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Wittenstein & Wittenstein

Serving the Community for More Than 60 Years

No Case Is Too Big or Too Small

We’ve been heal from their wounds and build their dreams for over six decades by providing unparalleled support through the entire legal process. When you hire Wittenstein & Wittenstein, you can rest assured that you will receive the best results possible, freeing you to focus your attention on your professional and personal life. That’s why we’ve been the top law firm in Queens for over sixty years.

Personal Injury

When you’re injured by the negligent, reckless or intentional conduct of a person or corporate entity, you can make a claim for financial compensation against the responsible parties. In order to collect the highest amount of monetary damages, you need to hire an experienced New York personal injury attorney that knows how properly prosecute your case. Wittenstein & Wittenstein has been collecting the largest settlements and verdicts for people injured in accidents for over sixty years. Whether it’s a car accident, a slip and fall, medical malpractice, civil rights or any other type of personal injury, we’ll be by your side every step of the way, answering all your questions and addressing all your concerns. Call 718-261-8114 for a free consultation

business Law

If you’re a startup or small business, hiring the right small business attorney can have a huge impact on your company’s success. Choosing and properly forming the right business entity is an important first step, along with drafting and reviewing contracts for employment, leases and protecting your intellectual property. As your business grows you may require assistance with mergers, acquisitions and other business deals. Wittenstein & Wittenstein provides legal services to small businesses and startups at affordable prices. Call 718-261-8114 for a free consultation.

Family Law

Wittenstein & Wittenstein knows how stressful divorce can be for the entire family, including the tremendous financial pressure that results. That’s why we’re determined to be part of the solution and not make things even worse by developing a budget conscious strategy that gets results without breaking the bank. We’ll help your sort through your options and make empowering choices for yourself and your family. Call 718-261-8114 for a free consultation.

Civil Rights

Civil rights actions are based primarily on violations of the First, Fourth and Eighth Amendments of the United States Constitution.  They are bolstered by Statutes such as  Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Act of 1972, The New York State Civil Rights Law, The New York State Human Rights Law and The New York City Human Rights Law.

There are many types of Civil Rights actions that can be brought on your behalf, such as Employment Discrimination (Sexual Harassment, Unequal Pay, Hostile Work Environment,) Bullying at School, Housing Discrimination, Disability Discrimination, Police Misconduct (False Arrest and Brutality,) Inmate Abuse and Neglect and more.  Call us first if your civil rights have been violated.

Premises Liability

New York Worker’s Compensation provides many benefits for workers but severely limits situations where an employee can sue their employer.   There are exceptions that apply specifically to construction work, especially work at high elevations and work with explosives and other inherently dangerous devices.  There is sometimes a sub-contractor or other third party that can be sued for a construction accident.   There are other types of dangerous jobs that can lead to injuries and claims such as working in refineries, mining and chemical plants.

Child Injury

As an attorney and a mom, Senior Partner Alyce B. Wittenstein brings her compassion and knowledge of children’s issues to help families get the compensation they deserve when children are hurt.  Injured children need treatment for their physical injuries, and an understanding of the trauma they’ve endured.  Children are more likely than adults to be struck by vehicles while walking and riding their bikes.  Parents should know that the Federal Government and New York State have recently strengthened laws that protect children in school from all forms of bullying, so parents can take action against schools that fail to comply.  Property owners have a higher duty of care to children.

Product Liability

It doesn’t matter how big or small the item is, or how much you paid for it: if it injured you, you may be eligible to file suit. Items may be as small as a cigarette lighter or as large as a car, the fact remains that these products came with unreasonable risks and resulted in a loss on your part. Similarly, a bouncy ball need not have been particularly expensive for it to cause the need for expensive surgery if your child has the misfortune of swallowing one.

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Personal Injury Attorney‎ Forest Hills | Personal Injury Lawyers NYC

Wittenstein & Wittenstein has “of counsel” relationships other prestigious New York City Law Firms to give you the best of both Worlds: close personal local service and the top names in the game.  Personal Injury Attorney Forest Hills | Personal Injury Lawyers NYC expands the possibilities, allowing us to handle a wider range of cases, assuring that the best expert is on each and every case.  We are the most reputable accident attorneys in New York City, you’re in good hands.

Accident law refers to the all the laws, regulations and customs that come into play when you are injured, or your property is damaged in an accident.  This is also called “negligence law,” because negligence is the legal term for acting carelessly, which is often what causes accidents. This area of practice usually operates under State Law unless the accident involves a Federal Entity, such as an accident that involves a mail truck. The most common types of accidents are car accidents, but there are so many other types of accidents where somebody’s negligence or carelessness can cause harm.  Slip and fall accident fall under the umbrella of “premises liability” as they concern the reasonableness of the safety measures an owner takes on their property.  If somebody slips and falls because there is oil on the floor, the property owner is responsible for the injury. The same theory applies to the duty to make products that are safe for consumers, so accidents that cause injuries due to the negligence in the design or manufacturing of a product are actionable.  These claims are called “Product Liability’ claims. Professionals are responsible for their work, so that doctors, lawyers, and accountants can be held liable for not performing to the correct standard for their profession. It is extremely important that you work with reputable accident attorneys in New York City, as there are many lawyers that are looking for a fast buck that lack the experience and reputation that you will receive from a well-established firm.

