back and disk injuries where there is no fracture in terms of viewing such injuries as serious.
The Strategies Utilized to Ensure that an Individual is Adequately Compensated for Damages
Interviewer: What are some of the strategies you can employ to make sure that somebody gets compensation they are entitled to? What do you have to do that’s different nowadays?
Ira Perlman: What you have to do is make sure that the court as well as any jury that has to decide these things realizes the true nature and extent of someone’s injuries whether it is a neck, back or other type of injury. The way to really impress upon people, the true nature and extent of an injury is to have full documentation of the care and treatment that somebody went through as well have the necessary medical experts and providers available in court to explain what somebody has gone through in terms of his or her injuries. The one good thing we have on our side now is the fact that technology has given us the ability to explain injuries as well as the human body in a way that was never available before. We have animations, we have the ability to blow up X-rays, Cat Scans, MRIs and utilize them in court in a way we never could do in the past. These things cost money but you do what you have to do to prove what you need to prove under the law and that’s what we do.