Q
Will it cost me money to start a personal injury case with your firm?
A It will not cost any money to start a personal injury case with my firm. All of my personal injury clients sign an agreement called a ‘contingency retainer’. A contingency retainer is an agreement between a client and an attorney that states there will be no charge for attorney services rendered if the claim for personal injuries is not successful. If the claim is successful, my firm takes a percentage of the recovery as its fee. No recovery, no fee. This contingency fee arrangement is one of the reasons that I am exclusive as to the types of cases I will handle. I will take on difficult cases that may be unsuccessful because of how our laws are structured, but I will not take on a claim that has no or little merit. I am not an attorney who starts lawsuits just to see if they will get a settlement for my client when the claim is of little or no merit. Once I start a lawsuit, my intention is to take that case to trial.
Q
What if I need medical attention for my injuries?
AThis can be a simple answer or a more complex one. It all depends how and where you were injured. The easiest situations are if you are hurt while driving or while working. If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident, you will be covered by no-fault insurance (officially known as Personal Injury Protection benefits). This coverage is mandatory for all persons who have an injury arising out of the use and operation of a motor vehicle. There are different rules designating which insurance company will pay for these benefits and depends on whether or not you are a driver, passenger, pedestrian or a bus rider. If you are injured at work, you will be covered by Workers’ Compensation insurance from your employer’s insurance carrier. This is true even if you are driving for your employer at the time of the accident. If you are not injured while working or involved in a motor vehicle accident, the issue can get complicated.

If you have private health care insurance from either your employer or the New York Health Plan Marketplace, you may have to use that insurance. I say ‘may’ because many times if you are injured on a property, there may be a small “Medical Payment” provision of the property owner’s insurance policy that covers medical expenses up to a certain amount of all people who are injured on the property. If you do not have private health care insurance you may have to use Medicare or Medicaid. If you use Medicare and Medicaid, and even some self-insured employer’s plan (ERISA based plans) you may have to pay back all or some of your medical expenses from any settlement or verdict in your case.

Q
Do I really need a personal injury lawyer?
AYes. This may seem like self-promotion, but the complications surrounding medical insurance benefits, bodily injury claims, adverse insurance investigation tactics and a myriad of other issues makes it imperative to consult with an attorney. And the best part about this advice is that consultation is free. Hiring an attorney after the consultation is a different issue. You must feel confident that not only hiring an attorney is the right thing for you, but that the attorney you’re hiring is committed to helping you.
Q
What should I do if I get contacted by the insurance company?
AThe simple answer is do not speak to an insurance company representative without consulting with a lawyer. Many people feel right away that because they have nothing to hide they should speak to an insurance representative if they are contacted. I strongly caution you against this. It is not WHAT you say but HOW you say it. Many insurance investigators are very good at asking only questions that have an answer that benefits their insured and not you. Even speaking to a representative from your insurance company may not be a good idea without speaking to a lawyer first as in some cases your insurance company will be taking a position against your interests depending on the circumstances surrounding your claim.
Q
Will I need to go to court for my accident injuries?
AMost claims settle before trial. However, it is my firm’s process to prepare ever case as if it is going to trial and verdict. I strongly encourage my clients to think verdict from the every start of the lawsuit. Even if there is a settlement before trial, there is nothing more powerful than being prepared to try the case. By the time that I will be trying your case, you will be fully prepared to be on the witness stand and competently express how the accident and the resulting injuries have changed your life.
Q
How long does the process take?
AThe process of resolving a personal injury claim can take months or years. Every case is different and it will depend on how many defendants will be sued, will a defendant be a municipality, what court and judge you case is assigned to, how complex are the injuries involved. A simple claim can settle within a few months. A simple lawsuit can resolve within a year or two. A more complex case will take years to resolve.
Q
What is my case worth?
AEven though at some point in your case your lawyer will be able to give you parameters of what your case is worth (usually after the discovery process is complete, which includes finishing depositions and exchanging of medical records), it is impossible to tell what a case is worth in the beginning of a claim. Many times an injured person will not recover nearly enough to cover their pain and suffering, medical expenses or lost earnings because there is limited insurance available. However, lawyers, insurance representatives and judges can predict the settlement value of your claim based upon past cases. I recommend letting a jury tell you what your claim is worth by a verdict after a well planned trial.

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WHAT ARE OUR CLIENTS SAYING?

  • "He fights hard and obtain significant awards."

    RIMA BARDAWIL

    Personal Injury Attorney on Apr 30.

    Mr. Jacobson''s track record shows he fights hard, and has obtained significant awards for clients who have been victims of catastrophic negligence. I endorse this lawyer.

  • "He knows how to win big cases at trial."

    MARTIN BRAUNSCHWEIG

    I endorse this lawyer. I am a tax attorney and I know many personal injury attorneys.

    I have known Jay for many years. He continuously impresses me with his ability to win big verdicts at trial. If you are in need of an excellent personal injury attorney who knows how to win big cases at trial, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND Jay Jacobson..

  • “I couldn't have been happier with him representing me”

    MILTON V.
    I found Jay online, did my homework and couldn't have been happier with him representing me for my car accident injury case.
  • “He took care of everything and fought hard”

    MARCUS S.
    My case was a tough one, I told Jay so. He didn't see it that way, he felt there was enough evidence at play to warrant a full claim. He was right, he took care of everything and fought hard and consistently for a winning verdict. Thank you Jay!