Have You Suffered A Personal Injury In New York?

No One Should Have To Pay For Injuries They Sustained Because Of Someone Else’s Negligence!


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With a state as diverse and busy as New York, personal injuries occur every day. From bumps and bruises caused by a slip and fall to wrongful deaths resulting from a serious automobile accident, personal injuries of all levels of severity can leave you in pain. They can also leave you with hefty medical bills, funeral costs, and a permanent disability.

If you have suffered a personal injury through no fault of your own, The Law Offices of Michael H. Ricca P.C. is here to help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact our law offices today for your free personal injury consultation at (516) 500-1647!


In New York State, a personal injury occurs when an individual is physically or mentally harmed through another person’s negligence of harmful conduct. It can also be caused through the negligence or harmful conduct of a company or entity as well. But what does this mean to you?

Tort Law

Before we delve into what constitutes as a personal injury in New York State, it is important to explain tort laws. Why? Personal injuries fall under tort laws. A tort is considered a civil wrong. This means your personal injury lawsuit will likely not in criminal charges, or at least will not be directly tied to the outcome of a criminal case. For example, if a loved one is killed in an automobile accident and the driver is charged with vehicular manslaughter, a personal injury lawsuit against them will not be tied to whether or not the driver is convicted of the vehicular manslaughter charge.


New York State defines negligence as the “failure to exercise reasonable care.” In other words, negligent conduct is that which falls below what a normal person would consider a standard of care. Reasonable care standards are legally established to help protect individuals from unreasonable risks of harm. Automobile accidents, slips and falls, and medical malpractice are all examples of negligence.

There are 4 components to proving a case based on negligence. These are:

  1. Duty of Care: Was the accused responsible for ensuring your safety when the injury occurred?
  2. Breach of Duty: Did the accused fail to provide reasonable care, therefore breaching their duty of care?
  3. Causation: Did their breach of duty result in your personal injuries?
  4. Damages: Did your personal injuries result in actual damages, such as medical bills, that you should be compensated for?

You should note that if the courts find that you were partly to blame for your injury, your compensation may be lessened. That is because New York State reduces the compensation when a plaintiff’s injury is the result of contributory negligence. In other words, both you and the accused failed to exercise reasonable care. This does not mean that your claim will be completely dismissed; it simply means that your compensation may be reduced.

Statute of Limitations

Most legal actions in New York State have a statute of limitations. This is the time period during which legal actions may be taken after an offense has occurred. The statute of limitations varies depending on the type of personal injury that has been sustained. The general rule of thumb is a 3-year statute of limitations for personal injury claims from the date of the injury. But this is not always true. Certain cases or special circumstances may affect your timeline. Some of the most common statute of limitations and personal injuries are as follows:

  • Injury or Damage to Property: 3 Years
  • Personal Injuries: 3 Years
  • Wrongful Death: 2 Years
  • Medical Malpractice: 2.5 Years since the incident or the end of continuous treatment based on a diagnosis
  • Government Negligence: 1 Year

Failure to file your lawsuit during these statute of limitations may mean your case will be forever barred. It is essential that you speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after being hurt if you are unsure about a claim.

Compensatory Damages

In New York State, there are two types of damages that you can seek compensation for. Known collectively as compensatory damages, these include economic and non-economic damages.

  • Economic Damages: Economic damages are those that are verifiable. In other words, things like medical bills, lost income, or a reduction in your earnings resulting from your injury all provide exact dollar values that can be totaled up. By their very nature, they are easily proven.
  • Non-Economic Damages: Non-economic damages, on the other hand, can be a bit harder to calculate. These damages are considered intangible. Pain and suffering, diminished ability to enjoy life, or a loss of personal relationships due to the devastation caused by an injury do not come with expressly written bills. However, they do have a value that you should be compensated for.

There are two ways to calculate compensation for non-economic damages. These include the “Multiplier Method” and the “Per Diem Method.”

  • Multiplier Method: As a general rule of thumb, non-economic damages are calculated through multiplying your economic damages by a number. This ranges from 1.5 to 5 depending on the severity of your personal injury. If left to an insurance company, it is likely they will attempt to minimize your non-economic damages compensation.
  • Per Diem Method: This method uses your “daily rate” to determine your compensation level. To do this, you take the value you earn each day through your job and multiply it by how many days you have been injured. Using this method may or may not equal the amount you earn through the multiplier method; your wages play a role in the value this method places on your non-economic injuries.

You should note, however, that New York State does not have a cap for non-economic damages. This means, if you hire the right personal injury lawyer, you may be compensated for the full value of your injury instead of accepting the little money offered by an insurance company. They can help you determine which method will work best for your specific personal injury case and can help you successfully argue why this value is correct.