PERSONAL INJURY LAW

FEDERAL, STATE AND LOCAL LAW

There are two major types of law in the United States and other Western Countries – criminal law and tort law. Criminal laws are enforced by the government byto punish perpetrators and to protect the population from harms caused by criminals. Tort laws allow people to sue to collect damages from other people that have caused them harm. Many laws have an equivalent in criminal and tort law. For example, the crime of theft is equivalent to the tort law of conversion. The government can prosecute an alleged thief, and at the same time, he might be sued under tort law by his victim. More commonly, a drunk driver will face criminal charges, while also be sued in “tort” by his victims.

The district attorney prosecutes a criminal, and a personal injury attorney represents victims in lawsuits against offenders. Tax dollars pay for the services of the district attorney, and personal injury attorneys are paid fees by clients. When a case is strong enough, a personal injury attorney will do all the work on a case, and lay out all the expenses, agreeing to only get paid if they are successful in obtaining a settlement or verdict. Not all tort cases are handled with contingency fees. For riskier cases, a personal injury lawyer will sometimes charge clients an hourly fee. It is very important that you understand your financial arrangement with your personal injury lawyer – do not be afraid to ask questions, and do not sign anything that you do not fully understand.

Most accident cases can be handled on a contingency fee, such as car accidents and slip and falls. More complicated and riskier cases include defamation and employment discrimination, which may require that at least part of the fees are paid on an hourly basis and that the client lay out some of the cost for experts. If you are injured, and it’s somebody else’s fault, it’s always worthwhile to have a consultation with a personal injury lawyer to find out what your rights are.

STATES OF MIND

Intentional Conduct

Criminal acts can give rise to tort claims, and most often the conduct is intentional.  An example is embezzlement. This is a crime punishment by many years of imprisonment, and the victim is certainly going to sue to get their money back whenever possible.  This also comes up for assaults, which can give rise to claims for inadequate security. A sexual assault by an employer, will most likely give rise to a sexual harassment claim. “The intent with which tort liability is concerned is not necessarily a hostile intent, or a desire to do any harm. Rather it is an intent to bring about a result which will invade the interests of another in a way that the law will not sanction.” WILLIAM L. PROSSER, LAW OF TORTS 31 (4th ed. 1971).  The most common intentional tort is what’s called “trespass.”  This is when a person intentionally enters the property of another, or causes somebody else to enter the property or remains on property after being asked to leave.  When trespass occurs, and harm is done, the owner is entitled to be compensated. Other common types of intentional torts are battery, assault, infliction of emotional distress and false imprisonment.  These basic common law categories give rise to many familiar claims. For example, a false imprisonment case is a basis for a lawsuit for false arrest.  Intentionally failing to provide correct medical results might give rise to a claim for the intentional infliction of emotional distress. A battery is “any unpermitted touching,” giving rise to a hostile work environment or peer-to-peer bullying case.

Reckless Conduct

Penal Law Section 15.05 defines states that a person acts recklessly when he is aware of and consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk that such result will occur or that such circumstance exists. The risk must be of such nature and degree that disregard thereof constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of conduct that a reasonable person would observe in that situation.  Examples of recklessness in the civil context would include driving at 100 miles per hour in a school zone, and, of course, our favorite law school example, “shooting a gun into a crowded room.”  The victims of the shooting would have a claim against the perpetrator for his reckless conduct and also against the owner or operator of the property, if they knew or should have known that the person was dangerous.

Reckless Conduct

Negligence is essentially “carelessness” and is, of course, the most common tort claim asserted.  There’s nobody walking around that has never give “guilty” of some level of negligence. To have an actionable case, there must also be some type of injury, so if you forget to send your child to school with lunch, and her friend shares lunch with her, no real harm has been done, despite the obvious negligence.  If you bump a car while parking, but there is no property damage and no injuries, it’s not a tort despite the negligence.

Negligence is not defined in a statute, it is a standard of “reasonableness” which is left to the “finder of fact,” (a judge or a jury) to determine.  Common examples are speeding and failing to abide by traffic signals. For product liability it is failing to use the necessary care, or provide appropriate warnings and instructions, to make sure that a product is safe.  The purpose of negligence claims is a “non-criminal” ways to regulate proper conduct in society.

