Thursday, January 16, 2014

NYC Agrees to $18 Million Settlement

New York, NY - New York City has agreed to pay $18 million to settle claims from over 1,800 arrests made "en masse" during the 2004 Republican National Convention.

Speakers at a press conference said the settlement gave teeth to their claim that the police had no right to arrest people without individualized probable cause.

Christopher Dunn, associate legal director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, said the arrest of some 1,800 protestors, bystanders, legal observers and journalists was "one of the darkest moments in New York City protest history." 

Celeste Koeleveld, executive assistant corporation NYC's counsel for public safety, said 
"It was vitally important to defend the city in this litigation, and we are proud of the major victories we achieved." 
Under the $18 million settlement, which is pending approval by Southern District Judge Richard Sullivan , each plaintiff will receive about $6,400, according to the city law department. Plaintiffs lawyers' fees will comprise $7.6 million of the total settlement.
The city had paid outside law firms more than $16 million to vigorously defend the 430 lawsuits against it. The settlement will extinguish the claims of more than 1,600 plaintiffs who were arrested during the related demonstrations, the Law Department said in a release.
Submitted by: Anthony LoBiondo, Esq.
(845) 569-7600

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Do I have to pay Taxes on my Personal Injury Settlement?

One of the greatest parts of being a personal injury attorney is handing my client the check after the case is over, either due to settlement or after T
rial.  Whether the check is in the thousands of the Hundreds of Thousands, one of the most important questions that comes up is:  "Do I have to pay taxes on this?"

The answer is based upon the different components of the proceeds.  There is no tax due on any  portion of the settlement due to pain and suffering, incidentals, or medical expenses.  However, the portion of a settlement which represents lost wages is taxable.

After a trial, there is a written decision which will tell you what portion is attributable to lost wages.

However, that is not generally the case after a settlement out of court.  Most of the time, a General Release does not state what portion of the settlement represents lost wages.  It may be that the IRS can make a determination as to the amount of taxes owed from the settlement.  Talk this issue over with your attorney.

Prepared by Anthony LoBiondo

Call for a free consultation at (845) 569-7600

Monday, January 13, 2014

The Basics of "No Fault Law" in NYS after an Auto Accident

Call 845-569-7600 for a free consultation with an Attorney

Let's start with the basics.  First, what is "No Fault Law" in New York State?  
This statute was enacted to ensure that insurance companies would pay for expenses incurred after an auto accident, from medical expenses, to lost earnings to "incidentals," without getting into who was "at fault."   
Where does this No Fault Coverage come from?
If you are involved in a collision involving a vehicle, in New York State, and you are injured, the No-Fault statute will kick in.  The No Fault insurance coverage you receive will either be from the vehicle the injured party was operating in, was a passenger in; or another vehicle which the injured party was injured/ hit by or had contact with.  
How does this affect my lawsuit for personal injury damages? 
These are two separate matters.  If you suffered a personal injury to your body, as a result of a vehicle collision, due to the negligence of another, you may be entitled to damages for the injury, your pain and suffering, loss of future wages and the like.   No Fault coverage is separate and different from a personal injury claim / lawsuit.
No-Fault is there to ensure that, regardless of fault, an insurance company will pay up a minimum of $50,000.00 for the economic losses, such as medical expenses, resulting from the vehicle accident.  Medical expenses includes emergency care, medical and doctor bills, prescription expenses, diagnostic tests, such as x-rays and MRI’s; and to some extent items such as physical therapy; and may include wages lost as a result of the accident.  Any ADDITIONAL claims, such as pain and suffering or future lost wages should be pursued by an attorney in the form of a separate and distinct lawsuit.   
New York No-Fault Law applies to any cyclist, pedestrian, passengers, or driver injured by a motor vehicle in New York. The conditions that must be met to qualify for No-Fault coverage:
  • The accident occurred in New York.
  • The injured party was the driver or passenger of the insured vehicle or a cyclist or pedestrian struck by or in contact with the motor vehicle.
  • The vehicle must be a car, truck, bus, taxi (not a motorcycle) or other vehicle covered by New York No-Fault law.
  • The vehicle is registered in New York.
  • The vehicle has an insurance policy sold in New York or issued by a company licensed to do business in the State of New York.

What is the Procedure to file for No-Fault?
Typically, you may obtain the no-fault application form from the insurance carrier of the car that struck you, you came into contact with, that you were driving or in which you were a passenger.
Can I get No Fault Coverage from my OWN Insurance Company?  What is PIP?
Many people don't realize that they get no fault coverage from their OWN insurance company, unless you were injured as a pedestrian or cyclist.   In these instances, you may request or send the No Fault application to your insurance company as well. You may have benefits under your policy such as excess PIP (additional no-fault coverage above $50,000). The application can be requested by phone but it is recommended to also request it by mail, certified return receipt requested.
How long do I have?
Be aware that you have only 30 days from the date of the incident to file the No Fault application. If you get nothing else from this Blog, do remember to act quickly, don't delay for the variety of reasons that people have.  Remember that the act of filing the application does not obligate you to start a claim.  You can always change your mind.  
OK, I filed, now what? 
Once your No Fault claim is filed, you should receive a no-fault claim number. Open up a "file" for yourself and keep in it the Claim number, the name and contact information for the insurance company and the adjuster assigned.   
No Fault coverage is not a lifetime endeavor. The insurance company will want you to be removed from their coverage sooner rather than later.  You may expect to be examined by a physician or medical specialists to determine in his or her opinion whether you need additional treatment or your treatment and no-fault benefits should be terminated. This doctor hired by the insurance company will also decide whether you are still disabled or can return to work. 
Prepared by Anthony LoBiondo, Esq.
For more information or a free consultation involving this topic or if you have been injured in an auto or other collision, protect your rights by contacting him immediately for a free consultation.  If you are  injured and unable to move, you may have someone come to you at the hospital or rehab center.  Call (845) 569-7600 office or (845) 742-7133 cell phone.  Email is