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FAQs / Personal Injury FAQs

Dutchess County Personal Injury Lawyer

We Answer Your Personal Injury Frequently Asked Questions

Michael A. Fakhoury understands that filing an injury claim in New York can be an overwhelming and complex process. We have taken the time to answer your important questions regarding personal injury claims so that you can feel the support and the experienced dedication that comes from partnering with our Fishkill lawyer.

How serious does my injury have to be to get compensation for pain and suffering?

If you are injured in a general motor vehicle accident, you are not typically not entitled to make a claim for pain and suffering unless you have sustained a “serious injury.”

This is a specific legal term under insurance law that refers to:

  • Dismemberment
  • Severe disfigurement
  • Serious fractures
  • Loss of fetus for pregnant women
  • Significant limitations on bodily functions
  • Impairment that limits you from performing normal activities for 90 out of the first 180 days following the incident
  • Death

Do I still have a slip-and-fall-claim if I fell on property leased by someone else?

Yes you might. If premises are leased, it is the entity in control of the premises that generally bears responsibility for the condition of the premises. (Sometimes premises safety can be the responsibility of more than one party). The title must be determined, and often property agreements such as leases must be examined.

What is the statute of limitations on a medical malpractice claim?

The general rule in New York is that medical malpractice claims must be made within 2.5 years from the date of malpractice, not three years. Wrongful death claims must generally be made within two years of death. Claims for birth injuries in New York must be made before the child reaches age 10, not 18.

Will bankruptcy remain on my credit report permanently?

Yes! The bankruptcy law grants you (the debtor) a very powerful tool called the automatic stay. An automatic stay means that creditors are prohibited from calling you, billing you or continuing to freeze your bank account, garnish your wages, foreclose on your home, etc. It will stop the creditor harassment.

How quickly do I need to file for no-fault benefits?

You are required to have an application filed within 30 days of the accident with the insurance carrier of the vehicle you operated or in which you were a passenger or the carrier of the vehicle that struck you if you were a pedestrian. After filing your application, the carrier will send appropriate forms to the medical providers. Your medical providers will usually directly bill the no-fault carrier. They must do so within 45 days.

How do I get reimbursed under no-fault insurance?

To be reimbursed for travel expenses, household care, prescriptions, and lost earnings, you must mail this information to the no-fault insurance carrier. You may be reimbursed for travel expenses, medical expenses, household care, prescription drugs, lost earnings, and possibly more, usually up to $50,000. You may be required to take a physical examination to get or continue your benefits. Contact us for specific suggestions and recommendations.

What is a ‘summons and complaint?’


A summons and complaint gives notice of the legal claim. The summons must be filed with the clerk of the court and then served on the defendants. The complaint gives the specifics as to your claim of fault and damages. A complaint may also include a spousal claim for loss of services or consortium and is a relatively minor portion of the entire claim.

Again, you must first go through an office consultation before you can fully rely on this information. This is because your financial issues may differ from the general statements made here.

What if I have a preexisting condition when I file an injury claim?

If someone injures you due to their negligence, you are still able to receive compensation for your suffering once you prove that they were at-fault. The compensation for your damages may be reduced in the event of a pre-existing condition, but you are still able to hold another individual responsible.

How long does it take to settle an injury claim?


Most personal injury claims end in a settlement. It is very unusual for a claim to go to trial. The time frame can vary greatly depending on the situation that resulted in an injury due to negligence. If the case is straightforward and fault is apparent, the claim will be settled relatively quickly. If the case is complicated and fault is difficult to prove, the claim will take a long time to reach an agreement.

Remember, every situation is different, so if you have been injured, you should contact a  personal injury lawyer today for a free initial consultation. Reach my firm at 845-896-5200 or fill out our online form.

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