Vicarious Liability

The most common type of vicarious liability claims arise from the the employer-employee relationship.  The law believes that because an employer is benefitting from the work done by an employee, they should also be responsible for their conduct.  Employers are responsible for training, screening and overseeing their employees. If a bouncer at a nightclub uses excessive force to eject a patron, the owner can be held liable.  This relationship also exists where an owner permits a driver to operate their car.

Other Torts

Some other examples of torts are premises liability, defamation, malicious prosecution, false arrest and an intentional interference with contractual relationships conspiracy, invasion of privacy, breach of fiduciary duty, etc.  The list of all torts is very long, but the purpose of this article is to explain what torts are, not to list each and every tort.

Whether is it is an intentional, reckless or negligent tort, an experienced New York Personal Injury Attorney will be able to evaluate your claim and advise you about whether it is worth pursuing.  Small claims can be handled in small claims court without an attorney, but larger claims are best handled with the assistance of a personal injury attorney.

What’s Needed to Prove a Tort (Personal Injury) Case?

Burden of Proof

The “burden of proof” starts with the plaintiff bringing the action.  The claim must be proved by a “preponderance of the evidence.” This means essentially that it must be proven that it is “more probable than not.” (Black’s Law Dictionary.)  This is a much lower standard than the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard for criminal cases.  Having the “burden of proof” is important because if a plaintiff fails to “show a claim,” the case can be dismissed by the Judge on a Motion from the Defendants or the Judge can order it himself.  This is to avoid clogging the courts with meritless claims.

Duty

The actor is required to conduct himself in a particular manner at the risk that if he does not do so he becomes subject to liability to another to whom the duty is owed for any injury sustained by such other, of which that actor’s conduct is a legal cause.” (Black’s Law Dictionary.)  More simply put, this is the care an ordinary prudent would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances. (Ibid)  This duty requirement is what gives rise to need to follow traffic safety laws, keep a property safe and many other familiar claims.

Proximate Cause

It must be shown that “the act or omission played a substantial part in bringing about or actually causing the injury or damage; and that the act or omission played a substantial part in bringing about or actually causing the injury or damage; and that the injury or damage was either a direct result or a reasonably probable consequence of the act or omission.” (Black’s Law Dictionary.)  This is a concept that is notorious for causing law students to bang their heads against the wall repeatedly, but it’s actually quite simple.  The question to ask is “would this have happened but for the circumstances claimed.” In other words, it can’t be just a coincidence. In practice, this comes up as an issue of “causation.”  The Plaintiff, for example, is claiming a fractured leg, but X-rays from before the accident already show a fracture.  There’s no denying that she has a fracture, it’s right there on the X-ray, but a fender bender with $250 in property damage to repair a scratch was not likely to have been the “proximate cause” of the accident.  A premises liability example is when somebody claims they were injured because a neighbor’s tree fell on their property, but witnesses saw that the tree did not make contact with the Plaintiff, and that he fell and tore a ligament on his leg from a tree that fell on his own property.  A trees fell and there was an injury, but the falling of the neighbor’s tree was not the proximate cause of the injury. Wittenstein & Wittenstein is the top personal injury attorney in Forest Hills – helping people get back on their feet for over sixty years.

PERSONAL INJURY LAWYERS REPRESENT VICTIMS OF TORT

There are two major types of law in the United States and other Western Countries – criminal law and tort law. Criminal laws are enforced by the government byto punish perpetrators and to protect the population from harms caused by criminals. Tort laws allow people to sue to collect damages from other people that have caused them harm. Many laws have an equivalent in criminal and tort law. For example, the crime of theft is equivalent to the tort law of conversion. The government can prosecute an alleged thief, and at the same time, he might be sued under tort law by his victim. More commonly, a drunk driver will face criminal charges, while also be sued in “tort” by his victims.

The district attorney prosecutes a criminal, and a personal injury attorney represents victims in lawsuits against offenders. Tax dollars pay for the services of the district attorney, and personal injury attorneys are paid fees by clients. When a case is strong enough, a personal injury attorney will do all the work on a case, and lay out all the expenses, agreeing to only get paid if they are successful in obtaining a settlement or verdict. Not all tort cases are handled with contingency fees. For riskier cases, a personal injury lawyer will sometimes charge clients an hourly fee. It is very important that you understand your financial arrangement with your personal injury lawyer – do not be afraid to ask questions, and do not sign anything that you do not fully understand.

Most accident cases can be handled on a contingency fee, such as car accidents and slip and falls. More complicated and riskier cases include defamation and employment discrimination, which may require that at least part of the fees are paid on an hourly basis and that the client lay out some of the cost for experts. If you are injured, and it’s somebody else’s fault, it’s always worthwhile to have a consultation with a personal injury lawyer to find out what your rights are.

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