There are many different types of personal injury claims you may make in New York State. However, some of the most common include automobile accidents, dog bites, government negligence, medical malpractice, premise liabilities, product liabilities, and workplace accidents. Below, we explain each of these topics to help you gain a better understanding of the personal injuries that may fall under each grouping.

Automobile Accidents

New York is a “No-Fault” insurance state. That means that for almost all personal injuries sustained during an automobile accident, you must first turn to your insurance company to pay for all resulting medical expenses. This occurs regardless of whether you were at fault or not. However, if your injuries fall under the “serious” threshold, you may have a viable personal injury lawsuit on your hands. This threshold includes:

  • Bone fractures;
  • Significant disfigurements;
  • Significant limitations of bodily or system functionality;
  • Permanent limitations of an organ; and/or
  • Substantial, or full, disability for 90 days or more.

Dog Bites

In New York, dog bites are subjected to what is known as the “one bite” rule. This means that if the owner knew, or should have known, that their dog (or other pet) was dangerous, they may be liable for any resulting injuries and associated medical costs resulting from a bite.

Government Negligence

When a government employee or agency is negligent, it may result in personal injuries. However, regardless of whether the government organization is a local or state agency, your personal injury claim will be subjected to slightly different rules.
First, you need to file a formal complaint and claim with the proper government agency. You also need to give them a certain amount of time to respond. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you determine how long is considered “proper” based on your claim. In many cases you have 90 days to file this initial claim from the date of the event that caused your injuries. If your claim is denied or if you and the agency do not agree to the final claim amount, you have the right to file a civil lawsuit. In most cases for city, county, and state cases based on government negligence, you have up to 1 year to file your lawsuit.

Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice, sometimes referred to as medical negligence, occurs when a hospital, doctor, nurse or other healthcare provider fails to provide care in accordance with standards of care and it results in injury to a patient. Other healthcare providers include, but are not limited to dentists, medical lab technicians, and optometrists.

Examples of medical malpractice includes:

  • Mishandling patient records;
  • Surgical errors;
  • Prescribing, or over prescribing, the wrong medications;
  • Failing to provide a proper diagnosis in a timely manner;
  • Mis-diagnosing a patient based on misreading a CT scan, x-ray, or other similar test; and/or
  • Failing to provide a prompt response to a patient’s symptoms.

A medical malpractice lawsuit may be filed after a single event or after continuous treatment has concluded. You should note that healthcare providers may fail or refuse to answers questions from a patient or their family when it comes to a procedure, diagnosis or medication that went wrong. If this happens to you, contacting an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as you believe medical malpractice has occurred is extremely important. Medical malpractice lawsuits can be very complex; engaging with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible can help you evaluate your case from the start.

Premise Liabilities

When an individual is injured on someone else’s property, it falls under “premise liabilities.” This includes injuries that occur on private and public properties. Certain factors may affect the level of compensation you receive if you suffer a personal injury on someone’s property. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Whether you were a social or business guest; and/or
  • Was the property up to code.

Product Liabilities

Not all products sold to consumers are safe. In fact, defective products can be downright dangerous. Injuries or illnesses that result from unsafe product designs, poorly manufactured items, or other issues fall under product liabilities. Some examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Spoiled, or improperly prepared, food;
  • Batteries catching fire;
  • Faulty brakes or automobile parts; and/or
  • Unsafe materials, such as lead or magnets, being used in children’s toys.

Workplace Accidents

Workplace accidents are a type of personal injury. However, these injuries fall under the New York State Worker’s Compensation Board (WCB) instead of the civil courts. New York’s Worker’s Compensation Law (WCL) is considered a “no-fault” law. This means that, unless you intentionally attempted to injure yourself, your employer is entirely liable for all of your medical costs associated with your injury. You only have 30 days from the date of your injury to officially notify your employer, however, so it is important to see a doctor as soon as possible. An experienced worker’s compensation lawyer can be extremely helpful should you decide to file a claim with the WCB; The Law Offices of Michael H. Ricca P.C. is here to help you throughout the entire worker’s compensation process.


If you or a loved one has been injured as the result of a person’s or entity’s negligence, The Law Offices of Michael H. Ricca P.C. is here to help you obtain the compensation you deserve.

As an experienced personal injury lawyer, Michael H. Ricca understands how difficult these cases may be. Our law firm believes that no one should have to struggle through a personal injury alone. As your legal counsel, we are dedicated to making sure you get every cent you deserve. We hold the line on accountability and parties responsibility for the injuries you or your loved one have suffered and we fight to ensure justice is served.

If you believe you deserve compensation for a personal injury that resulted from the negligence or harmful conduct of another, contact The Law Offices of Michael H. Ricca P.C. today at (516) 500-1647 for your free telephone consultation.