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You Never Know When You Might Need a Personal Injury Lawyer

This is precisely the result trial lawyers hope to achieve, Oshman adds. “We hope to get redress for our clients on an individual level. And on a societal level, we try to force people into doing the right things. If they don’t do the right thing, you punish them” by filing what can often be a very costly lawsuit. In the aggregate, defendants respond by changing the problem that brought about the injury in the first place.”

The role of the personal injury attorney is critically important in such situations, Oshman and Hernandez note, because these cases are typically complicated in both law and fact. Even a slip-and-fall case is more complicated than the average lawyer, let alone the injured person, may realize. For example, in New York, the statute of limitations on most torts is three years. But for defective sidewalk cases against the city, a plaintiff has only 90 days to file suit; or, with court permission, a maximum limit of one year and 90 days. “People come in to see me and say, ‘I thought it was three years,’” says Hernandez, and he has to inform them it’s too late to sue. “There are major problems for people who want to dabble,” he says.

A lawyer with significant expertise in personal injury also knows just how much a case is worth. Hernandez represented the estate of a young man killed in a car accident that occurred because the traffic lights weren’t working and two cars collided. The case dragged on for years, and dozens of lawyers as well as the judge on the case advised Hernandez he should take the $600,000 offer made by the city. Hernandez disagreed, and took the case to trial, where he landed a $1.9 million verdict.

“My client had his day in court and was made whole,” says Hernandez.