Smiley & Smiley, LLP

Injuries to non-citizens and non-residents of NYC: Part I

New York City is a bastion of tourism, and millions of people from across the country and around the world make the pilgrimage to visit each year. There really is something here for everyone, from Broadway shows and world-class dining to high-end shopping and renowned museums and galleries.

At any given time during your vacation to New York City, you could, tragically, become the victim of a car, truck, subway, bus or taxicab accident, or you could be injured as a result of the negligent maintenance or shoddy upkeep of private or retail premises. Regardless of the circumstances of your injuries, you could be in for a long recovery during which you will be out of work and facing huge medical expenses. You will understandably be worried about how to pay your treatment costs, and about the time you'll lose away from your job.

If you happen to be here from another country, particularly if you are undocumented, your worries could be compounded by concerns about possible removal proceedings being instituted against you if you seek rightful compensation for your injuries. You can relax, though, because Smiley & Smiley, LLP, is here to help.

Tourist/non-resident injuries

It is all too easy for tourists, visitors, students and other non-residents to be injured amongst the hustle and bustle of New York City. They are unfamiliar with local traffic flow and customs, and may end up getting hit by a speeding bicycle messenger, cab, transit vehicle, Uber/Lyft driver or tour bus operator.

Pedestrian accidents almost always result in serious injuries for the person not in a vehicle. If you are just visiting the New York area from across the country or somewhere around the world, you may be tempted to accept a low-ball offer from the person responsible for your injuries (or their insurance company) in order to settle the matter before you are supposed to return home. Resist that temptation: it could be disastrous for you in the long run.

Early on in the process, there are way too many unknowns for you to settle the matter, including:

  • How long your recovery will take
  • How long you'll be out of work
  • Whether you'll need surgical intervention or treatment from specialty providers
  • Whether you'll need medical devices (like braces, prosthetics, wheelchairs, walkers, etc.)
  • If you'll need to remodel or retrofit your home or vehicle to accommodate your injuries

Depending on the severity of your injuries, you could have all these expenses and more. Plus, if you find yourself in need of additional treatment in the future, you will end up footing the bill for those additional costs if you've already settled.

Instead, you should retain local counsel like Smiley & Smiley, LLP, to handle the case on your behalf. We've handled thousands of personal injury cases over the years, and we have the knowledge, experience and skill to be your representatives in the local court system while you recover at home.

In our next post, we'll talk about how non-American-citizens should handle injuries sustained in New York City. 

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Smiley & Smiley, LLP
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