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Have you had an accident and require legal assistance?


frequently asked questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to Commonly Asked Questions

You have questions. At the Stern and Stern Law Firm, we are happy to answer all of the questions you may have regarding your case. There are some questions that are asked quite often, so we are providing preliminary answers here. For more information, call our office to schedule your free consultation.


  • Why do I need a lawyer?
    To protect your rights and make sure you don’t get taken advantage of by insurance companies. There are various deadlines and notice requirements that if not complied early on, you may lose your case before you even have a chance to get started. In addition, insurance companies (even your own insurance company) is not looking out for your best interests. You need someone that knows how to deal with insurance companies and knows the rules of the game.
  • How much does a personal injury attorney cost?
    Personal injury attorneys all work on a contingency fee basis. This means there is no fee unless you get a recovery. There is never a fee for the initial consultation whether your case is accepted or rejected. All personal injury attorneys’ work on the same contingency fee basis which is 1/3 of the recovery. Any expenses incurred during the course of your case are paid for by myself and I get reimbursed for them at the end.
  • How long do I have to bring a case?
    You must file your case within the statute of limitations, a fixed period of time dictated by law. This can be as short as ninety days or as long as three years. In automobile accidents, certain steps sometimes must be taken within thirty days. If you miss the deadline for filing your case, your claims can be dismissed. Consequently, it is important to talk with an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as you receive or discover an injury.
  • How much is my case worth?
    Every case is different, and there are no rules for valuing a case. Many factors influence case value: the severity of the injury and whether it impacts on your ability to earn a living; the question of liability or fault; the amount of available insurance coverage; the permanence of your injuries; and other terms too numerous to list here. Your attorney may be able to give you a very general idea of the value of your case based on prior similar injuries, but usually cannot predict a specific recovery. Reputable attorneys will not speculate on the value of a case or promise a specific result.
  • How long will my case take?
    There is no absolute answer on how long a case will take from start to finish because every case is different. Some cases can be settled quickly while others take years to resolve. A number of factors influence how long a case will take. The more severe your injury, the longer the case will take because a severe injury may take longer to stabilize and take more time to judge the full extent of the effects of the injury and its residual effects. What if you need surgery in the future? It can take longer to build up and present a larger case to the insurance company for the other side. While fast results are desirable, remember that you do not want to hurry or rush your case as our financial recovery will be better if the case is handled carefully and thoughtfully.
  • What is uninsured and “under insured” motorist coverage?
    Uninsured motorist coverage protects you if you are in an automobile accident with a vehicle that has no insurance coverage. This can occur if an owner did not pay insurance premiums, if a car is stolen, or in a “hit and run” accident. In an uninsured motorist situation, you can recover monetary damage for your pain and suffering from your own automobile insurance company, even if you are a pedestrian or riding a bicycle. Uninsured motorist coverage will not pay for property damage to your vehicle so if you do not have collision coverage, you may have to repair your car yourself or junk it without compensation. Also, if you are not covered for uninsured motorist coverage by a car insurance policy, you may be eligible to receive uninsured motorist benefits from a New York State agency, known as MVAIC - Motor Vehicle Accident Indemnification Corporation. Underinsured motorist coverage is optional automobile insurance coverage for which you pay an extra instance premium. This coverage applies if you are injured by a vehicle with insurance policy coverage limits that are less than the limits of your own underinsured motorist coverage. After the other vehicle’s insurance company pays you its policy limits, you can recover additional money from your own automobile insurance policy.
  • What is “No-Fault” insurance?
    “No-Fault” insurance, or “Personal Injury Protection” (PIP) pays your medical bills and part of your lost wages for injuries resulting from a motor vehicle accident no matter who caused the accident. In certain circumstances No-Fault Insurance covers a medical and hospital expenses, prescriptions, housekeeping services (if a doctor confirms the necessity), taxi cabs to medical appointments (maximum of $25 per day) and pays a portion of your lost wages, no matter who caused the accident. Your injury must relate to a motor vehicle accident - although you may be a pedestrian or bicycle rider when hurt. Most people involved in an automobile accident in New York State, even pedestrians, can get No-Fault benefits from somewhere, possibly even the MVAIC. Motorcycle drivers are not usually covered. If you are hurt in an automobile accident, you should get the benefits, which do not compensate you for pain and suffering, just for economic loss. (However, if you were working at the time of the accident, you may be eligible for Workers’ Compensation.) Additionally, there are certain forms that must be filed with the No Fault insurance carrier immediately as short time deadlines apply which could jeopardize your claim for No Fault benefits. These deadlines can be as short as thirty days from the date of your accident. We can only repeat the advice previously given: If you are injured in a car accident, truck accident, or automobile accident, you should quickly contact my office. You don’t need to be bogged down with paperwork that I deal with on a daily basis and will complete if I take your case.
  • What towns do you serve?
    We proudly serve all of Long Island and New York City Including: • Freeport • Baldwin • Far Rockaway • Hempstead • Hicksville • Hicksville • Inwood • Long Beach • Oceanside • Port Washington • Roosevelt • Uniondale • Westbury • and more . . .
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