NYC Injury Attorneys: Our Recent Landmark Verdicts and Settlements
What determines the value of your case?
Since the first half of 2003, our firm has recovered more than $500 million on behalf of injured NYC firefighters — many of these verdicts and settlements against negligent building owners and contractors. We have recovered millions more on behalf of non-firefighters.
Obviously, no two cases are alike and no two people suffer and/or recover identically after sustaining similar types of injures. Assuming that we can prove that the defendant's negligence and/or violation of the law caused our clients' injuries, several factors play a key role in helping our NY personal injury law firm negotiate our clients' cases with insurance companies and proving damages to a jury, including:
- What future medical treatment and expenses can we prove? What does the treating doctor say? Is the treating doctor willing to come to court to testify?
- What lost earnings are we able to prove? This is a key item as well. If we can prove through medical testimony that our client was physically unable to work for a particular period of time after the accident, then we can make a claim for past lost earnings. If the treating doctor and an occupational therapist agree that our client will not be able to work in the future and/or that he or she will not be able to earn as much as he or she earned in the past (based on tax returns), then we can make a claim for future lost earnings. The plaintiff's work-life expectancy is a critical factor in determining this type of damage.
- What permanent physical restrictions will the injured party endure and for how long? The plaintiff's life expectancy is the key factor in determining the value of a permanent physical injury. How long will the plaintiff suffer? Is the injury to a major or minor body part? Is the injury to a dominant or non-dominant arm/hand? What activities will the plaintiff be unable to do for the rest of his or her life? Was the plaintiff active or sedentary prior to the accident?
- Did the plaintiff ever sustain prior injuries to the same body part? Are the injuries claimed in the accident new injuries or an aggravation of a prior healed injury? The treating doctor must be willing to relate the client's injuries to the accident and be willing to come to court to testify.
- Finally, one of the most critical factors in deciding what a case is worth is how much liability insurance the defendant has. If the plaintiff is injured in an automobile accident, then the amount of the negligent vehicle's liability insurance policy is what we must look at, along with any available under-insurance coverage that our client has.
How lawsuits make us safer
Recently, the Center for Justice & Democracy, a national consumer organization dedicated to educating the public about the importance of our civil justice system, published its findings as to how our legal system protects us all from injury and disease. In sum, its study found that big companies tend to act quickly to change their unsafe practices if they are faced with the threat of having to pay a large verdict or settlement.
At Barasch McGarry Salzman & Penson, PC, we have long agreed with this philosophy. Since approximately one-half of our practice involves cases on behalf of injured firefighters, we have brought hundreds of cases against negligent building owners whose violation of the fire code, electrical code or building code caused the firefighter's injuries or burns. We believe that the best way to force building owners to comply with safety codes, rules and ordinances is to hit them with substantial verdicts and settlements.
We believe in helping individuals with their legal matters who are not able to help themselves. Contact us for a no-obligation consultation.
Recent settlements and verdicts
Since 2003, our firm has recovered more than $500 million on behalf of injured NYC firefighters.
In an article entitled "Recent Settlements and Verdicts" we list some of our firm's recent recoveries. In our most recent firefighter newsletter we also list some of our firm's recent recoveries. The settlements are being made public for illustrative purposes only — to educate our clients as to the potential value of their claims. Prior results do not guarantee similar results. Some of our recent settlements and verdicts include the following:
- After two months of trial in Brooklyn, we recovered nearly $5 million on behalf of twin brothers who were laborers badly burned in a natural gas explosion while they worked side by side to repair a water main break in Coney Island.
- We recovered nearly $4 million for a Bronx firefighter who sustained facial burns while fighting a fire that broke out in a vacant apartment while floor-refinishing work was being performed. Contributing to the settlement were the flooring contractor, the building owner who hired them and the manufacturers of the highly flammable flooring chemicals being used at the time.
- We recovered $1.75 million on behalf of two Bronx firefighters injured at an apartment building fire. Because the building lacked proper firestopping in violation of numerous statutory codes, the initial relatively minor fire was allowed to spread uncontrollably into other areas of the building. One fireman injured his neck, back and shoulder when a portion of a ceiling fell on him and the other fireman injured his knee after slipping on debris in a stairwell.
- Millions of dollars were recovered on behalf of the victims of the World Trade Center disaster, including rescue and recovery workers.
- We received the final payments on our more than $2 million settlement with the Con Edison Company on behalf of the 270 firefighters and emergency workers who were exposed to toxic chemicals at a fire at a generating plant on Staten Island.
- We received the final payments on our $5.2 million settlement with the construction company whose crane collapsed in Times Square and caused the evictions of 240 tenants.
- We recovered $12.2 million for a Westchester County brain-damaged baby who was injured at birth due to the negligence of the obstetrician and the hospital.
- We recovered $1.4 million on behalf of 120 tenants who were injured and evicted from their Harlem apartments when a gas explosion destroyed their building.
- We recovered $1.2 million on behalf of a 19-year-old Bronx bike messenger who sustained a fractured skull after being hit by a car.
- We recovered a $1.5 million verdict in a maritime case on behalf of a 38-year-old merchant seaman who sustained several leg fractures after falling from a ladder while crossing from a barge to a tugboat.
- We recovered $1.6 million for an eight-year-old Brooklyn girl who sustained burns to her arm in a school bus accident.
- We recovered $1.8 million on behalf of a 45-year-old Queens factory worker who sustained facial burns when the factory where he worked exploded.
- We recovered $800,000 for a firefighter who sustained career-ending neck injuries when a ceiling collapsed.
- We recovered $650,000 for a Brooklyn firefighter who sustained a serious hand injury due to an improperly maintained stairwell.
- We received $850,000 for a Bronx firefighter who sustained a severe head injury due to multiple building code violations.
- We recovered $750,000 for a firefighter from Manhattan who sustained herniated discs and underwent fusion surgery due to a vehicular collision.