Personal injury claims are essentially based on owner responsibility for damages that occur on their property. The federal government has authorized disaster relief for the area, but that only includes fundamental needs of the victims, such as Red Cross shelters and minor treatment facilities for the injured. Filing a personal injury claim in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy may be a difficult process because the widespread chaos and inability of emergency personnel to receive emergency calls.
How do you go about a personal injury claim without official documentation for the injury and the location?
The prelude to Hurricane Sandy was such an event that many people evacuated the region to avoid bodily harm. However, many individuals were not able to leave the area for various reasons and stayed in their homes during the storm impact period. Depending on the insurance policy for the home, these individuals should be able to file a claim with their insurance company; our attorney source at perecman.com urges you to file any claims as soon as possible. Hurricane Sandy was such an epic event that it is reasonable for a plaintiff to claim any delays in treatment on the storm.
Hopefully, anyone with a significant injury went to a medical facility as soon as possible. It is important to request copies of all paperwork from the treatment facility, so it should be a recognized facility if this is needed as a court document. Seek treatment as soon as possible.
Individuals who are injured on private individual property should be able to file a claim with the property owner’s insurance company. The actual respondent would be the property owner and it is incumbent on the owner to provide liability insurance coverage. This could be a difficult situation for a neighbor who has offered shelter to an individual who is injured. In addition, claims that involve falling debris across property lines can be problematic. It is important to assemble as much reasonable information as possible.
Every situation may not be accepted as evidence, but validating the injury and location can identify the proper respondent. Proving negligence in cases stemming from Hurricane Sandy will also prove difficult because the uncontrollable conditions of the storm can reduce duty of care significantly, if not completely.
Retain Experienced Counsel
Personal injury claims stemming from Hurricane Sandy will be numerous and the regional legal community has the concentration of personal injury attorneys to help all injured victims in filing proper documentation associated with a claim. Claims in the aftermath of a chaotic event can be very complicated because of many factors and will always need the counsel of experienced and effective legal professionals who know how to perform the paper trail search that validates a personal injury claim.
Many injury claims as a result of Hurricane Sandy will be heavily contested. It will be interesting to see how the insurance companies address this major payout from a legal position in an effort to limit the financial damages to the companies themselves. Another question will be timely payouts and downward negotiation. It is clear that punitive damages will be an area where the insurers will want some restraint to allow for settlement of more valid compensatory claims, which is more reason to necessitate retaining an experienced personal injury lawyer to handle any negotiations.
Guest Author: Sarah Bishop is a freelance writer who contributes this piece for The Perecman Firm, PLLC, a New York based personal injury lawyer. If you or a loved one has been injured in Hurricane Sandy you can find valuable and expert information at the firm’s website, perecman.com. Their attorneys are able to help you through any litigation questions you may have.