“Good Morning” Q&A Segment with Irene H Gabo & Natasha Bystritskaya

 In Motor Vehicle Accidents, Passenger, Slip & Fall

Irene H Gabo joins Natasha Bystritskaya for another Q&A segment about important deadlines, coverage without insurance, medical malpractice, getting hurt as a passenger in a car accident, and more on the popular “Good Morning” show on Davidzon Radio 620AM.

Listen to the Broadcast:

Q&A Transcript

Can you please tell us about some deadlines people need to know about starting a lawsuit?

Very good question, thank you. I received many calls after both of my appearances on your show, and I wanted to take the moment to thank our listeners for that. However, some of those people called too late for them to start any action and I couldn’t help them. In many cases you have a limited time to start a claim, for example, you have 90 days to make an initial claim against the City of New York and a year and 90 days to sue them, 2 ½ years for most medical malpractice, unless the suit is against a city hospital, such as Coney Island, then the period is shorter, just like for the City of New York. Three years for personal injury, such as a fall on the premises or car accident. My advice is don’t wait long if you are injured, consult an attorney right away to know your right and to make sure no deadlines are missed.

A customer fell in my restaurant and threatened to sue. I have no insurance, what should I do?

Most likely, if the customer was injured, that threat will be followed by a letter from the person’s attorney asking you to contact them or turn the letter over to the insurance company. Depending on why the client fell, and on your lease with the landlord, you may be covered under the landlord’s policy. However, most of the time you will have to hire an attorney, on an hourly basis to represent your interests. We handle these type of cases as well, and I’ll be happy to provide a free consultation.

My mother passed away after a mistaken done by a hospital, but I have to file some paperwork before an attorney will take my case. What does he mean?

Most likely the attorney is referring to letters of administration or probating of the will, if there is one, in Surrogate’s Court. A person must be appointed, usually a spouse or child to represent a deceased person’s estate before any action can be filed against the hospital. Under the public health law, section 18, a qualified person for the estate can often get the hospital records by submitting an Affidavit and a death certificate to the hospital’s medical records department, but in order to start a lawsuit, a representative of the deceased person must be appointed.

There are times when the deceased had no close relatives, or anyone interested in representing the estate, in that case a Public Administrator gets appointed from the Surrogate’s Court directly.

I was a passenger in a friend’s car, who had an accident with another car. My friend wants me to go with him to a lawyer, I am not sure what to do.

As a passenger, you may have a claim against both cars, especially if the fault is hard to easily apportion. Therefore, I think going to the same lawyer would create a conflict of interest for that lawyer, and he cannot represent both the driver and the passenger, as the passenger has the right to sue the driver. My advice is if you are both injured, go to different attorneys and if lawsuits must be filed, the court will later consolidated both cases, and allow them to proceed together as one.

We sued nursing home but the judge sent the case to arbitration, against our wishes, why did that happen?

I had a similar case against a well known nursing home in south Brooklyn. What happened was at the time the patient was being admitted, her daughter was made to sign about 20 pages worth of documents, where literally stickers were put where she had to sign and very little information was explained to her or translated about what these papers said. Turns out she signed a document that would force her mother to submit her case to binding arbitration in Nassau County, if she ever decided to sue the nursing home. It was also not explained to the patient or her daughter that they had the right to “opt out” or turn down this agreement, and keep their right to sue in court. We moved to have the motion dismissed, stating that the nursing home didn’t properly explain the agreement, or translated the agreement, nor told the family they had a right to “opt out” and judge agreed with us.

I fell in a pharmacy and broke my hip. My lawyer doesn’t want to take the case because the video doesn’t show why I fell, you can’t see my feet. I tripped over a crumpled rug, but you can’t tell in a video.

What I do in situations like this is demand surveillance from all cameras that might be pointing toward the location of fall, so I not only get different angles, but I might get a better view of the fall. Pharmacies have more than one camera monitoring the store, so its important to demand that they turn over all the relevant video.

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