Facing the aftermath of an accident can be life-altering, both physically and emotionally. In this enlightening interview, we had the privilege of speaking with Abraham Jaros, an esteemed personal injury attorney based in New York City. With a deep-rooted passion for the law and a profound commitment to advocating for those who have endured various injuries, Abraham offers invaluable insights and guidance to individuals unexpectedly thrust into the realm of personal injury.
Why did you decide to become an attorney?
Growing up, we all watched Perry Mason which made it fascinating. On a more personal level. My father was hit by a drunk driver, while walking on the sidewalk and my aunt was thrown from a bus in an accident. Both while I was young and both made an indelible impact because they had local lawyers, who didn’t really do a very good job in representing them and that upset me greatly. It is something I never forgot.
Your firm specializes in personal injury law, why did you decide to focus on this practice area?
It had a lot to do with the experiences my family members went through in accidents but really, I started by practicing criminal law. The problem with criminal law, we discovered after about 10 years, is you only deal with criminals. There is very little personal satisfaction in that. It’s interesting, but when you help someone who is injured in an accident and suffered an injury and weave and wind their way through litigation to a good outcome, that is much more satisfying,
What values does Jaroslawicz & Jaros stand for?
One of the problems I discovered with personal injury lawyers, and lawyers in general, is a lack of communication with clients. When clients complain, they call the office, no one ever gets back to them, no one ever tells them the status of the case or how long it will take and what to expect. So at Jaroslawicz & Jaros communication, I think is the key.
Personal injury attorneys can handle various injury cases from someone being injured in a car accident, bike accident, or even an airplane accident, all the way through to things like a bedsore injury or dog bite. Let’s just briefly discuss some of the common questions that an individual may run into when dealing with one of those various injuries that you and your team can assist with.
One of the reasons that personal injury law is so interesting is because it is so varied. Where you have all these different types of cases and even within different types of cases, there are various permutations. Each case is different and unique.
There are three, what we call legs, to every case. First, what is liability? Why is the other side at fault? If the other side is not at fault, you’re going to lose, you’re not going to get the money. The second leg, assuming you have liability, is the injury. What’s your injury and have you maximized your injury in a sense of seeing the right doctors, getting the right reports and projecting the future, as well as the past. Third is coverage. If you’re struck by a vehicle that has no coverage or $25,000 in coverage, that’s all you can recover. So to be successful and have a case you need to have all three recorded legs of a case.
It can be a confusing path, but to have someone by your side and in your corner, helping guide you to the necessary medical attention/reports and explaining all the necessary items you need to successfully proceed with a case is very valuable.
When somebody brings a personal injury lawsuit can we get somewhat of a realistic idea of the time, the dedication and work it could take to pursue the case in New York?
In New York, if the personal injury attorney prosecutes the case diligently, which is a big if by most attorneys who are busy, it can take two to three years or even for four to five years. Forget what COVID did to the courts, by shutting them down, this is just generally. The courts are very busy and very backed up.
What obstacles do people face when they are hiring a personal injury attorney in New York?
I think one of the biggest challenges people face is ignorance. Not in a bad way, but people who live their life are not familiar with lawyers or what to do after an injury. Typically, they approach it one of two ways: speaking to friends, family, and neighbors and asking for recommendations or doing an internet search.
My advice would be to listen to your friends and neighbors but realize that regardless of what results they personally got in their case, they really don’t know if that was a good result or not. They may have settled the case for $30,000 that was really worth $100,000. Unfortunately, they typically just don’t know. So, my best advice would be to listen to your friends and neighbors, but then do an internet search and look at the recommended lawyer’s website. Look at the reviews and testimonials that are available on the attorney.
Some important questions to consider in hiring a personal injury attorney are:
- What do the past clients say about the lawyer and the law firm?
- What results do they have?
- Have they taken a verdict?
- Are they afraid to go to trial or to spend the money to go to trial?
Unfortunately, insurance companies know the different lawyers and the different law firms. The insurance companies typically understand how each lawyer/law firm is going to approach the personal injury case. There are law firms that take many cases simply to settle them early. There are other law firms that will process the case to its full extent to maximize the recovery. It is important to know which type of law firm or lawyer you’re hiring. It is not always the easiest thing to find out, but if you do speak to the lawyer, ask the right questions, and do your research you can get to the roots and uncover what their goal is and ensure that it aligns with yours.
As mentioned, there are firms out there with 800 active cases. They may have two attorneys and dozens of paralegals. I often see that the goal of a firm with this type of structure is to settle a large number of cases as quickly as possible. For some people that’s what they may want. However, it is critical to understand that if you are seriously injured that quick settlement is not always the best way to go. It can make a big impact on your personal injury case to have an attorney that is involved in your case and involved in creating a comprehensive strategy for your individual situation.
There are not many personal injury lawyers that charge to meet with you. I strongly advise people to talk to two, three, or even four, five, six different attorneys if you have the time. Do not be afraid to search until you find the lawyer that you need. Don’t stop at just researching the attorney, meet with them, see their office, see what they look like, see how they speak to you and see how they ask you questions. You could be working with the attorney and their team for the next two to four or even more years, it is critical to know that it is someone you can somewhat enjoy working with.
Can you switch to a new attorney after already hiring a personal injury attorney?
We can’t undo the injury, but we can obtain compensation to make your life a little easier. Over the years we have gotten many calls from people asking, “Can I switch attorneys if I have already hired one?” Overall, the answer is yes. I have had many clients hire us because they are not happy with their current lawyer for various reasons. I’ve heard all the problems and my best advice is to meet with the lawyer and if you’re not happy with the lawyer, switch lawyers, it doesn’t cost you anything. At minimum, make the call to a new attorney and ask the necessary questions.
As individuals seek support in their pursuit of justice, the significance of choosing the right attorney cannot be overstated. By conducting research, asking the right questions, and meeting potential attorneys, clients can ensure they have someone who understands their needs and advocates passionately for their well-being. With a dedicated attorney by your side, the path becomes navigable, offering a glimmer of hope and a sense of solace during challenging times.