Civil Cases

Generally, an injury victim will only have one chance to be compensated for injuries that may last a lifetime. He or she should be represented by an attorney, who is trustworthy, aggressive, and knowledgeable and puts the victim’s best interest first.

Why should I be wary of a stranger recommending a lawyer to me?
You should always choose a lawyer by enlisting the advice of people that you know and trust. Unfortunately, many victims don’t know of any reputable attorneys who are skilled in handling personal injury cases. Oftentimes, these victims fall prey to solicitation by unscrupulous lawyers and doctors. Even though solicitation of accident victims is strictly forbidden by the Codes of Ethics governing these professions, unethical doctors and lawyers continue to employ “runners” who solicit victims at accident scenes, hospitals and doctor’s offices and even at the victim’s own home. The expense of these “runners”, sometimes resulting in thousands of dollars in referral fees, is often passed on to the victims themselves.

How could this scam eventually cost me money?
The way this unscrupulous practice works is simple. Often a victim’s medical expenses are greater than what an insurance company will cover. The treating facilities then seek to recoup the additional uncollected monies from the victim’s settlement or jury award. This money is not disputed by the attorney receiving the referral because essentially he is “in cahoots” with the doctors. The Law Office of Richard Southard does not accept or rely on future referrals from any “runners” or disreputable medical facilities. As a former prosecutor, I am familiar with the dangers of these types of scams and how quickly it can tear apart an otherwise great personal injury case. In addition, I will fight to negotiate medical bills down so that the client has to pay the doctors as little as possible.

What if it is someone who “witnessed” the accident?
Be wary of “witnesses” to accidents who appear out of nowhere and promise to “help” you at trial, while urging you to go to their doctor or lawyer. Frequently, these runners monitor police communications using scanners, and sometimes even arrive at the scene of an accident before the police do. However, these runners lie about what they witnessed, do not get listed as witnesses on police reports, and ultimately will never help the case.

Once I leave the scene of the accident am I safe?
Be wary of strangers in hospital waiting rooms who are waiting for their friend or relative to be treated. They will tell you about the “greatest” doctor or lawyer in the world and urge you to use them. These concerned strangers are runners in disguise and aren’t really waiting for anyone. That’s just a lie they use to get you to go to their doctor or lawyer so they can make money.

What should I know about after I leave the hospital?
Be wary of strangers calling you after you leave the hospital to solicit you. Frequently, hospital personnel are bribed into selling your confidential medical records to these dishonest medical facilities and lawyers. They may even make false claims to be connected to the hospital that initially treated you and offer to chauffer you to their doctors or lawyers. Use caution and verify the information told to you. Ask questions, get names and phone numbers, and offer to call them back at their job to verify what they are telling you.

How do I choose a lawyer I can trust?
Don’t allow compensation for your injuries to be affected because of these illegal practices. Trust your case to someone who spent years helping to prosecuting these illegal scam artists. Trust your case to an attorney who will aggressively pursue your case and make sure that you get every dollar that you are entitled to. Contact Richard Southard today for a free consultation.

What do I do if am involved in an Auto Accident?
If you have an auto accident in New York State, where someone is injured or property is damaged, you are required by law to stop your vehicle and provide your name, address and insurance information to the injured party or to a police officer.
You should also seek medical attention for all injured parties as soon as possible.

If possible, make efforts to prevent further accidents, since it is possible that you could be liable for damages to approaching vehicles. Road flares or reflectors should provide adequate warning to approaching vehicles.

Report the facts of the incidents to a police officer, so that it will be preserved at the time of the accident and can be used to help you at trial, if you sue. To the extent possible, get as much contact information as possible for any witnesses to the incident. Also, record the insurance information for all vehicles involved in the accident. Notify your insurance company by phone and in writing of the details of the accident or your insurance company may deny you coverage if a claim is made against you.

If you are injured, seek medical attention immediately. Seemingly trivial injuries can be potentially serious if not attended to immediately. Follow your Doctor’s orders for any follow-up treatment including rehabilitation or physical therapy. Consult an experienced and reputable lawyer who can evaluate your right to sue a negligent driver or owner for your personal injury losses. Also, an experienced lawyer can discuss your rights to collect under New York State’s no-fault insurance law. There are significant benefits that you may be entitled to and time is of the essence.

If you have been injured in an automobile accident, contact Richard Southard today to schedule a free consultation.