i reside in FL and my car insurance policy is from here. An uninsured driver in brooklyn, NY hit my driver's side. The police stated in the report, i was not at fault. The uninsured driver gave me false insurance policy information & never answered the phone # he gave me. I have been seen by various doctors all stating i have extensive nerve damage, some bulging disks, and other issues (which i have never had before for i am young/active person.) Thus far, the insurance is fine with me seeking medical treatment in fl. It has been nearly 4 months, and i would like to hire an attorney; I don't want to sound ridiculous, but will i have to travel to new york for a lawyer?
WHAT Should my NEXT STEP BE?
There are firms that may very well have FL and NY offices. FL is home to one of the largest personal injury firms in the nation. You can also call one of the NY bar associations for a referral or simply search online for a NY attorney. If the case goes to litigation you might be required to go to NY, yes.
New York State has a statutory threshold that must be met in order to bring a claim for pain and suffering type damages. I suggest that you will need a New York licensed attorney to assist you. You can look for an attorney here on Avvo.com, search the Yellow Pages or perhaps contact the American Association for Justice and ask them for a referral to a member attorney in the town in New York where you were injured. You may not have to return to New York to get the ball rolling. You should speak with your New York attorney about how often and when you may need to appear in New York. If this turns out to be an uninsured motorist situation, you may be able to file your case against your own insurance carrier in the state of Florida. All of these details should be discussed with your attorney.
You should obtain needed medical care and treatment immediately and follow the doctor's advice. Do not give any statement to the adverse party or insurance company nor grant them access to any medical records. Photograph the injuries and the damage done to any property. Contact a personal injury attorney in your area as soon as possible so that you can protect your rights. You may also find it helpful to review the Legal Guides I have published on Avvo.com dealing with many of the issues you are now facing. The Guides can be accessed through my profile page on Avvo.com.
If this information has been helpful, please indicate below.
Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.
Lawyer referral services have been in operation in this country for more than 50 years, and were first established in response to requests by middle income persons for assistance in obtaining appropriate legal counsel. Lawyer Referral and Information Services are designed to assist persons who are able to pay normal attorney fees but whose ability to locate appropriate legal representation is frustrated by a lack of experience with the legal system, a lack of information about the type of service needed, or a fear of the potential costs of seeing a lawyer. Lawyer referral programs offer two important services to the public. First, they help the client determine if the problem is truly of a legal nature by screening inquiries and referring the client to other service agencies when appropriate. The second, and perhaps more important, function of a lawyer referral service is to provide the client with an unbiased referral to an attorney who has experience in the area of law appropriate to the client's needs. The public has come to equate the function of lawyer referral programs with consumer-oriented assistance, and expects that the loyalty of the program will lie with the consumer, and only secondarily with the participating attorney.
In 1989, following a long review process by state and local bar association and lawyer referral experts from both the public and private sector, the American Bar Association adopted model Rules for the operation of public service lawyer referral programs. The overriding concern of the model Rules is consumer protection.
The aspirational standards used previously at the state and local level were simply not sufficient to ensure the public service orientation of some private, for-profit services; strong and enforceable regulations were needed to achieve minimal standards for all lawyer referral services. However, while the Rules must be strong to be effective, we have been mindful of the need to allow legitimate public service-oriented attorneys and providers to operate without undue interference. In draft the model Rules, we have done our best to balance these considerations. These Rules are designed to provide a level playing field for all programs, whether private or bar-sponsored. Each state is urged to examine its rules, decisions and opinions in other to utilize the model Rules in a manner consistent with its own law.
These model rules have also been drafted in legislative form, for states where lawyers are regulated by the Legislature
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